EEE graduate student awarded merit-based funding to support research

Environmental and Ecological Engineering graduate student Ehsan Vahidi has received two merit-based awards in support of his graduate research. Vahidi was selected as recipient of the Andrews Environmental Travel Grant. This highly competitive and prestigious award supports travel for research relating to the world environment. Vahidi has also received the Hugh W. and Edna M. Donnan Fellowship, awarded by the Purdue College of Engineering.

Vahidi began his PhD in EEE in 2014, under the supervision of Professor Fu Zhao, conducting research in the field of recycling, life cycle assessment, and green technologies. He is currently working on a project supported by the Department of Energy and Critical Materials Institute regarding life cycle assessment (LCA) of rare earth elements (REEs). As a part of his Ph.D. research with Dr. Zhao, he has developed an open source spreadsheet-based LCA software to quantitatively assess environmental impacts of different production stages of REEs. Additionally, the software is also capable of analyzing the environmental impacts associated with the phosphor and NdFeB magnet manufacturing processes.

Vahidi says the funding will have an impact on his research. “I am incredibly honored to have won the Hugh W. and Edna M. Donnan Fellowship and the Andrews Environmental Travel Grant. The prestige associated with the awards makes me extremely proud to be a recipient and has enhanced my desire to succeed in my PhD,” he notes. “The Donnan Fellowship will provide me with the time and flexibility, besides the financial support, to focus more fully on my studies and PhD research to produce higher quality work.”

Vahidi expects to complete his PhD in May 2018, and plans to use his combined research and professional experiences and knowledge for a role in academia.


Learn more about Purdue Environmental and Ecological Engineering graduate program at