A University of Arkansas at Little Rock doctoral student has received a competitive fellowship that will allow him to conduct research in France in 2021.
Atikur Rahman, a doctoral student in applied physics and a native of Bangladesh, is a recipient of the 2020-21 STEM Chateaubriand Fellowship, which includes airfare, health insurance, and a monthly stipend. Rahman is the first UA Little Rock student to receive the Chateaubriand Fellowship.
“I was very excited and honored to receive the Chateaubriand Fellowship,” Rahman said. “The competition is very intense, and it’s hard to get this fellowship. I am looking forward to visiting Paris for four months. I will be working in a cleanroom environment, and this is a good opportunity for me.”
Rahman will be working with Dr. Etienne Herth at the Center for Nanotechnology and Nanoscience at the University of Paris-Saclay from Jan. 15 to May 15, 2021. In France, Rahman will research the development of a gas sensor made of nickel-based nanostructures.
Rahman’s dissertation, which he plans to complete in 2024, is about the synthesis and characterization of nickel-based nanostructures for sensing applications. He will synthesize the nanostructures at UA Little Rock and will incorporate them into a gas sensor at the University of Paris-Saclay.
“Gas sensor development is getting much attention due to the increasing environmental pollution,” Rahman said. A significant amount of resources is being used to detect the toxic and inflammable gases such as carbon monoxide, ammonia, and hydrogen. Consequently, highly sensitive sensors are needed to detect those gases. In recent years, nanoparticles of different shapes and sizes were explored as possible candidates for the development of gas sensors.”
The Chateaubriand Fellowship is a grant offered by the Embassy of France in the United States. It supports outstanding Ph.D. students from American universities who wish to conduct research in France for a period ranging from four to nine months. Chateaubriand fellows are selected through a merit-based competition, through a collaborative process involving expert evaluators in both countries.
The Chateaubriand Fellowship in Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics & Biology-Health (STEM) for doctoral students aims to initiate or reinforce collaborations, partnerships, or joint projects between French and American research teams. This fellowship is offered by the Office for Science & Technology (OST) of the Embassy of France in partnership with American universities and French research organizations such as Inserm and Inria.
Rahman’s dissertation advisor, Dr. Guisbiers, who collaborates with Dr. Herth, said the competition for the Chateaubriand Fellowship is fierce.
“Atik was in competition with students from Caltech, Georgia Tech, John Hopkins, and a lot of students from R1 universities all across the U.S.,” said Dr. Grégory Guisbiers, assistant professor of physics. “UA Little Rock can be really proud of having one of its students awarded that fellowship. I really hope that Atik is just the first one of a long series of Trojans who will be awarded this prestigious fellowship.”