Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering
Akshitha Yarrabothula is a Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering major. Through UT's Office of Research, Akshitha was able to participate in a summer internship in which she explored the production of biofuels in preparation for the International Genetically Engineering Machine Competition where she will be able to represent UT alongside other prominent international institutions.
In academic year 2011-2012, Akshitha will be continuing her research as a member of Dr. Cong Tring's team, focusing on utilizing synthetic biology principles to optimize the metabolic pathway of Escherichia coli so that the bacteria is able to efficiently produce biofuels in a large-scale bioreactor. Akshitha served as the Ventures Director of Nourish International during its inaugural year on campus and hopes to apply the things she learned during this experience to the Haslam Scholars Program's community service project with Redeeming Hope Ministries.
Akshitha is involved in the Chancellor's Honors Program as an Honors Ambassador and plans to continue her participation in the Baker Scholars Program and their mission to improve the quality of education and student life in Title I elementary schools in Knox County. Akshitha says that her time in China "has led me to believe that no amount of literature can truly aid a person in understanding the perceptions of another society until one has first-hand experience of the traditions and beliefs that prevail in such a society." In the future, Akshitha would like to establish sustainable development engineering projects in underdeveloped countries in Africa.