The Energy Institute at the University of Texas at Austin is pleased to announce the recipients of the Chevron Energy Graduate Fellowship Endowment. Made possible by a gift from Chevron, the program supports the work of outstanding graduate students conducting energy systems research.

Eight graduate students have been selected to receive awards for the 2024-25 academic year, three doing research in Assistant Professor Joaquin Resasco's Catalysis Lab: Jay Bender, Shashwati da Cunha and Harrison Lippie. Other recipients are: Shuang Gao (Jackson School of Geosciences, Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences), Ibrahim Gomaa and Cynthia Oeiyno (Hildebrand Department of Petroleum and Geosystems Engineering), Charan Nallabareddy (Department of Aerospace Engineering and Engineering Mechanics), and Rinish Reddy Vaidyula (College of Natural Sciences, Department of Chemistry). 

2024 Energy Grad Fellow Jay Bender 2024 Energy Grad Shashwati da Cunha 2024 Energy Grad Harrison Lippe


Jay studies the role that electrolyte composition plays on electrocatalytic water-splitting reaction rates for water electrolysis to produce green hydrogen and store intermittent renewable electricity in chemical bonds to be used later on in hydrogen fuel cells. The fundamental findings from his research can be used to understand how catalyst activity can be enhanced by tailoring the environment surrounding catalyst active sites.


Shashwati works on reactor and process co-design to electrochemically convert CO2 into valuable molecules. She designs electrolyzers for scaleup by modeling them within energy systems and integrated chemical processes.


Harrison’s research aims to improve green hydrogen production by reducing the use of expensive platinum-group metals and improving water-splitting catalyst performance.

"Congratulations to the 2024-25 Chevron Energy Graduate Fellows,” said Eric Sirgo, Chevron’s Vice President of Facilities Engineering. “Once again, the University of Texas has produced a set of high-quality graduate students to work on the mission of providing affordable, reliable and ever cleaner energy for the planet.  We look forward to seeing how these graduate fellows will positively impact the world."

The competitive award application process prioritized students whose work focuses on innovation in current- and future-energy systems.

These students are at the forefront of the transformation of our global energy system.

Brian Korgel

“These students are at the forefront of the transformation of our global energy system,” said Brian Korgel, director of the Energy Institute. “The Chevron Energy Graduate Fellows program provides pivotal support for their work, enhancing our understanding of critical energy challenges and continuing UT’s global leadership in energy education, research, and innovation.”

Adapted from original story, Energy Institute