Forbes, a renowned business publication, has selected seven UH Cullen College of Engineering students to participate in its 2019 Under 30 Scholars program. Last year only one engineering student, Ayoola John-Muyiwa (BSPetE ’19), was chosen.
Announced in 2017, the program allows Forbes to partner with schools and organizations across the United States to enable underrepresented college students to attend its iconic annual event – the Forbes Under 30 Scholars Summit. The program is focused on increasing diversity and inclusion.
The 2019 summitis being held Oct. 27-30 in Detroit, Michigan. This year’s speakers include Serena Williams; world-renowned athlete with her own venture capitalist firm, Serena Ventures, and her on fashion brand; Tomas Pfister, head of research Google Cloud AI and co-founder of Apple’s central research group for Artificial Intelligence; and Keysha Camp, program engineering manager for General Motors Autonomous Vehicle group among others.
Meet the Cullen College’s 2019 Forbes scholars:
Rukaiya Batliwala, mechanical engineering junior, is a Provost Undergraduate Research Fellow at the UH Center for Neuro-Engineering and Cognitive Science. There she’s been involved in a research project to identify correlations between human eye movement and information processing by the brain. She is also an undergraduate teaching assistant and helps engineering students learn MATLAB, Python and other programming languages. She has a Lean Six Sigma White Belt Certification.
In addition, Batliwala is the projects chairwoman with the UH chapter of e-NABLE, a global community of volunteers who use 3D printers to make free and low-cost upper-limb prosthetic devices for children and adults; serves as an ambassador for the UH Program for Mastery in Engineering Studies (PROMES); and was the outreach chairwoman for the UH student chapter of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME).
Marco Espinosa, mechanical engineering senior, has supplemented his education with plenty of work experience. He served as a data engineering intern with Proctor & Gamble, a mechanical engineering intern with Covestro LLC, and a structural engineering research intern with the Thomas T.C. Hsu Laboratory at UH. Espino also worked at ExxonMobil as a fixed equipment engineer through a Co-Op program.
He is also very active on camps. Espinosa is the founder and director of Enabling Entrepreneurship in Engineering (E3), a part of the engineering honor society Tau Beta Pi, to encourage entrepreneurship among members. He is also the current president of Tau Beta Pi.
Espinosa attended the Summer Venture in Management Program at Harvard Business School this year and earned a certification in “Economics for Managers.”
Rony Hernandez, chemical engineering senior, also has a long list of internships. He served as a process control technology intern and a process engineering intern at Covestro during two different stints and as a product development engineering intern at ExxonMobil Chemical. He also worked as a chemical processes workshop assistant facilitator and as a research assistant at UH.
He is also the communications chairman for UH chapter of the engineering honor society Tau Beta Pi and is the mentor manager for Harmony Science Academy.
Mohammad Ansab Khan
Mohammad Khan, a biomedical engineering senior, is a research assistant in the UH REIGN Lab, which focuses on developing novel rehabilitation engineering applications and therapeutic strategies to help improve motor functions in individuals with neurological impairments. He also served as a research assistant with the Baylor College of Medicine where he conducted an introductory analysis of molecular data using a genetic sequencing program.
Khan is minoring in business administration and hopes to help innovate the medical field.
Brandon Santos, mechanical engineering senior, is a first generation college student from the Pacific Islands. He is a drilling and completions intern with ExxonMobil’s upstream integrated solutions unit.
Previously, Santos worked as a drilling and completions intern with Chevron; a service engineering intern in heavy base maintenance with United Airlines; and in various intern positions with TechnipFMC.
He is active with the Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers (SHPE) at UH and served as a workshop assistant facilitator with PROMES. He met all the requirements for the UH Global Citizens Credential and will be graduating with the associated certification this year.
Taha Shafquat (BSME ’18) is a mechanical engineering master’s student and works as a teaching assistant at the college.
He worked as an engineering intern at SNM2R, a woman-owned civil and environmental engineering consulting firm providing sustainable and responsive engineering solutions. In 2016, he won a Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship and participated in research about ferrofluids (liquids that become strongly magnetized in the presence of a magnetic field).
He is involved with Tau Beta Pi, American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME), Society of Asian Scientists and Engineers (SASE), National Society of Collegiate Scholars (NSCS) and the National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE).
Fran Tumajan, a chemical engineering senior, served as a workshop facilitator for chemical processes and an undergraduate researcher with the college. He worked as a process engineering intern with Kaneka North America as well as a research and development intern with Flotek Industries Inc.
He has a Lean Six Sigma White Belt certification from the U.S. Navy and also participated in the Harvard Business School’s MBA Program Peek Weekend this year.
Tumajan is the industry relations chairman for Tau Beta Pi and is the conference coordinator for the Model of United Nations Club at UH.
Being selected for the program allows students to pay only the $35 registration processing fee instead of the regular general attendee price of $595 to attend the summit. They will still have to pay for travel and lodging. UH PROMES and some of the Cullen College engineering departments are assisting several students with the costs.
The students will have access to all that the summit has to offer: lectures from visionaries, industry leaders and celebrities; opportunity to network with potential investors; industry-specific field trips; a music festival, a food festival and a day of community service.
“I believe that great ideas are born out of conversations among curious and innovative people,” said Batliwala. She and the other Cullen College students are excited to attend the summit this week. “The Forbes Under 30 Summit will allow me to be a part of some of these important conversations. Surrounding myself with thousands of great minds and driven young people is exactly what I believe is necessary to further cultivate and expand some of my own ideas.”