Feature Stories

Lekshmi Pillai: An Outstanding Engineering Student

Lekshmi Pillai, a chemical engineering major, was recently named an Outstanding Female Engineer.

Lekshmi Pillai, a senior who majors in chemical engineering, recently received the Madame Mau Outstanding Female Engineer Award.

The Newark College of Engineering gives the award annually to a female engineering student who has excelled academically. Lekshmi is a scholar in the Albert Dorman Honors College with a 3.89 grade point average.

But she didn’t just focus on academics. She has, for instance, an outstanding service record at the university, serving as the president of the American Institute of Chemical Engineer’s student chapter. Under her leadership, the chapter was deemed outstanding by the national institute. She’s also secretary of Omega Chi Epsilon, the honor society for chemical engineering students, and belongs to two other engineering honor societies.

At NJIT, she worked as a teaching assistant for the Center for Pre-college Programs, where she tutored high school students in chemistry. She also worked as a student ambassador for the NJIT Admissions Office.

NJIT also helped her get two invaluable internships. She spent two summers interning at ExxonMobil Corporation in Fairfax, Virginia. Her internships went so well that ExxonMobil offered her a full-time job. After she graduates in May, she’ll start working at ExxonMobil as a chemical engineer.

Like so many NJIT students, Lekshmi has a strong social conscience. In her engineering classes at NJIT, she studied the ill effects of global warming and she’s determined to do something about it.  So when she begins working as a chemical engineer for ExxonMobil, she aims to do research that will reduce greenhouse gases and usher in alternative energy sources. 

(By Robert Florida, University Web Services)