News & Announcements

CSU Students Awarded NSF Fellowships

Awards will support graduate study in physics and chemical engineering

Two Cleveland State University students have been named recipients of the National Science Foundation’s prestigious Graduate Research Fellowship. Farid Khoury, a 4+1 Master’s student in Chemical Engineering, and Niksa Praljak, a student in the Mandel Honors College and a double major in Physics and Mathematics, will utilize the awards to further their education and advance their research portfolios.

Khoury, who fled from Syria to Cleveland due to the civil war in 2013, will use his fellowship to further his research in the use of the algae Chlorella Sorokiniana in improving biofuel production. His efforts focus on utilizing growth kinetics to maximize lipid production in the algae cell, which could later be converted to jet fuel, gasoline and biodiesel. He will continue his graduate studies in the chemical engineering Ph.D. program at Columbia University, where he also is a recipient of the Presidential Fellowship.

Praljak, a native of Bosnia, will continue his research in the physics of living systems. This area of study explores the most fundamental physical processes that living systems utilize to perform their functions in dynamic and diverse environments. Praljak has also been inspired to educate the public in the physical sciences due to his work with students at Campus International School as part of an outreach program run by CSU’s Society of Physics Students. He will continue his education and research in a Ph.D. program in biophysical sciences at the University of Chicago.

Khoury and Praljak received support for their Graduate Research Fellowship Program applications through a targeted workshop offered by CSU’s Office of Research and run by Professors Dan Simon and Shawn Ryan. The College of Graduate Studies also provided a stipend award to each of the participants. The workshop provided general information on the program and helped interested students in preparing their application materials.

NSF Graduate Research Fellowships recognize and support outstanding graduate students in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics disciplines who are pursuing research-based masters and doctoral degrees.