Carnegie Mellon University

2022-23 Steinbrenner Institute Doctoral Fellows

Meet the 2022-23 cohort of doctoral fellows! Hear directly from the four graduate students in their interview videos, and learn about their research projects, what excites them the most about their projects, and more.

Albin WellsAlbin Wells (he/him)

Presidential Fellow Email

Albin Wells is a PhD student in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering (CEE), advised by Dr. David Rounce. He is a proud Pittsburgh native and Taylor Allderdice alum, after which he received an ScB in Mechanical Engineering from Brown University in 2021. His research investigates Alaskan glaciers’ response to climate change. By developing robust approaches rooted in field measurements, he aims to improve large-scale systematic remote sensing and modeled data products. Understanding the drivers of glacier mass loss in Alaska will enhance projections of future mass loss; this has critical implications for water resources, natural hazards, and sea-level rise.

Christine TrollerChristine Troller (she/her)

Dunlap Fellow | Email

Christine Troller is a PhD student in the Department of Chemical Engineering. She is advised by Dr. Coty Jen and is a member of CMU’s Center for Atmospheric Particle Studies. In 2021, she received her bachelor’s degree in Chemical Engineering with a minor in Chemistry from the University of Connecticut. Her research relates to oceanic-atmospheric interactions with a warming climate. Currently, she is focusing on identifying marine algal emissions and their participation in atmospheric nucleation processes. She also plans to explore how marine algal emissions will be altered with the changing climate. Her research goal is to provide better estimations of the relationships between algal emissions, marine nucleation, and climate change, which will improve climate model predictions for oceanic cloud formation.

Kushagra VarmaKushagra Varma (he/him)


Kushagra Varma is a PhD student in the Architecture-Engineering-Construction Management (AECM) Program. In spring 2021, he joined Prof. Erica Cochran Hameen’s research group in the School of Architecture (SOA) and was awarded the P.J. Dick Incorporated AECM Fellowship. His research focuses on developing a 4D urban building performance data visualization and benchmarking tool to share benchmarking data and enable building stakeholders to make appropriate retrofits to improve the environmental performance of their buildings. His research involves analysis of urban buildings benchmarking data, developing algorithms to visualize the information on a web-based platform, creating and integrating an intelligent retrofit recommendation generator, and providing energy reduction and decarbonization pathways for the future.

Kushagra is originally from Indore, India. He holds a Bachelor of Architecture (BArch) degree from Maulana Azad National Institute of Technology (MANIT) in Bhopal, India, and a Master of Science in Construction Management from Stevens Institute of Technology in Hoboken, New Jersey. Before joining CMU, he worked as a lecturer in the Civil, Environmental, and Ocean Engineering (CEOE) Department at Stevens Institute of Technology, where he taught multiple graduate construction engineering and management courses.

Savannah TalledoSavannah Talledo (she/her)


Savannah Talledo is a second year graduate student in the Department of Chemistry from Spartanburg, South Carolina. Before attending Carnegie Mellon University, she graduated from Wofford College with a BS in Chemistry and a BA in Theater. Savannah currently works under Dr. Stefan Bernhard where her research is focused on photocatalytic hydrogen production via sugar reforming by utilizing high throughput and automated techniques. She has also had the opportunity to accelerate her findings via collaborative efforts with the Millstone Group at the University of Pittsburgh and several Chemical Engineering groups at CMU.