Promise became involved in engineering research the summer after his first year. An integral member of Professor Bargatin’s mechanical engineering research team, Promise investigated how aluminum oxide metamaterials respond to uniaxial stress. Metamaterials are engineered to exhibit different properties than their bulk counterparts, and they come in a variety of geometries. Promise’s research provides illuminating data on the robustness of these nano-structures, which helps his team with the next step of their project. The Bargatin Group uses these extremely thin aluminum oxide layers to build thermionic energy converters, an innovative technology for clean energy production.

Promise is passionate about creating sustainable energy processes, so the Bargatin Group is an excellent fit for his research pursuits. In the long-run, Promise is prepared to study nuclear engineering at the highest levels and become an innovator in the energy industry.


An upperclassman on Penn’s Division I soccer team, Promise commits at least four hours per day to his sport in the fall when the team is on season. The soccer team practices at Penn Park, morning and afternoon, underneath the Philadelphia skyline. Every training session yields results. As a team and individually, each player works towards their goals, from becoming a starter to winning an Ivy League Championship.

Promise believes that being a student-athlete has strengthened his ability to manage stress and balance his responsibilities. Training with the soccer team reminds Promise to do his best given his personal circumstances, advice that inspires him to persevere and excel every day.

Service to Society

Promise’s interest and ability in scientific computing informs his leadership role as Treasurer for the National Society of Black Engineers. As the Academic Excellence Chair, Promise organizes study sessions, called “Crunch Time,” to help his peers, particularly first-year students, adjust to the rigors of university classes. Promise also helped lead a computer science workshop for local middle school students, offering instruction that inspires youth to pursue engineering.

In addition to his mentorship roles, Promise enjoys making connections beyond campus. Through his work study position with the Netter Center for Community Partnerships, Promise assisted in a program connecting Penn’s Division I lacrosse team and local elementary and middle school students. Once a week, Promise accompanied Philadelphia public school students on a bus to Franklin Field. While the lacrosse team led drills and practice, Promise built a rapport with the students. Creating meaningful relationships with the students, as with his peers, comes naturally to Promise.

Systems & Tech

Promise appreciates the course, Material and Energy Balances, which provides an overview of the chemical engineering major. This course covers chemical engineering processes and concepts, including conservation laws, basic thermodynamic cycles, and various chemical plant equipment. Promise’s brother is an engineer who completes more complex forms of mass balances at his work in an oil company. After covering this topic at Penn, Promise could make concrete connections between his classwork and professional engineering responsibilities.

Naturally drawn to chemistry since high school, Promise is also pursuing a chemistry minor in the College of Arts and Sciences. Promise’s scientific and engineering expertise extends to physics (a major part of chemical engineering) and math.