2017-2018 Committee Members

Varun Bardrinath Krishna | Electrical & Computer Engineering

ECE Department Profile

I am a Ph.D. student in the Electrical and Computer Engineering department and a research assistant in the Information Trust Institute at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC). I am advised by Prof. William H. Sanders, and am researching data-driven methods to secure communications and to improve efficiency in smart grids. As a member of EGSAC, I hope to improve the emotional welfare of engineering graduate students at Illinois by organizing social activities, and facilitating friendships between new and senior students. I am an active member of the Illini Dancesport ballroom dancing team and represent UIUC at collegiate competitions. I enjoy ballroom dancing, travelling, and thought-provoking TV shows.

Committees:  Quality of Life and Wellness

Brandon ByersJoint Civil & Environmental Engineering-MBA

I am a Joint-Degree graduate student in the CEE & MBA Departments. I am currently working on using analytical tools to predict performance for various industries. I have also served as consultant on many projects internationally & domestically. Through my consultant work, I aim to bring about change to organizations and solve there concerns in regards to there many business units. My interest is develop analytical & market research tools that bring about better performance for capital infrastructure projects. In EGSAC, I seek to help aid the efforts in making the admissions process for first-year graduate students a lot easier and continue my work on ways to diversify the engineering department, primarily targeted toward African-American men and women who have a genuine interest in STEM Majors.This in conjunction with elevating the Importance of Diversity Symposium to new heights. In my spare time read business articles to build business intuition, play sports and workout to maintain good health – Health is Wealth.

Committees:  Advocates for Underrepresented Minorities


Si (Stacie) Chen| Bioengineering | Funding Coordinator

I am a fifth year PhD student in the Bioengineering Department. My research interests revolve around applying engineering and computational tools to tackle biomedical challenges such as drug resistance and biomarker discovery. For my doctoral thesis, I am developing a system with nanosensors that allows high-throughput, multiplexed protein quantification at single-cell level. I am passionate about engineering education, and have mentored over 15 undergraduate students for the past four years. In addition, I firmly believe the impact of a collaborative and friendly environment on the engineering community at Illinois. As a member of EGSAC, I hope to encourage interdisciplinary engagement in both professional development and social activities. I am also a strong believer in healthy work-life balance. When I am not in the lab, I can be found hanging out with friends in downtown, working out, or trying out new restaurants in the area.

Committees:  Advocates for Underrepresented Minorities / Interdisciplinary Engagement

William Davies | Mechanical Science & Engineering | Treasurer

I am a fourth-year graduate student in the Department of Mechanical Science and Engineering. I am an experimental research assistant with Dr Pega Hrnjak in the Air Conditioning and Refrigeration Center. Currently, I am attempting to improve air-cooled condensers for power plants.  Prior to my graduate studies I worked as a field engineer in the oil industry. I hope to use this industry experience to improve the lab safety and mentoring culture among graduate students here at UIUC. These days, my free time is spent playing soccer, hiking, and cooking.

Committees:  Quality of Life and Wellness

Jennifer DeBellis | Civil & Environmental Engineering | Publicity Coordinator

I am a second year master’s student in Environmental Engineering studying in the area of water quality. My research focuses on recovering valuable resources like nitrogen and phosphorus from wastewater by using algal biotechnology. In addition to this, I am interested in the prospect of turning algal biomass into biofuels. After completing my undergraduate degree at UIUC, I have become passionate about inspiring current undergraduates, especially women, to pursue advanced degrees and seek enriching research opportunities. Alongside this, I value interdisciplinary connection and strive to create opportunities for students from different academic and cultural backgrounds to come together and exchange ideas. Outside of graduate study, I am an avid rock climber/boulderer and enjoy traveling to national parks around the country and globe.

Committees:  International Student Affairs / Interdisciplinary Engagement

Steven DiMarco | Mechanical Science & Engineering | Secretary

I am a first-year graduate student in the Mechanical Science and Engineering Department. My research interests span many areas of theoretical and applied physics. I am currently involved with experimental fluids research here at the University of Illinois. I have previously worked as an engineer for General Electric in Greenville, SC and also with NASA at Kennedy Space Center. Some of the programs I have worked on with NASA are: The Space Shuttle, Constellation, and Space Launch System (SLS). As a member of the Engineering Graduate Student Advisory Committee, I intend to draw on my experiences working in the field, in order to provide solid advice and mentoring for students considering a career in the engineering workforce.

Committees: Interdisciplinary Engagement

Nicole Jackson | Civil & Environmental Engineering | President

CURRICULUM VITAE

I am a Ph.D. candidate in the energy-water-environment sustainability program in civil and environmental engineering. My work is interdisciplinary, combining engineering, biology, policy, and economics to study the impact of thermal pollution from thermoelectric power plants on aquatic ecosystems. Within the engineering community, I am passionate about the inclusion and retention of minorities, as well as the representation of minorities in higher education. I also advocate for graduate student wellness both inside and outside the classroom, which is vital for academic success and personal career development. In addition to serving on EGSAC, I am president of the Central Illinois Alumni Chapter of Tau Beta Pi and Chair of the CEE departmental Graduate Student Advisory Committee.

Committees:  Interdisciplinary Engagement

Lauren Logan | Civil & Environmental Engineering

CURRICULUM VITAE 

I am a Ph.D. candidate in the energy-water-environment sustainability program in civil and environmental engineering. My work is interdisciplinary, combining engineering, biology, policy, and economics to study the impact of thermal pollution from thermoelectric power plants on aquatic ecosystems. Within the engineering community, I am passionate about the inclusion and retention of minorities, as well as the representation of minorities in higher education. I also advocate for graduate student wellness both inside and outside the classroom, which is vital for academic success and personal career development. In addition to serving on EGSAC, I am president of the Central Illinois Alumni Chapter of Tau Beta Pi and Chair of the CEE departmental Graduate Student Advisory Committee.

Committees:  Advocates for Underrepresented Minorities

Iti Mehta | Mechanical Science & Engineering

I am a first year Masters student in the Mechanical Science and Engineering department. As a member of EGSAC, I hope to make graduate students more aware of available campus resources. I am also very interested in interdisciplinary collaboration and in encouraging a healthy lifestyle for students. In my spare time, I love to draw and do yoga.

 

Committees: 

Sree Kalyan Patiballa | Industrial & Enterprise Systems Engineering

CURRICULUM VITAE

I am a third year Ph.D. student in Industrial and Enterprise Systems Engineering (ISE) department at University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC). I work with Monolithic Systems Lab under the guidance of Prof. Girish Krishnan. My research areas are Complaint mechanisms, Theoretical mechanics and Design of engineering materials. Currently I am working on Synthesis of mechanical metamaterials using insightful design tools. As a member of EGSAC, I would like to create a positive student community around the campus by organizing wellness events. In addition to this, I would like to promote interdisciplinary research collaborations. I believe that the interdisciplinary research and collaborations helps graduate students to broaden their thinking capacity in approaching research problems. Apart from my research and EGSAC, I work with “YesPlus UIUC Chapter”, a RSO that is part of International Association for Human Values (IAHV), where I teach yoga, meditation and other stress-management tools for students. In my free time, I practice singing and play sports.

Committees:  International Student Affairs / Quality of Life and Wellness

Previous EGSAC Committee Members