Bob Caligiuri and Hudson Shih
The first-ever recipient of the Amiya Mukherjee Memorial Fellowship Hudson Shih, left, meets Robert Caligiuri '74, whose endowment funded the fellowship.

Inaugural Amiya Mukherjee Memorial Fellowship awarded to Hudson Shih

Hudson Shih, a Ph.D. student in the materials science and engineering department, is the inaugural recipient of the Amiya Mukherjee Memorial Fellowship, which was established to support doctoral students who are on track to enter the materials science industry or into academia to research materials science and engineering.  

The fellowship was created last year with a $1.27 million gift from alumni Robert ’73 and Carolyn Caligiuri ’74, in honor of the late Distinguished Professor Amiya Mukherjee who helped establish the materials science and engineering program at UC Davis and taught from 1969 to 2007, serving as a "materials ambassador" to many students.   

Applicants to the fellowship must be in their Ph.D. program for at least one year and have passed their preliminary exam. The candidates submitted a personal statement describing their research as well as how their research connects to Mukherjee's legacy in materials science. The MSE Graduate Affairs Committee reviewed the statement, academic, research and outreach accomplishments, and a recommendation letter submitted on the applicant's behalf.  

Shih joined UC Davis after earning his bachelor's degree in materials science and engineering at the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities. His research in the Hong Lab and Takamura Research Group is conducted under the supervision of professors Seung Sae Hong and Yayoi Takamura and focuses on topotactic phase transformations in strontium cobaltite.  

In his effort to support early-career materials scientists and engineers and cultivate an early interest in the field, Shih employs undergraduate student researchers in his research and is actively involved in the UC Davis Mathematics, Engineering, Science, Achievement (MESA) Schools Program in which he conducts lab tours and demonstrations for high school students in the greater Sacramento area. He also serves as president of the Chemical Engineering & Materials Science Graduate Student Organization.  

Shih expresses that though he never had the opportunity to meet Mukherjee, he believes that his work is aligned with the professor's goals and legacy.  

"I find Professor Mukherjee's legacy to be very inspirational," he said. "In addition to his important contributions to [materials science], Professor Mukherjee was recognized for his dedication and enthusiasm for teaching. He was known for his ability to connect with students, both in the classroom and in the lab. These are outcomes that I strive for as a teaching assistant, and I enjoy opportunities to share my passion for materials science and introduce students to academic research. I am truly honored to be awarded the Amiya Mukherjee Memorial Fellowship."  

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