BUFFALO, N.Y. – Steven M. Brown won’t have to look
far to see a familiar face at the Massachusetts Institute of
Neither will Sourobh Ghosh, nor Daniel P. Salem.
That’s because all three, who graduate from the University
at Buffalo on Saturday, will be sharing an apartment when they
start graduate school in September.
What’s more, each received a full scholarship to earn
doctoral degrees in engineering at MIT, whose engineering graduate
program has been ranked No. 1 by U.S. News & World Report since
“As soon as I got the call telling me I had been accepted,
I knew where I was going,” said Brown, who like Ghosh and
Salem are members of the University Honors College and Presidential
Scholars at UB.
The trio are among roughly 4,800 students expected to receive
degrees this May during UB’s 167th general commencement.
Brown, who grew up in the Rochester suburb of Churchville, will
earn a bachelor of science in chemical engineering and a minor in
mathematics. While at UB, he completed internships at Eastman Kodak
and Olin Corp., a chemical manufacturer in Niagara Falls.
He had been considering entering the workforce upon graduating
but he changed his mind after spending the past year doing research
with Mark Swihart, UB professor of chemical and biological
engineering. Brown assisted Swihart with his research into how
nanoparticles can be used to store energy, detect tumors and other
Unlike Brown, Ghosh always planned to earn an advanced degree.
It helps explain why he enrolled at UB, which has nationally ranked
undergraduate and graduate programs in engineering.
“One of the big reasons that I chose to attend UB was
because I know there is a lot of opportunity to do undergraduate
research,” said Ghosh, who is from Pittsford, roughly 20
miles east of Churchville.
A dual major – he will earn a bachelor of science in
mechanical engineering and a bachelor of arts in economics –
Ghosh worked under the guidance of Kemper E. Lewis, professor in
UB’s Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering. With
Lewis, Ghosh analyzed disruptions to the product-development
processes of companies such as Airbus and Boeing.
The experience, he said, was invaluable and helped him to be
among 2,000 students nationwide chosen for the National Science
Foundation’s (NSF) Graduate Research Fellowship Program. The
award, worth more than $100,000, will pay for the PhD in mechanical
engineering that he expects to earn at MIT.
Salem, from Liverpool, also received fellowship from NSF. (Brown
received a full scholarship from MIT.)
Like Ghosh, he was among 13 UB students this year to receive the
SUNY Chancellor’s Award, which recognizes individuals who
excel in academics as well as leadership, community service and
A past recipient of the prestigious Barry M. Goldwater
Scholarship, Salem will receive a bachelor of science in chemical
engineering and a minor in mathematics. He, too, did research at
UB, mostly focusing on improving batteries with professors Swihart
and Kenneth J. Takeuchi.
He will enter MIT’s PhD program in chemical
“I am tremendously proud of Daniel, Steven, and
Sourobh!” said Liesl Folks, dean of the UB School of
Engineering and Applied Sciences. “They have
accomplished wonderful things here at UB, and our faculty will be
following their future careers with great interest, knowing that
each of them will have significant impacts at MIT and in broader
contexts in the years to come.”
Because Salem and Brown were in many chemical engineering
classes together at UB, they know each other well. And
they’ve always been friendly with Ghosh, whom they met
through a mutual friend a few years ago.
The trio decided earlier this month to room together in
Cambridge, one of the nation’s most expensive cities to rent
an apartment, to save on expenses. Plus, they admitted, it’ll
be nice to have a few friends upon moving.
“I suppose we’re going to get to know each other a
little better,” Brown said.