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Quest for Learning Never Ends

Teki has developed a suite of four nanomaterials innovations that aim to hasten more widespread adoption of next-generation green technologies.
Ranganath Teki has earned his doctorate in chemical engineering from Rensselaer, but his quest for learning and knowledge is far from complete. Along with his cutting-edge nanomaterials research and clever green energy innovations, Teki is fostering an undying fascination for the world around him and a greater appreciation for the connectedness of it all.

“I believe there’s a certain harmony in the universe, and my education and research is part of my attempt to understand that harmony,” Teki says. “I believe that life is not just about money, or success, or having a family, but about discovering oneself.”

In his time at Rensselaer, Teki has developed a suite of four nanomaterials innovations that aim to hasten more widespread adoption of next-generation green technologies. At the heart of Teki’s research is the technique of oblique angle deposition using sputtering, which allows him to grow vast forests of nanoscale structures of different materials. The process is relatively fast, inexpensive, and allows single-step creation of unique nanostructures with controllable shape, size, and symmetry.

Taken together, Teki’s four innovations hold the promise of advancing the efficiency and cost-effectiveness of key green energy technologies that could impact all people of all nations.

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“We live in a society which is out of balance with nature, and I believe green energy technology more than anything else holds the potential to better our situation,” Teki says. “We need to move away from our dependence on fossil fuels and create energy from environment-friendly resources.”

As a doctoral student at Rensselaer, Teki co-authored eight journal papers, and in 2005 received the Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering Howard P. Isermann Fellowship. Following Commencement, Teki joined Rensselaer’s Center for Future Energy Systems as a postdoctoral researcher. It’s a step forward toward his larger goal of becoming a professor.

“My dream job is to be a teacher. I not only want to show students the elegance and power of science and mathematics, but also pass on my worldly experience and help broaden their outlook of life,” Teki says. “That would be really fulfilling.”

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Rensselaer (ISSN 0898-1442) is published in Spring, Summer, Fall, and Winter by the Office of Strategic Communications and External Relations, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Troy, NY 12180-3590. Opinions expressed in these pages do not necessarily reflect the views of the editors or the policies of the Institute. ©2008 Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.