Alumni Updates

There is no better testament to the impact and success of the Nakatani RIES Fellowship that the further accomplishments of our alumni. To date, a total 46 students have participated in our 2016 and 2017 programs including 20 Japanese students and 26 U.S. students. Click on the tabs below for updates on the further accomplishments of our Fellows.

If you are a Nakatani RIES Fellow and would like to share an update with us, please email sphillips@rice.edu or nakatani-ries@rice.edu.

Alumni Updates
For information on individual student accomplishments please click the tabs below.

2016 Japanese Fellows

Hiromi Miwa
Keio University, Applied Chemistry
Bachelor's Degree Awarded: March 2017
Current Position: Ph.D., Bioengineering, University of California, Los Angeles, In Progress

Graduate School: In September 2017, Hiromi will begin a Ph.D. program in Bioengineering at the University of California, Los Angeles.  Congratulations and best of luck with your graduate studies Hiromi!


Soya Miyoshi
Tohoku University, Electrical, Information and Physics Engineering
Expected Graduation Date: March 2019

Other International Experience: Soya will spend eight months at the National University of Singapore as part of Tohoku University's Study Abroad Exchange Program with funding from  業務スーパージャパンドリーム財団. He will be in Singapore from August 2017 to mid-May 2018. Congratulations Soya – we hope you have a wonderful experience studying in Singapore! 


Toshihiro Takada
Ristumeikan University, Environmental Systems Engineering
Bachelor's Degree Awarded: March 2017
Current Position: MSc., International Land & Water Management, Wagenigen University, In Progress

Graduate School: In September 2017, Toshihiro will begin his graduate studies at Wagenigen University in the Netherlands where he will be pursuing an MSc International Land and Water Management. Congratulations and best of luck with your graduate studies Toshihiro!


Tatsuya Tanaka
Waseda University
Mechanical Engineering
Bachelor's Degree Awarded: March 2017
Current Position: M.S., Mechanical Engineering, Waseda University, In Progress

Further International Experience: Tatsuya will return to Rice University from May 2017 – February 2018 to conduct research in Prof. Tayfun Tezduyar's lab as a visiting scholar with financial support form Tobitate Japan Scholarship Program founded by the Ministry of Education Japan and corporate sponsors. He is also looking forward to the opportunity to meet and serve as a mentor for the 2017 Japanese Fellows when they arrive at Rice in August.  Welcome back to Rice Tatsuya!  


2016 U.S. Fellows

Ronald (Rony) Ballouz
University of Texas, Austin, Electrical Engineering
Anticipated Graduation Date: May 2019

Further International Research Experience: During the summer of 2017, Rony will participate in TU Munich's Practical Research Experience Program in Germany where his research project will focus on a statistical optimization problem in circuit testing. Gute Reise Rony!


Mayssa Gregoire
St. Joseph’s College, New York, Chemistry
Anticipated Graduation Date: May 2019

Further Domestic Research Experience: During the summer of 2017, Mayssa will be participating in the Renewable Energy Materials Research Science and Engineering Center (REMRSEC) Research Experience for Undergraduates program at the Colorado School of Mines.  Her project will focus on synthesizing and characterizing ternary compounds for thermoelectric applications. She shared with us "I am excited about the project and it's also been nice to compare research environments between the U.S and Japan. I think I am in for another great summer." Congratulations Mayssa and enjoy Colorado! 


Benjamin Kaiser
Bethel University, Physics
Expected Graduation: May 2018

Further International Study Experience: During the summer of 2017, Benjamin will be doing an internship with NASA. Congratulations Ben! 


Erica Lin
Brown University, Applied Mathematics – Biology and East Asian Studies
Expected Graduation: May 2019

Further International Research Experience: During the summer of 2017, Erica will be returning to Japan to conduct a research internship at the Kyoto University Graduate School of Medicine from June to August. Congratulations Erica! 頑張ってください !


Haihao Liu

Rice University, Materials Science & NanoEngineering and Mathematics
Anticipated Graduation Date: May 2019

Scholarships and Fellowships: Haihao was selected as a recipient of the 2017-2018 Tau Beta Pi Scholarship. Tau Beta Pi is the oldest engineering honor society in the US (2nd oldest honor society in general). Each year they award about 200 scholarships ($2000 for full-year, $1000 per semester) to rising seniors. Congratulations on this honor Haihao! 

