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Student Spotlight - Eshwari Murty

Eshwari Murty

Senior, Materials Science & Engineering


  • UMD Moksha, team captain: UMD Moksha is the University's premier Indian classical dance team. I've been dancing since the age of 5, and I am thankful that I have been able to keep pursuing it here at Maryland. Moksha has placed at every national competition since its inception. If I'm not doing homework, I can definitely be found at Moksha practice. Check us out at
  • UMD Anokha, VP of programming: UMD Anokha is the University's only South Asian fusion a cappella group. I never sang until coming to college, but I absolutely love singing a cappella now. Anokha fuses South Asian songs with English songs, so we sing in a variety of languages. Find out more at
  • College Park Scholars: Arts 
  • Flexus: The Dr. Marilyn Berman Pollans Living & Learning Community 

Career Goals/Ambitions

My ambitions are a bit unconventional. After I graduate in May and work for a few years, I want to join the Peace Corps. This has been a dream of mine for many years; I hope to use engineering skills to help developing countries with problems like clean water and renewable energy. After the first two years, I might decide to stay in the Peace Corps, or go back to work in industry. Throughout my career, I want to intersperse engineering with other short-term jobs that cater to things that I am interested in. I want to go to culinary school in Europe or South America and become a chef for a year or two. I'd also like to open an animal shelter. My dreams are spread over a huge variety of things, but the only way to accomplish them is to keep dreaming! 


Summer 2012: I worked at the Nanoscience Technology Center at the University of Central Florida. I worked on imaging polymers with a light microscope to see how they folded and changed shape. The goal is to figure out which polymers would be right for going into nanowires in organic solar cells. The research is ongoing, and my paper is almost ready to be published! 

Winter 2012: Definitely my most out-of-the-box research/volunteer experience - I went to Costa Rica for 2 weeks and did research on leatherback sea turtles. They are an endangered species, and I worked on the beach all night during their nesting season. I counted eggs, took nest temperatures, and even released hatchlings into the ocean! It was an amazing, unparalleled experience. These 2 weeks of service really cemented my dream to go into the Peace Corps. Find out more about this and other expeditions at

Summer 2013: I worked at the National Institute of Standards and Technology on proton-exchange-membrane fuel cells. Most of my work dealt with electrocatalysts. Right now, platinum is used as a catalyst, but it is too expensive to be processed on a large scale, so I experimented with using an alloy of platinum and nickel. I used electrodeposition to coat silicon wafers with different concentrations of the alloy and then tested them. Finding cheaper electrocatalysts brings us one step closer to having efficient optimized fuel cells that we can use for cars and even houses! 

Favorite Aspect of Being an Engineer in the Clark School

I absolutely love it here at UMD. I am so lucky to be going to a university that has an incredible engineering program and so many opportunities for performing arts. My major is really perfect for me, but because I chose UMD, I have been able to pursue all of my other passions without having to sacrifice anything. I definitely have a busy daily schedule, but I wouldn't have it any other way!