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Silpa K

- Research Program Mentor

PhD at University of Louisville


Material Science, Nanotechnology, Manufacturing, Semiconductors


I am an engineer at heart and by training. My passion lies in understanding materials, their underlying characteristics and in following the trajectory of the current technologies in the material science world. In school, my research focussed on nanomaterials and using them to build sensors for real world applications. As a senior research engineer at Intel, I worked on the latest semiconductor technology making microprocessors that were adopted into the framework of THE greatest smartphones of all times that is named after a fruit ;) My favorite way to de-stress is to get out into nature and hike and plan on going on my first backpacking trip on the pacific crest trail !

Project ideas

Project ideas are meant to help inspire student thinking about their own project. Students are in the driver seat of their research and are free to use any or none of the ideas shared by their mentors.

Re-engineering Plastic to be biodegradable

Plastics are made from repeating chemical structures that give them elasticity and make them moldable. It is also the reason why they are very hard to break down in nature. To address the mounting problem of plastic pollution, there needs to be an awareness of the root cause of the problem - the basic chemical structure of plastics. How do we question the status quo and re-engineer plastic to become bio degradable and environmentally friendly? This project can either be a literary review of the current efforts being made in this direction or a brand new research idea to counter plastic pollution

Coral Bleaching

Coral reefs are a vital part of the ocean's coastal marine ecosystem. They protect fragile coastlines from storms and erosion, provide jobs for local communities, and are a recreational hotspot. The National oceanic and atmospheric administration (NOAA) has said over half a billion people depend on reefs for food, income, and protection. In recent years, coral reefs have been facing increasingly episodic bleaching events that now pose a threat to both marine life and coastal communities. This project can either be a literary review of the coral bleaching events and the reasons behind them, or how human intervention has accelerated the coral reef deterioration or a brand new research idea to understand these events.

Lithium Ion Batteries - friend or foe to the environment?

In the next 10 years, millions of electric car batteries will retire. Ever wonder what will happen to them? From production to disposal - Lithium has a journey that is riddled with a lot of challenges. Are these batteries really helping or in fact harming the environment - by negating the 'electric vehicle advantage' for the consumer? This project could explore (as a literary review article or as a research paper) the lifecycle of the super popular Lithium Ion batteries that power the EV cars and their effect on the environment.

Coding skills

Power BI, JMP, SQL

Teaching experience

I have been a tutor and a mentor all through by academic career. I have mentored undergrad students in my research lab on material science projects when I was working on my doctoral dissertation and have been a tutor to electrical engineering students for several terms when pursuing my masters degree.


Work experience

Intel (2013 - 2016)
Senior Technology and Development Process Engineer
ITTracket (2020 - 2022)
Chief Operating Officer


Jawaharlal Nehru Technological University
BTech Bachelor of Technology (2005)
Electrical and Electronics Engineering
University of Louisville
MS Master of Science (2007)
Electrical and Computer Engineering
University of Louisville
PhD Doctor of Philosophy (2012)
Electrical and Computer Engineering

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