McCormick sophomore Saahir Ganti-Agrawal conducts water purification research on nanofiltration membranes


Courtesy of Saahir Ganti-Agrawal

McCormick sophomore Saahir Ganti-Agrawal. He describes his summer research in the third part of a series.

Laurisa Sastoque, Reporter

This article is the third in a series featuring Northwestern students and their research projects during the summer of 2020.

McCormick sophomore Saahir Ganti-Agrawal is working at McCormick Prof. Sinan Keten’s Computational Nanodynamics Laboratory this summer studying nanofiltration membranes through computer molecular dynamics simulations.

Ganti-Agrawal, originally from New York, is majoring in materials science and engineering and applied mathematics. He has been working at Keten’s lab since Spring Quarter, under the supervision of an assigned graduate student.

Ganti-Agrawal first got involved with research when he discovered an open research posting through a materials science department newsletter. He then attended a mechanical engineering research fair, where he reached out to Keten about participating in his research.

“Keep an eye out for emails talking about opportunities, attend fairs and don’t be afraid to reach out to people,” Ganti-Agwaral said, when asked about what to keep in mind when looking to get involved in research.

Through his research, Ganti-Agrawal has acquired familiarity with NAMD software, the Tcl programming language, MATLAB and the Visual Molecular Dynamics program.

“I have learned the value of (computer) simulations. We’re studying something that you can’t really study with a physical experiment,” Ganti-Agrawal said.

For Ganti-Agrawal, getting involved in research has been a way to learn about his career goals, which involve working on engineering research and development design. He wants to design for sustainability and renewable energy projects in the future. Beyond this summer, he plans to continue conducting research.

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Twitter: @lauraisp405

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