Current Graduate Student Profiles

As prospective students, the Department of Materials Science and Engineering would like to give you the opportunity to connect with current graduate students. Use these students as resources for questions, welcoming faces, and new friends. They are genuinely excited to see you succeed and to help you navigate campus, Ames, and graduate student life as best as possible. Meet a few of our graduate students below and reach out to them for questions, concerns, or advice.

Manish Kumar

Headshot of Manish Kumar

Hello, I am Manish Kumar, a 3rd year Ph.D. student in Dr. Pathak’s Materials Science and Engineering research group. I finished my undergraduate study (Bachelor of Technology, B.Tech) in Metallurgical and Materials Engineering at the National Institute of Technology Karnataka, Surathkal, India. I am currently working on “Structure and Properties of the Solder Joints Produced in Microgravity and Terrestrial Environments.”

Apart from research, I like to go hiking, biking, and playing cricket. I also spend my free time reading books and watching space documentaries and taking pictures of sun, moon and stars.

Email: manishk@iastate.edu

Group website: https://www.mse.iastate.edu/sidpathak/

Jacob Wheaton

Hello, I am a Ph.D. candidate working in the Glass and Energy Materials Group in the MSE department. I received my B.S. in Materials Engineering and French in 2020.  In my research, I am working to develop novel glassy materials for use as solid-state electrolytes in next-generation batteries.  My research also involves studying novel cathode compositions to pair our glassy electrolyte with a high-capacity sulfur cathode. I am involved in the glassblowing club on campus, the Gaffers’ Guild, and have been blowing glass for most of my time at Iowa State. I also enjoy watching films, biking, and taking photos in my free time.

Email: wheaton1@iastate.edu

Group website: https://www.mse.iastate.edu/gom/

Brad Swan 

Hello! My name is Brad Swan, and I’m a second-year Ph.D. student in Dr. Chris Cornelius’s research group, where our focus is on the processing and characterization of polymer membranes. I’m specifically working on developing polyelectrolyte membranes for ion transport systems, with applications such as fuel cells, carbon capture, water desalination, redox flow batteries, and electrodialysis. Originally from the Twin Cities area in Minnesota, I’m currently living in Des Moines with my wife and kids. While family life and fatherhood occupy the majority of my free time, I love running Dungeons & Dragons campaigns, exploring regional and state parks with my dogs, and doing my best to keep up with the Marvel cinematic universe

Email: baswan@iastate.edu

Harika Dasari

Hi! I am Harika, a second-year graduate student in Professor. Jun Cui’s group. My research work is on studying the effect of grain boundary phases on Mischmetal-based permanent magnets. I completed my undergraduate degree in Metallurgy and Materials Engineering from India. I am currently the treasurer of Graduate Society of Women Engineers and site leader for Spring 23 alternative breaks trip. I enjoy being with friends and family and cook and watching TV shows in my free time.

Email: harikad@iastate.edu

 

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