After earning a MS in Organic Chemistry from Delhi University and a MS in Corrosion Science and Engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology in India, Ajay Karakoti decided to pursue his Materials Science and Engineering PhD at UCF. The availability and accessibility of various characterization instruments to individual students who are trained and allowed to work on these state-of-the-art instruments is great, he says. Karakoti is involved in research on cerium oxide nanoparticles and its modifications. Potential applications of his research span across disciplines, such as being used as therapeutic antioxidants for the treatment of cancer and other diseases to being catalysis for an alternative fuel.
During his graduate study at UCF, Karakoti has authored and co-authored more than 15 papers published in peer-reviewed publications and was involved in two patent applications. He won the American Vacuum Society (AVS) Top Level Student Award at the 55th AVS International Symposium and Exhibition in October 2008. This prestigious award is only given to five students from the United States. Karakoti also traveled to Germany on a National Science Foundation (NSF) and International Research and Education in Engineering (IREE) funded travel and research grant in 2007. He is the president of the Materials Research Society student chapter at UCF and coordinates the National Science Foundation (NSF) sponsored research program Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) at AMPAC. Karakoti graduated in summer 2009.