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Dr. Chibueze Amanchukwu
Former student Dr. Chibueze Amanchukwu is currently a professor at the Pritzker School of Molecular Engineering at the University of Chicago. | Image: Courtesy of Dr. Chibueze Amanchukwu

The Association of Former Students at Texas A&M University featured Dr. Chibueze Amanchukwu ’12 in its latest 12 Under 12 Young Alumni Spotlight. The award recognizes the contributions of young alumni who have graduated within the last 12 years and are leading the way in innovation and service.

Amanchukwu is a graduate of the Artie McFerrin Department of Chemical Engineering, but his interest in engineering began in high school. His elective engineering course was taught by a former student who frequently spoke of and used Texas A&M resources in her lessons.

“I think I was indoctrinated into being an Aggie without even knowing,” said Amanchukwu. “I knew I wanted to pursue engineering; I had heard about Texas A&M from class and read it was one of the country’s top chemical engineering programs. All these factors encouraged me to attend Texas A&M.” 

After receiving his undergraduate degree in chemical engineering, he obtained his doctorate from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He then completed his postdoctoral training at Stanford University.

Now an assistant professor at the Pritzker School of Molecular Engineering at the University of Chicago, he also has a joint appointment at Argonne National Laboratory. His research focuses on developing materials for next-generation batteries and carbon dioxide conversion. He has published more than 20 research papers on the subject, many of which are in top-tier journals.

A significant part of his career focuses on mentorship. To date, he has mentored over 20 undergraduate and graduate students. In addition, he strives to introduce minority students and underrepresented groups to science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). 

“It is rewarding to see how the impact of mentorship can spread into industry and academic spaces,” said Amanchukwu. “I remain invested in bringing minority and underrepresented students into STEM. My motivation as a professor is to ensure that I open doors for students interested in revolutionizing sustainable and renewable energies. Minority populations must have opportunities to participate in this process." 

Amanchukwu fondly remembers his time at Texas A&M, playing intramural sports with his friends, being part of the American Institute of Chemical Engineers, participating in related cultural events hosted by the African Student Association and studying in the Jack E. Brown Engineering Building.

“The training and mentorship I received from Texas A&M, alongside the support system and leadership experiences I gained, set me up to succeed in my future endeavors,” said Amanchukwu. “I learned the importance of service, community and academic excellence, which provided opportunities for me after graduation.”

Amanchukwu continues his studies, hoping to solve some of the challenges of next-generation battery chemistries so that batteries can last longer and be more efficient. A key component of his research is making lower-cost and higher-performance products. Additionally, he plans to continue developing programs for minority students.  

“I’ve always felt supported by Texas A&M throughout my career,” he said. “I hope this highlight brings awareness to the things my research group and I are doing and showcases the opportunities available in STEM.”

Another graduate of the chemical engineering department, Dr. Lance Brockway ’09, earned a spot in the 12 Under 12 Young Alumni Spotlight. A technologist and entrepreneur, Brockway is the founder, chief technology officer and vice president of business development at Nelumbo, an advanced materials startup.