Satisfy the McNair Scholar: Isaiah Henry

Some students pick their colleges based on place. Some select based upon expense, while others decide based on the school ambiance.

Mechanical engineering senior Isaiah Henry picked UNLV because of the sheer volume of research study chances and resources that would be available to him as an undergrad.

As part of the McNair Scholars Program, he’s been conducting research since his sophomore year together with professors from the math and mechanical engineering departments. He worked with UNLV mechanical engineering professor Shubhra Bansal for his 2018 McNair task, which was likewise supported by an Asian American and Native American Pacific Islander-Serving Institutions grant and Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Involvement funding.

Henry worked on establishing a more stable perovskite phase for solar cells utilizing a cesium lead bromide composition. Don’t know what that indicates? Here, Henry shares his elevator pitch for laypeople.

I first heard about the McNair while I was an Upward Bound student in high school. I knew as soon as I learned about it that I wished to be a McNair Scholar. So when I became a sophomore and was qualified, I used.

I ‘d been reading a couple of papers on photovoltaic research– that is, using solar cells to produce electric power– and became very interested. I was enrolled in Dr. Bansal’s Structure and Properties of Solids course, which piqued my overall interest in product sciences. I approached her about being my professors coach, and she brought me into the fold of her Center for Energy Research Study group.

My work there has actually focused on establishing a more steady light absorption phase for solar batteries utilizing a chemical structure of cesium lead bromide. All solar batteries utilize a semiconductor to soak up light and create electrical energy. Silicon has actually usually been used as the semiconductor material in the past, today a perovskite material is being utilized regularly since it is reasonably inexpensive. A perovskite product is, simply, a crystal structure. The perovskite I’m testing is made of the chemical structure CsPbBr3 (cesium lead bromide), which is just one of many different perovskite compositions scientists are investigating to see which ones cause solar batteries that are more efficient at absorbing light.

The quantity of beneficial energy we are able to get out of solar cells depends on the amount of light the perovskite layer is able to absorb, so the advancement of the perovskite stage is exceptionally crucial if we’re going to make solar cells more effective.

That’s my elevator pitch, anyhow. I’m still practicing it!

Knowing ways to navigate a research environment has been the best part of the McNair experience. Having weekly objectives and presenting updates assisted me acquire self-confidence in making technical presentations and explaining terms like “perovskite stage” to others. I have the ability to have discussions with a diverse instructional pool. Our group is made up of masters students, Ph.D. candidates, and postdocs, all working on a variety of projects.

Remaining in this environment as an undergraduate, I feel that I’m better prepared for graduate school and have a clear idea of exactly what it takes to be effective there. The McNair Program is one of the couple of programs in the nation that consistently produces impactful research jobs by undergraduate students. My research study efforts as an undergrad are being taken seriously. The program likewise supplies a terrific starting point for connecting with teachers, even if all you have is an interest in getting research study exposure. It’s great at utilizing its network of faculty mentors to identify projects that students can be a part of.

The McNair Program is truly unique to me. The research experience and graduate school preparation I have actually gained through it is important. And becoming part of Dr. Bansal’s research study group assists me see where the field is heading.

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