Further International Research Experience: During the summer of 2017, Haihao will be doing experimental research creating a graphene-based gas sensor device at Shandong University in China, under a joint program with Rice University's Materials Science & NanoEngineering Department's Summer International Research Experience Program.  This program was developed through the establishment of the Joint Center for Carbon Nanomaterials between Rice and Shandong. "This was a particularly serendipitous opportunity for me, because Shandong is actually my dad’s home province, where half my relatives still live!" Congratulations Haihao and we hope you have another great summer of research abroad!  

Further Study Abroad Experience: During the spring 2017 semester, Haihao will be studying abroad in France through the Rice University Exchange Program at the École centrale Paris. While studying abroad, Haihao will also have the opportunity to conduct research for a project-based class. He will work in the Structures, Properties and Modeling of Solids (SPMS) Lab investigating the electrocaloric effect in multiferroic materials for solid-state cooling device applications, doing both experimental (synthesis, measurement) and computer modeling work. Bon Voyage Haihao!


Brinda Malhotra
Carnegie Mellon University, Mechanical Engineering
Anticipated Graduation Date: May 2018

Scholarships & Fellowships: Brinda was awarded a 2017 SMART: Science, Mathematics & Research for Transformation Scholarship. The SMART Scholarship has been established by the Department of Defense (DoD) to support undergraduate and graduate students pursuing degrees in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) disciplines. The program aims to increase the number of civilian scientists and engineers working at DoD laboratories. Recipients of this prestigious award receive support for full tuition and fees, an annual stipend, opportunities for summer research internships, mentoring, and employment placement after graduation.  Congratulations Brinda and best of luck with your future academic and research pursuits! 


Donald Swen
Columbia University, Materials Science & Nanoengineering, Second Bachelor's Degree, Commencing Fall 2017
Willamette University, B.S., Physics, Received Spring 2017 

2017 Barry Goldwater Scholarship Recipient:  In 2017, Donald was one of just 240 sophomore and junior students selected to receive a Goldwater Scholarship. Goldwater Scholars were selected based on academic merit from a application pool of 1,286 natural sciences, mathematics, and engineering students from universities nationwide. Of those reporting, 133 of Goldwater Scholars are men, 103 are women, and virtually all intend to obtain a Ph.D. as their highest degree objective. Twenty-two Goldwater Scholars are mathematics majors, 153 are science and related majors, 51 are majoring in engineering, and 14 are computer science majors. Many of Goldwater Scholars have dual majors in a variety of mathematics, science, engineering, and computer science. The one and two year scholarships will cover the cost of tuition, fees, books, and room and board up to a maximum of $7,500 per year. Congratulations Donald on this highly prestigious award! 

Further International Research Experience: Donald will spend the summer of 2017 participating in the ISTernships program at the Institute of Technology in Austria. His research will be focused on Quantum Integrated Devices with under the advisement of Prof. Johannes Fink. He's even keep a weekly blog of his summer in Vienna, modeled off of the weekly reports he did in the Nakatnai RIES program. Congratulations Donald – we hope you have another great summer conducting research abroad! 


Youssef Tobah
University of Texas, Austin, Electrical & Computer Engineering
Expected Graduation: May 2018

Further Domestic Research Experience: In the Summer of 2017, Youssef will participate in an summer internship program with NASA. He will be working on an ongoing project that seeks to build a system that can enter the Earth's orbit and autonomously refuel a satellite used for taking photos of the Earth, as that satellite is currently running low on fuel. Congratulations Youssef! 


Nickolas Walling
Rice University, Mechanical Engineering and Computational & Applied Math
Anticipated Graduation Date: May 2019

Further Study Abroad Experience: In the Summer of 2017 Nickolas will participate in the Rice in Japan language study abroad program. This is an innovative 6-week intensive Japanese language and intercultural communication summer program. It maximizes students’ opportunities to interact with local people through home-stays, community engagement, language partners, and cultural excursions. Nickolas will be in the Tokyo area from May 17 – June 25 and will be traveling in Japan until July 5, 2017.  Congratulations Nickolas! 頑張ってください !


