What I love about materials science is the interdisciplinary nature of research

Abhishek Kalpattu 
Pronouns: He/Him/His
Hometown: Chennai, India

Abhishek Kalpattu works at a physical chemistry laboratory as a doctoral student, and what he loves about materials science is the interdisciplinary nature of the field. 

In pursuing his research interests, Kalpattu has had the opportunity to collaborate with scientists from other disciplines, and exchange ideas, which he finds exciting. 

After earning a bachelor’s degree in engineering from City University of Hong Kong, and a master’s in Nanotechnology from the University of Pennsylvania, Kalpattu joined the Ph.D. program and is set to graduate next December. Driven by his fascination for optics and lasers, his research is focused on photonic devices. More specifically, he studies the photo-physical light absorption and emission processes in various materials. 

His thesis advisor, Professor John Fourkas, has been a source of inspiration for him. 

“His enthusiasm towards research and his scientific knowledge continues to fascinate me,” said Kalpattu. 

At the University of Maryland, he is a student member of the Advancing Optics and Photonics Worldwide (OPTICA), and a secretary for the organization’s student chapter. He is also the recipient of the Outstanding Graduate Student Award and Summer Research Fellowship. 

His work on the extraction of accurate information from triplet-triplet annihilation upconversion data was published in the Royal Society of Chemistry’s Physical Chemistry Chemical Physics journal in November of 2022, which he presented last Summer at the Gordon Research Conference on photochemistry.  

A native of Chennai, India, Kalpattu plans on working as a postdoctoral researcher in preparation for his career as a future faculty member. His goal is to develop next-generation photonic devices that will ultimately lead to the founding of a start-up company.