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CBE Undergrad Shines at EURēCA

The 2023 Exhibition of Undergraduate Research and Creative Achievement (EURēCA), took place on April 25 in UT’s Student Union. Led by Undergraduate Research & Fellowships in the Division of Student Success, 1,179 students showed 868 projects from a wide range of disciplines and methodologies.

Mariana Milano-Benitez , a junior in CBE, won the third place research award among all the Tickle College of Engineering students for her work titled “Supercapacitor Electrodes Based on Reduced Graphene Oxide Composited with Manganese Metal Oxide.”

“It was an honor winning the third-place award in this category, and it was even better to do it alongside my mentor, Mahshid Mokhtarnejad. She also received a mentor award during the same ceremony,” said Milano-Benitez.

Mariana’s project involved a patented technique called laser ablation synthesis in solution.

“Knowing that the results are recognized to be this promising is very motivating. This award helps corroborate that we are moving in the right direction,” said Milano-Benitex.

Milano-Benitez worked with Granger and Beaman Distinguished University Professor Bamin Khomami, who served as the principal investigator of her research group. In addition, her work with Mokhtarnejad helped her stay on track to pursue her PhD after she finishes her undergraduate studies.

“She has taught me so much since I started working with her, and I largely owe this success to her. From the whys and hows of our projects, to how to operate different devices we use and interpret/communicate the results we obtain effectively. She has been my biggest supporter at work these past months.”

Milano-Benitez is originally from Venezuela, and she moved to Tennessee six years ago. She is now deciding on where she wants to go to graduate school after graduation, her main interests are novel materials, and energy storage/applications/alternatives.