SUNY Poly Announces Second Cohort of CENN Fellowship Recipients

SUNY Poly Announces Second Cohort of CENN Fellowship Recipients

Tuesday, January 3, 2023 - 10:50
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Ph.D. candidates Sri Saravana Bharathi, Yamini Kumaran, and Maria Belen Paredes-Espinosa

The SUNY Polytechnic Institute Offices of Research and Graduate Studies are pleased to announce the Second cohort of New York State Center of Excellence in Nanoelectronics and Nanotechnology (CENN) Fellowship recipients as Ph.D. candidates Sri Saravana Bharathi, Yamini Kumaran, and Maria Belen Paredes-Espinosa. The CENN is funded by the NYSTAR Division of Empire State Development and is hosted at SUNY Poly’s College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering. Part of the mission of the CENN is to have universities engage with and support private companies in emerging high-technology fields in New York State and to expand technology-related businesses and employment. 

The CENN Fellowship was initiated to support exceptional Ph.D. students to establish or further a collaboration with New York-based companies for up to one year. This year’s Fellowship recipients are working with three faculty members in diverse technology areas.

"Sri Saravana Bharathi is a Ph.D. candidate in Professor Kathleen Dunn’s laboratory and will work on a project sponsored by Fluor Marine Propulsion. During the course of this project, Sri will create a two-dimensional COMSOL Multiphysics model that describes particle transport and deposition processes within a pipe flow system representative of the primary coolant loop of pressurized water (nuclear) reactors. Having a predictive model whose configuration and composition can be adjusted easily will enable rapid screening of parameter space to identify key variables and test strategies for preventing or reversing particle deposition. At the conclusion of this effort, this model will be delivered to the sponsor with a user manual guiding them through its use and modification. This will enable the company to test new designs and mitigation strategies to improve performance of primary coolant systems."

Yamini Kumaran is a Ph.D. candidate in Professor Haralabos Efstathiadis’ laboratory and will work on a project with Lux Semiconductors, a SUNY Poly spinoff founded and led by alumni. During the course of this Lux Semiconductors project, Yamini will develop the pilot scale silicon recrystallization process. The importance of this project for the company is to reassemble and install Lux’s pilot-scale manufacturing tool at SUNY Poly, confirm operation, and establish standard operating procedures as well as work together with Lux to design and implement an improved temperature control scheme. This project is essential to the commercialization of Lux’s technology and will lead to the development of new applications and products.

Maria Belen Paredes-Espinosa is a Ph.D. candidate in Professor Janet Paluh’s laboratory who will work on a project with Cytocybernetics. During the course of this collaboration, Maria will apply unique heart function monitoring equipment and biomarkers from Cytocybernetics to a human stem cell heart organ model. The heart model has applications for cardiac health across ethnicities, including arrhythmias and organ biomanufacturing. This work will position Cytocybernetics to meaningfully participate in the global stem cell organoid market, which is expected to be a $12.8 billion market by the end of 2030. The CENN Fellowship for Maria Belen Paredes-Espinosa highlights the innovations of SUNY Poly, with the patented technology of the heart model. It provides a synergistic opportunity to combine research innovation with a NYS company and advance technology commercialization. It also expands cardiac biomedical research beyond 2D single cell type cardiomyocytes to an organotypic model that follows the natural human blueprint of heart development. The use of stem cell technologies will enable personalized and precision medicine along with additional applications in space medicine in the areas of tissue biomanufacturing in low earth gravity.

In addition to supporting companies in New York to achieve their development and commercialization goals, the CENN Fellowship was launched to create a pipeline of well-educated and trained employees who will grow into the future leaders within these and other high-tech companies in the state. It is the hope of the CENN leadership that there will be an ability to grow the program to support as many as four or more fellows per year, which would further strengthen the Ph.D. program at SUNY Poly. For more information about the CENN Fellowship program and how to participate in the future, please contact Ross Goodman, Deputy Director of CENN ( or Krista Thompson, Assistant Dean of Graduate Studies (