News Release: SUNY Poly Senior Justin Nhan Receives Prestigious SUNY ACT for Excellence and Student Initiative Scholarship

News Release: SUNY Poly Senior Justin Nhan Receives Prestigious SUNY ACT for Excellence and Student Initiative Scholarship

Monday, October 18, 2021 - 14:50
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Justin Nhan

Please find a video featuring Acting President Dr. Tod A. Laursen and Justin Nhan here.

You can also find a recent video of Justin (with fellow student Sophia Madelone) sharing nano-related opportunities here.

For Release:       Immediate – October 18, 2021
Contact:             Steve Ference, Director of University Communications | (518) 429-7742 |

SUNY ACT award recognizes academic success and community impact

ALBANY, NY – SUNY Polytechnic Institute (SUNY Poly) announced today senior Justin Nhan received the SUNY ACT for Excellence and Student Initiative Scholarship, which recognizes only five top students annually from across SUNY’s campuses for their academic performance and dedication to their campus or community. Justin, whose academic career has been a testament to the unique academic and hands-on research opportunities available to students at SUNY Poly, will receive $1,000 and an additional $250 will be provided in his name to the charity of his choice.

“I am proud to congratulate Justin for receiving this prestigious award, which recognizes his experiences engaging in cutting-edge research with SUNY Poly Professors, in addition to his working with our partner, globally renowned semiconductor company Tokyo Electron,” said Interim Dean of SUNY Poly’s College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering Dr. André Melendez. “Add to those accomplishments his academic achievements in the classroom, and I am honored to salute Justin as he is the first SUNY Poly College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering (CNSE) student to ever receive the SUNY ACT for Excellence and Student Initiative Scholarship.”

As an undergraduate student in the College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering, Justin has excelled in the classroom, making the President’s List for Academic Excellence each semester since his freshman year. He has applied those skills working in the cleanrooms as a Process Engineer 1 at TEL Technology Center, America, LLC (TEL), which is co-located with SUNY Poly at the Albany NanoTech Complex. His efforts include working on the processes that played a role in IBM’s recent 2nm chip breakthrough

“TEL is proud to recruit the most talented people to take on some extraordinarily challenging issues in the semiconductor industry. Over the past year, Justin worked hard to learn our advanced processes, and he has become a valuable contributor to our team,” said Alex Oscilowski, TTCA President. “He earned the trust of fellow researchers to perform unique experiments autonomously. We are both proud and excited that he is being recognized for his academic success and professional contributions.”

“I am grateful to have received this award from SUNY,” said Justin. “It is humbling to be recognized for the hard work I have put in while being challenged at SUNY Poly—in the classroom, in the laboratories, and in the onsite cleanrooms where I’ve been thrilled to work alongside TEL researchers at my exciting internship. This whole experience is preparing me for an exciting career in the important area of semiconductor R&D, and while I’m surprised to be the first SUNY Poly CNSE student to receive this award, I am thankful to SUNY Poly leaders for nominating me and SUNY ACT for selecting me. I want to thank Professor Brainard, Professor Sharfstein, Dean Melendez, and Acting President Laursen for all their help during this process. I also want to express my gratitude to my TEL managers Cory Wajda and Gert Leusink, mentors Daniel Newman and Dina Triyoso, and colleague Michael Murphy for all the opportunities and wisdom they gave me during my TEL internship. Lastly, I deeply thank my father, mother, and sister for being the most loving, caring, and supportive family I could ever have.”

Complementing Justin’s success in the classroom and cleanrooms, he has also excelled in the laboratory setting. He took part in SUNY Poly’s rigorous Summer Undergraduate Research Program (SURP), receiving the 2019 Seed Grant Award for “Synthesis & Utilization of Chemical Detectors.” He has been heavily involved in SPIE, the international society for optics and photonics, presenting and publishing his research, as well as participating in the SPIE Advanced Lithography Conference. Justin is also a presidential member of the National Society of Leadership and Success where he actively guides and mentors other SUNY Poly students, as well as high school students around the area, to share the amazing research opportunities available at SUNY Poly’s CNSE.

The SUNY ACT for Excellence and Student Initiative Scholarship is made possible by the SUNY Association of Council Members and College Trustees (ACT), with SUNY institutions invited to nominate one student. The award requires undergraduate student applicants to have helped meet a need on campus or in the community and to have worked to provide a solution to address that need while maintaining a GPA of 3.6 or higher. SUNY ACT held a virtual award ceremony Friday, October, 15, 2021, to honor a number of recipients from their respective SUNY campuses.


About SUNY Polytechnic Institute (SUNY Poly)
SUNY Poly is New York’s globally recognized, high-tech educational ecosystem. SUNY Poly offers undergraduate and graduate degrees in the emerging disciplines of nanoscience and nanoengineering, as well as cutting-edge nanobioscience programs at its Albany campus, and undergraduate and graduate degrees in technology, including engineering, cybersecurity, computer science, and the engineering technologies; professional studies, including business, communication, and nursing; and arts and sciences, including natural sciences, mathematics, humanities, and social sciences at its Utica campus; thriving athletic, recreational, and cultural programs, events, and activities complement the campus experience. As the world’s most advanced, university-driven research enterprise, SUNY Poly boasts billions of dollars in high-tech investments and hundreds of corporate partners since its inception. For information visit