Joeseph Bright, a doctoral student in the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering at West Virginia University, has been named the recipient of a Statler College Ph.D. Fellowship.

The award, which was made possible as a result of the $34 million gift made by Benjamin M. Statler and his wife, Jo, in 2013, provides an annual stipend of $5,000, which is renewable for up to four years for students in the bachelor’s/doctoral track, as well as up to $8,000 in total support for research-related supplies, equipment and travel.

A native of West Milford, Bright’s research is focused on nanomaterials for solar energy harvesting and conversion. In particular, he is focused on materials known as photocatalysts that can drive chemical reactions using energy directly harvested from light.

“These chemical reactions, such as the splitting of water into hydrogen and oxygen, can be used for the creation of chemical fuels using only renewable energy to power future society,” Bright said.

Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering Associate Professor Nick Wu serves as Bright’s advisor.

“Joeseph shows all the traits of a successful researcher,” said Wu. “He is among the top two percent of all students at WVU and I can see that one day he will provide significant contributions to the science community.”

Bright, who earned his bachelor’s degree in the discipline from WVU in 2013, was selected from a pool of first-year doctoral students conducting research in energy.

“Joeseph was selected from a highly qualified pool of applicants,” said Warren Myers, associate dean for academic affairs in the Statler College, who noted that two other candidates subsequently went on to receive Provost Graduate Fellowships awarded by the Office of Graduate Education and Life.



CONTACT: Mary Dillon, Statler College of Engineering and Mineral Resources

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