Christopher Oyuela an Engineering Major in the MARC program shares his experience at New York University this summer.
This summer I have had the wonderful opportunity to conduct research at New York University at the Tandon School of Engineering, under Dr. Ayaskantu Sahu and two of his graduate students, in his Nanomaterials Lab. 
This summer I focused on researching Synthesis of Novel Two Dimensional Graphene-like Nanomaterials for Catalysis and Energy Applications. A bit of background information, catalysts are agents that help promote a desired reaction to happen faster and with the use of less energy. The specific field that this project is targeting, is the use of catalysts in the oil refining industry. Currently, platinum pellets are the catalyst of choice for cleaning the crude oil that is mined. However, some issues with this current practice is that platinum is extremely expensive and the actual platinum pellets used become corrupted fairly fast leading to the release of harmful emissions that degrade our atmosphere and all in all being inefficient.
My goal this summer was to investigate and continue the work already being conducted in this lab and  to fine tune a promising catalysts that could hopefully replace platinum pellets and provide us a more cost effective and efficient working catalysts.
– Chris Oyuela
SDSU MARC scholar
Engineering Major