February 15, 2019

Energy student profile: Shomik Verma (E '19)

Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions

Shomik Verma (E'19) grew up in Houston—the oil and gas capital of the world—as the son of a petroleum engineer. In high school, he became interested in sustainable energy and decided to find a school where he could go deep on renewable energy technology while also learning how it was shaped by policy, economics, and law. Duke fit the bill.

From the start; Verma immersed himself in the energy programs at Duke:

  • Attending Power Lunches, Power Trips, Energy Mixes, 36 Hours in Energy at Duke, and other events;
  • Helping lead the Duke Electric Vehicles team to several Shell Ecomarathon wins and two Guinness World Records for vehicle efficiency;
  • Installing rooftop solar in low-income communities during Solar Spring Break;
  • Conducting hydrogen generation research in Dr. Nico Hotz's lab;
  • Serving as co-president of the undergraduate Duke Energy Club and Duke Smart Home Club; and
  • Organizing an Energy Tech Showcase as part of Energy Week at Duke.

Verma's drive and ingenuity didn't go unnoticed. The mechanical engineering major, who earned minors in energy engineering and mathematics, received prestigious Marshall, Goldwater, and Udall Scholarships. Starting in fall 2019, he will be studying novel materials for boosting the efficiency of solar photovoltaics as part of his MPhil in Materials Science at the University of Cambridge. 

"The opportunities provided by the Energy Initiative pushed me to think about energy beyond technical issues, helping round out my energy education at Duke," Verma says. "I appreciate the Energy Initiative's unending personal support and encouragement for student activities. Whenever I had a question, wanted to test an idea, or needed to connect with industry experts, they were there to help."