In fall of 2018, Nastaran Barhemmati, a Ph.D. candidate in Mechanical & Energy Engineering, received the UNT Outstanding International Student Award. Barhemmati, who graduates in summer of 2020, is active and involved in the UNT and research communities. In 2017, she founded and established the Iranian Students Association at University of North Texas (IRSAUNT), which aims to help new and current Iranian/Persian students find a healthy and positive community, and is open to all students regardless of their nationality or background.
“Doing charities, helping people and teaching voluntarily are my life inseparable activities,” Barhemmati said. “I believe I helped improve students’ knowledge through explaining culture, history, literature and art. It has help lead to the unity of UNT students since attending these kinds of events leads to having close communication, peace and tranquility.”
In addition to serving as president of IRSAUNT, Barhemmati participates in many UNT and Denton cultural events that highlight Iran, volunteering at every opportunity. Barhemmati’s volunteer work with IRSAUNT is not limited to just UNT, and she has extended the organization activities to serve the greater DFW metroplex. This, along with so many other efforts, led to IRSAUNT receiving the 2017 UNT Eagle Award for best new organization of the year.
But volunteering and running student organizations aren’t all she’s interested in.
“I love doing research and applying my knowledge for improving human and other creatures' life,” Barhemmati said.
This passion led to Barhemmati’s research and simulation of catalytic converters for use in automobiles to optimize the heat and mass transfer phenomena, as well as a master’s thesis on a patent regarding nano-engine oil leading to reduction in the fuel consumption and increasing engine power and several papers.
“I was so delighted for reducing the fuel consumption and engine pollutants emission in automobiles – which could help for attaining the cleaner nature – that I decided to make getting a PhD in energy my goal. In order to do that, I chose to work on energy storage systems (ETS) by applying phase change material and nano-materials,” she said. “My goal to help have a cleaner environment is still going on, and I plan to work in the research and development of thermal engineering industry. Moreover, since I also enjoy teaching, I would like to teach and do research in the thermal storage area, if I get the chance in future.
“As a PhD candidate, teaching assistant and president of the students’ organization, I am blessed that I could manage research, teaching and nonscientific activities at the same time. Though they were a lot of much work, but enjoyable! I could achieve one of my goals which I was talking about it in this article. I am working as the Chemical and Thermal Engineer in Viking Cold Solutions Inc. R&D.” Barhemmati said.