Sasha Yamada
University of Hawaiʻi, Mānoa, Electrical Engineering
Expected Graduation: May 2019

Further International Experience: In the summer of 2017, Sasha will return to Japan to participate in a one-month study abroad program at the Tokyo University of Agriculture and Technology. Congratulations Nickolas! 頑張ってください !


Graduate Schools
To date, 2 alumni are now pursuing master’s or doctoral degrees in STEM fields.

Graduate Schools in the U.S.

To date, a total of 1 Nakatani RIES Fellow is currently enrolled in or has completed a graduate degree at an institution in the U.S.

Graduate Institutions in the U.S. (1) 

  1. University of California, Los Angeles
    • Hiromi Miwa (2016 JP Fellow): Ph.D., Bioengineering, Commencing Fall 2017 
Graduate Schools in Japan

To date, a total of 1 Nakatani RIES Fellow is currently enrolled in or has completed a graduate degree at an institution in Japan. 

Institutions in Japan (1) 

  1. Waseda University
Other International Graduate Schools

To date, a total of 1 Nakatani RIES Fellow is currently enrolled in or has completed a graduate degree at an international graduate institution (outside of the U.S. or Japan). 

International Graduate Institutions – (1) 

  1. Wagenignen University (Netherlands) 

Other International Experiences
Global engagement remains high among Nakatani RIES Fellows, with 7 alumni pursuing other study, research, or internship opportunities abroad.

1 Other International Experience in the U.S.

To date, 1 Nakatani RIES Fellow from Japan has particpiated in another international experience in the U.S.

  1. Toshihiro Takada (2016):  Research Internship at Rice University from May 2017 – May 2018 in the Tezduyar Lab with funding from the Tobitate Scholarship. 
3 Other International Experiences in Japan

To date, 3 Nakatani RIES Fellows from the U.S. have participated in further international experiences in Japan. 

  1. Erica Lin (2016): Summer 2017 Research Internship at Kyoto University Graduate School of Medicine
  2. Nickolas Walling (2016): Summer 2017 Rice in Japan Language Program in Tokyo
  3. Sasha Yamada (2016): Summer 2017 study abroad program at the Tokyo University of Agriculture and Technology. 
4 Other International Experiences Worldwide

To date, 4 Nakatani RIES Fellows have participated in other international experiences in locations worldwide. 

  1. Rony Ballouz (2016): Summer 2017 TU Munich's Practical Research Experience Program in Germany 
  2. Haihao Liu (2016):
  3. Soya Miyoshi (2016): 2016 – 2017 Tohoku University Study Abroad Exchange Program at the National University of Singapore
  4. Donald Swen (2016): Summer 2017 ISTernships program at the Institute of Technology in Austria

Major Fellowships, Scholarships
Nakatani RIES Fellows have also been highly competitive for other major national/international fellowships and scholarships.

1 Gilman Scholarship (U.S.)

To date, 1 Nakatani RIES Fellow has received a Benjamin A. Gilman Scholarship for Undergraduate Study Abroad

  1. Mayssa Gregoire (2016): Summer 2016 Gilman Scholar
1 Goldwater Scholarship (U.S.)

To date, 1 Nakatani RIES Fellow has been selected to receive a Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship

  1. Donald Swen (2016): 2017 Goldwater Scholar
1 DOD SMART Scholarship

To date, 1 Nakatani RIES Fellow has been selected to receive a DOD SMART: Science, Mathematics & Research for Transformation Scholarship

  1. Brinda Malhotra (2016 U.S. Fellow) 
1 業務スーパージャパンドリーム財団 (JP)

To date, 1 Nakatani RIES Fellow has received an overseas scholarship from the 業務スーパージャパンドリーム財団

  1. Soya Miyoshi (2016): Study Abroad Exchange Program at the National University of Singapore. 
1 Tobitate Scholarship (JP)

To date, 1 Nakatani RIES Fellowship has received a Tobitate Scholarship

  1. Tatsuya Tanaka (2016): Tobitate Scholar

 

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