Degree: Ph.D. in Physics
School: School of Integrated Science and Humanity
College: College of Arts, Sciences & Education
As a child growing up in Bharatpur, Nepal, Yuba Raj Poudel dreamed of becoming a scientist. Today, he is living his dream.
At FIU, Yuba worked on a research team led by FIU Professor Wenzhi Li whose research on carbon nanotubes yielded a U.S. patent. Nanotubes can be used as components in lithium-ion batteries to power smart phones and electric vehicles. Today’s lithium-ion batteries rely on graphite anodes, which do not hold as much of a charge as the filled carbon nanotubes Yuba developed with Li. The widespread adoption of their nanotubes could make batteries last longer and cars travel farther on a single charge. The team has two additional patents pending on the creation of filled carbon nanotubes and their synthesis processes.
Yuba also participated in the National Science Foundation’s Innovation Corps where he sought opportunities to commercialize their carbon nanotube technology. More research is needed to validate and scale up the technology.
For Yuba, research wasn’t the only priority. He sought leadership positions at the university’s Nepalese Student Association and served as secretary before becoming the organization’s president. Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, Yuba organized social events such as celebrations for New Year’s Day and the major Hindu religious festival of Dashain.
Yuba credits Professor Li; his wife, Surakshya Parajuli; son Suvan; parents Dev Raj and Geeta Poudel; and grandfather Rohini Sharma for his success. After graduation, he will begin working at Intel Corporation.
By Chrystian Tejedor
College of Arts, Sciences & Education