Manjula Andukuri

My dream is to become an inventor and an entrepreneur with a social conscience – and use this platform to make a positive difference in as many lives as possible. With the knowledge I expect to gain from a degree in Chemical Engineering Honors and a Minor in Business Foundations, I believe I can pursue the research, development, distribution, and support of products and ideas that could change people’s lives for the better. With a passion for math and science, I pursued an internship in a research lab in Chemical Engineering at the University of Texas at Austin. The project developed protein solutions to allow patients to self-administer biopharmaceuticals. It was during the course of this project that I got a glimpse of how Chemical Engineering could be used to make a positive impact. As I learned more about the vast field of chemical engineerign and all it encompassed, I came to like the area of sustainability research. Currently, I work as a research assistant for Dr. Saleh of the Department of Environmental Engineering in one of his labs where he leads several projects to develop novel and human-centered water treatment technologies to enhance economically challenged communities’ access to potable water via innovative nanomaterial-enabled treatment processes. My love of entrepreneurship drew me to the Genesis Program, where I have been working as an analyst since my Freshman year. The Genesis program provides student entrepreneurs with pre-seed non-dilutive capital and empowers them to the next stage of business development. I help source, screen, select, and support awardees. I help plan events to increase The Genesis Program’s profile. My goal is to seek out and support as many student entrepreneurs within the UT Austin entrepreneurship community as possible. My own strong desire to be an agent of change is rooted in two main beliefs: 1) I should utilize my talents to help more than just myself, and 2) All humans should get a fair shot at excelling, and those who have the ability to help others should take it as a duty to do so. I was always encouraged by my family to stay connected with my heritage. I have trained in Indian classical music (Carnatic music) for eight years. I have also trained in Bharatanatyam – the Indian classical dance form, for 13 years and performed my ‘Aranagetram’ – the solo graduation performance, in the summer of 2014. Over the years, I have also participated in dance performances for the benefit of various charities. Bharatanatyam helped me learn a lot about my religion and tradition. When I got to college, I knew I wanted to stay in touch with my culture – and decided the best way for me would be to do so through my passion for dance. I joined Texas Raas, a dance team that performs and competes in Raas/Garba, a style of indian folk dance. The team has connected me with a community of likeminded people with background and cultural experiences similar to mine.

Majors: Chemical Engineering

Other Academic Interests: Business, Entrepreneurship, Nanotechnology

Extracurricular Activities:
Due Diligence Analyst: The Genesis Program
Student Researcher: Sustainable Nano-Engineering for Water Treatment
Lab at The University of Texas at Austin
Starter: Texas Raas South Asian Dance Team
Forty Acres Service Committee

What drew you to the Forty Acres Scholars Program (FASP)?
I grew up in Austin and UT was always on my radar when exploring colleges. The Cockerel School of Engineering in general, and UT Chem E in particular, are among the top schools in the nation. Hence there was no question in my mind that that being a UT Chem E graduate would help me greatly in the pursuit of my goals. What drew me to the Forty Acres scholars’ program is the amazing network of alumni who are eager to mentor the scholars. Secondly, the combined knowledges and passions within the group of students in the 40 acres scholars program lead to amazing things. The Scholars are leaders in organizations and teams all over campus, and help shape the face of the university. I look forward to making life-long friendships with a great group of highly motivated and passionate scholars.

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