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College of Engineering & Science - Louisiana Tech University

Pranay Uttamchandani


I graduated from Louisiana Tech University in 2016 with a B.S. in Chemical Engineering. I chose “Making Solar Energy Economical” as my field of specialization. However, solar energy was not my center of focus. I chose solar energy in support to making non-conventional sources of energy economical such as energy derived from biomass or agricultural waste. I come from a developing nation, India, where ample energy insecurity issues exist. From an entrepreneurial standpoint, it is very important to be where growth is taking place rapidly. India serves as an excellent hub for bioenergy growth because agriculture accounts for 18% of India’s national GDP as of 2016. Meeting this challenge not only solves waste and energy issues but also reduces the need for climate change talks.

If one wants a dream job, admission to a reputable graduate school, or to start one’s own business, then GCSP is the way to go. I found GCSP to be useful in four important ways. It aided me in acing interviews, building an effective resume, creating an entrepreneurial mindset, and developing networking skills.

Over the course of my academics, I involved myself in research concerning semiconductors and microelectronics in the Institute for Micromanufacturing. I developed and recommended improved anodizing, electroplating, and wet chemical etching pathways for production of copper and copper oxide nanowires for thermal management studies. Doing research gives a huge advantage because it enables students to write proposals, secure funds for research, perform research, and publish technical papers with their names. All of these research aspects can go on a resume and give one an excellent head start.

GCSP’s entrepreneurship component was my favorite and most useful experiences. I learned a great deal about business pitching, salesman’s attitude, enterprise machinery, and commercialization. This led me to join the LA New Product Development Team (LANPDT), where I was able to form a team with like minded and experienced students. My team managed to secure third place in the Top Dawg Idea Pitch competition that dealt with commercializing graphene for shielding electronic equipment. After my graduation, the idea was taken up by LANPDT who managed to raise significant monetary funds via angel investors.

GCSP’s research and entrepreneurship experience aided me to stand out of the crowd and make my internship seeking experience easier. I landed my dream internship with Abengoa Bioenergy in Kansas, which was North America’s first commercial scale 2G cellulosic bio-refinery that converts agricultural waste into biofuel and electricity. I learned a lot of industrial relevant material closely concerning chemical engineering practices. In addition to my internship, I was also part of Tech’s Engineering and Science Magazine where I served as a staff writer for one year. I also independently tutored students and served as a student assistant for Thermodynamics during summer quarter of my sophomore year.

I currently work for Air Hygiene International as an Air Quality Engineer. I get to perform testing in lab for various instrumental and isokinetic pollutants. In addition, I also get to travel to various energy, power utility, and chemical refineries around the U.S. for testing, data collection, and analysis to help companies comply with EPA and federal regulations. It has been a great learning experience so far, and I have been thoroughly enjoying it.

Moreover, I strongly believe that GCSP is an asset, a merit just like one’s degree that is going to bolster personal confidence, professional life, wealth, and wellbeing of others and yourself.