By Giorgina Paiella
Congratulations to Dr. Radenka Maric and Sapna Gupta, who have recently been named 2015 Women of Innovation by the Connecticut Technology Council (CTC).
The CTC honored fifty-six Connecticut women for innovation and leadership in the science, math, technology, and engineering disciplines at the 11th annual Women of Innovation Awards Gala on April 1. Ten of these women were granted awards in the academic, entrepreneurial, large business, small business, youth, collegian, and community innovation and leadership categories. Professor Maric was named a category winner in research innovation and leadership, and Sapna was recognized as a category winner in collegian innovation and leadership.
Professor Maric is the CT Clean Energy Fund Professor of Sustainable Energy in the Department of Chemical and Biomedical Engineering (CBE) and Department of Materials Science and Engineering (MSE). Dr. Maric’s research interests include structural ceramics, hydrogen production and separation, and the development of new materials and novel structures for energy storage and conversion. In particular, Professor Maric’s research focuses on improving the performance-to-cost ratio of fuel cell materials and components via changes to microstructure and composition of the materials and components. She is the author of over 150 scientific publications.
Sapna is a Ph.D. candidate in the MSE department working under the advisement of Professor Prabhakar Singh, director of the Center for Clean Energy Engineering. Her research interests include ceramics, high temperature electrochemical systems, mixed electrically and ionically conducting high temperature materials, and the characterization and evaluation of chemical and structural stability of materials in an aggressive environment. Sapna is the founder and president of UConn Keramos and serves as a delegate to The American Ceramic Society (ACerS) President’s Council of Student Advisors. She is the recipient of many fellowships, awards, and distinctions, including an honorable mention for the Fuel Cell Seminar and Energy Exhibition’s 2014 Baker Student Researcher Award.
In recent years, the UConn MSE department has been strongly represented at the Women of Innovation Awards Gala. Last year, Ph.D. student Zengmin Xia was named a 2014 category winner for collegian innovation and leadership. Through their innovative research and community involvement, Dr. Maric and Sapna continue this legacy, serving as exceptional role models to future generations of female leaders in the STEM fields.