Regula awarded Diefenderfer Graduate Fellowship for engineering, business and entrepreneurship


Michael Regula, a graduate student in the Department of Chemical Engineering, has been awarded a Diefenderfer Graduate Fellowship from the College of Engineering for the 2016-17 academic year. 

The Diefenderfer Graduate Fellowship recognizes and supports innovative graduate students with a demonstrated ability to combine technical studies with opportunities to learn about business and entrepreneurship.

As a recipient, Regula will receive a stipend that totals over $21,000 with additional tuition benefits. He will also have the opportunity to renew the fellowship for subsequent academic years.

Regula, a native of Clarks Summit, PA , is a third-year Ph.D. student in the Department of Chemical Engineering. He is advised by Donghai Wang, associate professor of mechanical and nuclear engineering, and co-advised by Michael Janik, professor of chemical engineering and John J. and Jean M. Brennan Clean Energy Early Career Professor in the College Engineering.

His research interests include synthesizing and testing novel lithium-sulfur batteries for use in electric vehicles. His current research activities investigate ways to improve the conductivity and reliability of batteries that are currently on the market by developing electrochemically-active polymers which will capture lithium sulfide.

As a recipient of the Diefenderfer Graduate Fellowship, Regula plans to couple his research studies with business and financial management courses to advance his knowledge of commerce and enterprise; a skill set he hopes to one day utilize within the electric vehicle industry.       

In addition to his academic pursuits, Regula serves as president of the Chemical Engineering Graduate Student Association and is actively pursuing other leadership positions within the University.

The Diefenderfer Graduate Fellowship was established by William E. Diefenderfer, a Penn State mechanical engineering graduate, and his wife, Francesca. The fellowship supports inventive engineering graduate students who showcase an interest in business and industry.


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Mindy Krause



The Penn State Department of Chemical Engineering, established in 1948, is recognized as one of the largest and most influential chemical engineering departments in the nation.

The department is built upon the fundamentals of academic integrity, innovation in research, and commitment to the advancement of industry.

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