Roop Mahajan joined Virginia Tech’s “Curious Conversations” to chat about the value of international collaborations to research and innovation as well as how they’ve contributed to his work advancing the “wonder material” graphene.

About Mahajan

Mahajan is the Lewis A. Hester Professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering and director of strategic research and innovation for Virginia Tech India.

Three takeaways from the conversation

  • Mahajan believes bringing together people with different perspectives cultivates better questions and creates important intersections of ideas and experiences that accelerate innovation. 

  • Virginia Tech India is headquartered in Chennai, which is a city on the Bay of Bengal in eastern India. Mahajan said it’s often referred to as the “Detroit of India” because of its proximity to industry.

  • Graphene generated from graphite costs about $450 a gram, and about 70 percent of the world’s graphite comes from China. Mahajan and his team are exploring coal as a most cost-effective and environmentally friendly starting point for the “wonder material.”

Learn more

Mechanical engineering professor uses coal to create 'wonder material'

Provost leads delegation to India to inaugurate satellite office, develop new education and research collaborations

ME faculty named among top 2% in the world

About the podcast

"Curious Conversations" is a series of free-flowing conversations with Virginia Tech researchers that take place at the intersection of world-class research and everyday life. Produced and hosted by Virginia Tech writer and editor Travis Williams, university researchers share their expertise and motivations as well as the practical applications of their work in a format that more closely resembles chats at a cookout than classroom lectures. New episodes are shared each Tuesday.

Share this story