Saksham Malik

During his freshman year, Saksham Malik never set foot on the Georgia Tech campus. Because he could take all his courses remotely in 2020-21 due to the Covid-19 pandemic, he elected to stay at home in Delhi, India, attending online classes in the middle of the night.

But he made up for lost time socially when he arrived at Tech in fall 2021, taking on a host of leadership roles that led him win to the 2024 Davidson Family Tau Beta Pi Senior Engineering Award, the highest honor presented to one graduating senior each year from Georgia Tech’s College of Engineering.

“As everyone tried to get back to normalcy, I got involved with a lot of different activities to make the Georgia Tech community a better place,” said Malik, a chemical engineering major.

He joined the Georgia Tech student chapter of the American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AIChE), rising to hold the presidency of the organization in his senior year. In fall 2023, the organization won the Outstanding Student Chapter Award at the annual AIChE Student Conference.

“We’ve built a great board who are committed to taking the chapter to greater heights,” he said. “I’m very proud of the work we’ve done.

Activities of the chapter include organizing the annual Clearinghouse career fair attracting numerous companies, the Chem-E Car and Jeopardy teams who compete at AIChE conferences, and weekly Lunch and Learns.

Active in Research

Malik has also taken an active role in research, serving as an undergraduate research ambassador to help students find opportunities in labs on campus.

Malik himself is an undergraduate research assistant in the lab of Michael Filler, a professor in the School of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering (ChBE). There he has studied the process of fabricating nanomodular devices for printed electronics.

Having earlier participated in research in the School of Psychology and School of Chemistry, Malik is a two-time recipient of a Georgia Tech President’s Undergraduate Research Award.

Also a two-time holder of the Thomas L. Gossage International Enrichment Scholarship, Malik has also served as a ChBE peer mentor. “I’ve mentored three first-year students, and it’s been great to see their growth over time. I’ve also served as an undergraduate teaching assistant in ChBE as well as in Math and Physics.”

Future Plans

After graduation in May 2024, Malik plans to pursue his PhD studies in chemical engineering. He was admitted into five doctoral programs: Georgia Tech, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Stanford University, the University of Michigan, and the University of Texas-Austin. He elected Stanford University after winning the Stanford Graduate Fellowship, its highest honor for an incoming doctoral student. 

“That made the decision simpler,” Malik said. “After I earn my PhD, I’m open to both academia and industry, but I’m leaning toward the latter to make more real-world impact.”

During his undergraduate studies, he has held engineering internships with Westrock Company in summer 2022 and Eli Lilly and Company in summer 2023.

“I had the incredible opportunity to work at Eli Lilly’s Engineering Tech Center in their Operations Improvement Team where I worked on alternative downstream purification processes for synthetic peptides as well as explored new technologies for investigating packed columns,” Malik said.