Thomas Maani wins big at NSBE Convention

EEE graduate student Thomas Maani recently won Best Oral Presentation at the National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE) 2022 Convention.

Purdue EEE Ph.D. student Thomas Maani received multiple recognitions at the 2022 National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE) 48th Annual Convention in Anaheim, California.

Maani was awarded Best Oral Presentation and received the NSBE BCA Scholarship. This recognition awards $2500 to an academically outstanding graduate student who also contributes to NSBE’s mission. Additionally, Maani received a $400 NSBE Region 4 Scholarship for academic excellence.  

The National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE) is one of the largest student-governed organizations based in the United States with more than 600 chapters and more than 24,000 active members.

“I got to present my research, get feedback, and network with fellow graduate students, practicing engineers, educators, and corporate representatives,” says Maani. 

Maani’s research focuses on the recovery of rare earth permanent magnets (REPM), which are used in the motors that power electric vehicles (EVs). Since these magnets rely heavily on rare-earth materials, they could potentially limit a large-scale conversion to EVs due to a lack of resources.

In his award-winning oral presentation at NSBE, Maani focused on a recent project in which his team developed a dynamic model to estimate when some REPM applications will reach their end of life (EoL) and the amount of rare-earth materials that can be recovered for reuse or recycling. This circular use of resources will help make EVs more sustainable.

Thomas Maani at the 2022 NSBE Convention in Anaheim, California. 

Why did Maani choose to begin his career at Purdue EEE?

“Choosing Purdue EEE was an easy decision. I knew that I wanted to pursue a Ph.D. at a bigger institution with more resources and specialized programs. Unlike most schools, the EEE program at Purdue offers a combination of classical environmental engineering and industrial sustainability. I believe this holistic approach will enable me to stand out as a graduate.”

Maani already stands out for his academic accomplishments and personal commitment. In addition to speaking five languages, Maani volunteers his time as a diversity recruiter for the Purdue College of Engineering.

“I would like to see more people like me in engineering classrooms. More black graduate students could potentially translate to more black professors. This would increase the diversity of engineering classrooms and workspaces. Diversity has been linked with increased creativity and innovation, higher rates of productivity and performance and personal growth.”