Naethan Sid Mundkur

2020 Fulbright Scholar

Naethan Sid Mundkur

Naethan Sid Mundkur

Naethan Sid Mundkur has been selected for a Fulbright Research Award to conduct research in chemical engineering in the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

The Fulbright U.S. Student Program offers research, study and teaching opportunities in more than 140 countries to recent graduates and graduate students. Administered in the U.S. by the Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, the Fulbright program was established in 1946 to promote international goodwill through education and cultural exchange.


2020 has been a hard year for many of us. Above all, I seek mental, cultural, and personal growth through Fulbright. I want to challenge my innate preconceptions so that, one day, I can bring positive change to communities and movements that deserve to be heard and understood."

Collegiate Experience

  • Areas of Study:

    • Graduated in May 2018, with a degree in chemical engineering
  • Additional Awards:

    • Grawemeyer Scholar, Intel Science Talent Search Finalist, White House Science Fair

Inspired By

I have several faculty and mentors I would like to thank who helped me achieve this honor:

Gerold Willing is a UofL J.B. Speed School of Engineering associate professor of chemical engineering. I conducted renewable energy research under him starting my sophomore year of high school, and he shares credit for many of my accomplishments. He helped me formulate a solid research proposal for Fulbright, and was there almost every step of the way for my application. In the span of almost 10 years, his role in my life has transformed from research mentor to dear friend. James Watters, a chemical engineering professor, is a wonderful professor whom I have also known for the better part of a decade. His classes have made me a better chemical engineer and a critical thinker. He has been teaching at UofL since 1977, and he actually taught and advised my father when he was a chemical engineering student at UofL in the 90s, but I like to think James Watters likes me more :) Prof. Khaldoun Almousily is the program coordinator and instructor for the Arabic language at UofL. He fostered in me not only an interest in the Arabic language but also an appreciation for the diverse culture and people. He is responsible for motivating me in my Fulbright pursuit and narrowing the focus of my application to the UAE. Rachid Tagoulla was my higher-level Arabic instructor. As a Fulbright recipient from Morocco, he is the one who made me realize Fulbright as a goal within my reach if I really wanted it. His riveting photograph exhibition on Morocco solidified my interest in pursuing a Fulbright to an Arabic-speaking country.

Hometown Information

  • Hometown:

    Louisville, KY
  • High school:

    High School: DuPont Manual High School (2013)