CISTAR Featured Undergraduate Fellows

In this newsletter, we are featuring a few of our CISTAR Undergraduate Fellows and their achievements.  If you would like to have a graduate or undergraduate student featured on our website and in the next newsletter, please e-mail Brittany Bright at

Featured Undergraduate Students: 

Matt Santoso Matthew Santoso

Matthew Santoso, CISTAR undergraduate researcher and former CISTAR Young Scholar was named a runner-up in the prestigious UT Co-op George H. Mitchell Award in May 2022. The Mitchell Awards are the highest recognition that UT offers for undergraduate research. Matthew is advised by CISTAR PIs Benny Freeman and Joan Brennecke and mentored by CISTAR Graduate Fellow Alec Bridge. Over the summer, Matthew interned at the Cambridge Centre for Advanced Research and Education in Singapore (CARES) and worked on the processes in chemical plants in Singapore to increase their sustainability.

Ethan Edwards  Ethan Edwards (UG Fellow Alum) 

Ethan Edwards was one of CISTAR’s first undergraduate students. While he only worked with CISTAR through his sophomore year before declaring his major in Civil Engineering, Ethan’s achievements while a part of the Miller Research Group were impressive. Ethan was a major contributor to CISTAR Graduate Fellow Alum Nicole LiBretto’s high-profile paper published in Nature Communications. Ethan’s list of academic awards – some from his research with CISTAR and from his work after include: 

  • 2018-2019 Office of Undergraduate Research (OUR) Scholarship from Purdue University
  • 1st place Engineering Oral Presentation, 2019 Purdue Undergraduate Research Conference
  • Truman Scholarship 2020 Finalist
  • 3rd place, 2020 Purdue Undergraduate Research Pitch Competition
  • 2021 Fulbright Grantee – Singapore Research
  • Marshall Scholarship Finalist
  • Rhodes Scholarship Finalist

Isha Chavan  Isha Chavan

In addition to winning a scholarship from the Indiana Oil and Gas Association for the 2022-2023 academic year, Isha recently submitted her abstract on catalyst deactivation and regeneration research work she did in Jeff Miller’s lab to the Society of Women Engineers (SWE) research competition. Isha was selected as one of ten national finalists and will present her research poster at the SWE International Conference in Houston, TX in October 2022. She is currently an intern at ExxonMobil working with the manufacturing of heterogenous catalysts for oil and gas reactions.