Akshata Kulkarni receives SPE Automotive and Composites Division Scholarship


kulkarniCongratulations to Akshata Kulkarni (advisor Dr. Sadhan Jana) who has been selected as a recipient of a Society of Plastics Engineers (SPE) Automotive and Composites Division Dr. Jackie Rehkopf Scholarship in the amount of $2,500.

Akshata started her career in polymers in 2012 when she opted for a bachelor’s degree in Polymer Engineering at the Institute of Chemical Technology, Mumbai. During her undergraduate years, she gained hands on experience in the field through industrial as well as academic internships. She was also chosen as the Summer Research Fellow of the Indian Academy of Sciences in May 2014. At the University of Akron, Akshata is currently pursuing her Ph.D. under the guidance of Dr. Sadhan C. Jana.

As a part of her doctoral dissertation, she has worked on developing energy efficient vulcanizing systems for low energy loss tire tread compounds. The work involved using benzocyclobutene based crosslinking agents for obtaining improved properties of the final tread compound as well as a lower crosslinking time. This project was executed under the aegis of CenTiRe and was a collaborative effort between Dr. Sadhan Jana and Dr. Coleen Pugh from Polymer Science at The University of Akron.

Currently, she is working on utilizing highly porous aerogel materials for separating oil water mixtures. Along with her academic accolades and research experience, she has also served as the President of the Akron SPE Student Chapter during the academic year 2017-2018. Recently, she also received the Ohio Rubber Group Graduate Student Award as well as the Paul Glasgow Student Scholarship from the ACS Rubber Division. Akshata intends to work in the polymer industry after her graduation.

Congratulations Akshata!