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Chemical Engineering graduate, Karius Joseph, selected as the University's Spring 2024 Outstanding Graduate

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Spring 2024 Dean's Advisory Council Meeting

The College of Engineering’s Dean’s Advisory Council (DAC) convened for their Spring 2024 meeting this past Friday,

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Dean Khattab joined the members of the College of Engineering’s Dean's Student Advisory Council (DSAC) for breakfast

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Mr. Karius Joseph has been named the University of Louisiana at Lafayette’s Spring 2024 Outstanding Graduate.  Selected from among eight award finalists, he will be recognized during the Spring 2024 Commencement ceremony.  Karius will be graduating with a Bachelor of Science in Chemical Engineering and a minor in Mathematics. He has a cumulative grade point average of 3.97.

Nominated by the College of Engineering and Dean Ahmed Khattab, the award is based on leadership, scholarship and service which serve both the University and the community. Karius was also named the College of Engineering’s Outstanding Graduate, and the Department of Chemical Engineering’s Outstanding Graduate.

“Karius’ dedication to his studies and his remarkable commitment to serving his community make him an exceptional role model for upcoming generations of engineers. He embodies the core values of academic excellence, leadership, and community engagement,” said Dean Ahmed Khattab. "Karius’ dedication and pursuit of excellence extends beyond his academics, evidenced by his Karius Kares Foundation.  His exceptional accomplishments, evident leadership abilities, and fervent dedication to uplifting underprivileged families mark him as a shining example worthy of this prestigious accolade,” continued Khattab.

Karius’ love of math and growing up watching his father’s work as a corrosion engineer inspired him to want to become an engineer. Karius enrolled at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette in the Fall of 2021 after receiving his Associates of Science with Pre-engineering concentration in Chemical Engineering from the Baton Rouge Community College. While here at UL, he has maintained a 4.0 and has remained on the President’s List each semester.  He is the recipient of many scholarships to include TOPS with stipend, the University of Louisiana at Lafayette Associate’s Degree Academic Transfer Scholarship, the Garber Family Chemical Engineering Scholarship, the Emery & Bea Domingue Endowed Scholarship, the Gregory McClelland Memorial Endowed Scholarship, the Beldon E. Fox Sr. Memorial Endowed Scholarship, and the Corrosion Center Endowed Scholarship. Other scholarships were awarded to Karius during his time at the Baton Rouge Community College including a baseball scholarship. He was a member of the baseball team from Fall 2019 to Spring 2021 and earned the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) award as a top student-athlete for academic achievement.

Intrigued by nano materials, Karius become a part of Dr. Ling Fei’s team researching lithium-ion batteries and freestanding electrodes. He volunteered and excelled at the opportunity to work on her research.   In December 2023, he co-authored two conference papers. The first, entitled 3D Printed Freestanding Electrodes for High Energy Density Batteries, the results from this research will advance the development of composite electrodes as well as shine light on the immense potential to develop high energy density batteries utilizing 3D printing.  The 2nd entitled Engineering Block Copolymer-Derived Porous Carbon Nanofibers as Anodes for Sodium-Ion Batteries. This research intends to study the effects of pore structures on the electrochemical characteristics of porous carbon nanofiber anodes for sodium-ion batteries with results showing a very significant increase in the discharging specific capacity. Both were published in the American Institute of Chemical Engineering Annual Meeting proceedings.  He also published a poster entitled Metal Sulfide on 3D-Printed Carbon Microlattices for the 2024 Engineering & Technology Week poster competition. His research is also published by the Electrochemical Society. Karius is also the recipient of the Supervised Undergraduate Research Experience (SURE) Grant.

Inspired by his high school assistant baseball coach, Mr. Shae Stelly, he started the Karius Kares Foundation in April 2018, a non-profit organization committed to aiding local churches, charities, homeless shelters and food pantries in helping disadvantaged families.  Mr. Shae Stelly was an active athlete who accomplished numerous things, was loved and adored by many but who, sadly, developed Muscular Dystrophy and passed away before his time at 20 years old.  Karius explained that “Shae accomplished remarkable feats from a wheelchair, while I, as a fully abled individual, must strive to excel and uphold his legacy.” Hence, the first Shae Stelly fund raiser was created, and Karius Kares was born.  The foundation holds fund raisers, baseball camps for children, collects donations from industry and helps underprivileged families with daily living needs.  Karius estimates that his foundation has raised over $50,000 and has helped more than 400 families.

In Spring 2024, Karius was awarded the Leaf Provost Award and the Leaf Award for International Impact for his excellence in research for his project titled: FeS2 deposited on 3D-printed carbon microlattices as free-standing electrodes for lithium-ion batteries.

Karius was offered an internship as an Integrated Supply Chain Manufacturing Intern for Nouryon and moved to Fort Worth Texas for the Summer of 2023. Nouryon, a global specialty chemicals leader employing 8,300 employees worldwide. The Fort Worth facility manufactures Morwet D-425 liquid used in the agricultural industry. Karius had eight weeks to make a difference for this company, and that he did.  He successfully proposed and executed enhancements in their maintenance protocols.

In 2021, Karius was awarded the Martin Luther King Unsung Hero Award during the Unity Celebration which brings together the three higher education institutions in the capital region – BRCC, Louisiana State University, and Southern University Baton Rouge – to celebrate the spirit, life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and commemorate the timeless values he shared. The award is presented to one student from each institution, who exhibits the character of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. in both their academic work as well as their service to the local community. Nominated by Dr. Barbara Hasek, she had this to say about Karius; “In my 15 years of teaching biology classes at BRCC, Mr. Joseph ranks is in the top one percent of academic performance and character.  Joseph truly has a strong concern for humanity, and he is fully committed to contributing to society.”

Karius is currently a member of the American Chemical Society, the American Institute of Chemical Engineering, the Society of Women Engineers, the Louisiana EPSCoR Supervised Undergraduate Research Program, the Electrochemical Society, and the Omega Chi Epsilon Chemical Engineering Honor Society. He has served as a CHEE 201 Chemical Engineering Calculations tutor and volunteered during the College’s Engineering and Technology Week activities.

Karius is poised for a promising future. He has accepted a position with ExxonMobil in Baton Rouge. Additionally, he aims to expand the Karius Kares Foundation, doubling the number of families it serves by 2026. Furthermore, he aspires to establish a scholarship within the College of Engineering, offering financial aid to aspiring engineers.

Congratulations Karius! We are so very proud of you.

For more information on all the University of Louisiana at Lafayette Outstanding Graduate nominees click→here.