Follow Mo Jarin’s Quest for Innovation, Entrepreneurship, and Personal Triumphs in the World of Environmental Engineering

This is part one of the feature on Mo Jarin. Jarin is a Ph.D. student in environmental engineering who expects to graduate in May 2025. 

Mo Jarin, Ph.D. student in environmental engineering, grew up around the sights, sounds, and smells of a research lab. Throughout her childhood, Jarin tagged along with her Ph.D. parents to the lab where she played with the pipettes and string together the colorful test tubes to make necklaces. Surrounded by experiments and scientific inquiry from a young age, Jarin’s fascination with the world of research was sparked early in life.  

Early Influences in Environmental Engineering

A self-described “third culture kid,” everyone in Jarin’s family has a different first language. Jarin was raised in Japan by Bengali parents. After living in Japan for 10 years, her parents accepted jobs at Cornell University in Ithaca, New York, and the family moved to the United States. 

Throughout the years, the family visited Jarin’s parents’ home country of Bangladesh. During these visits, Jarin experienced issues with her health. Water quality issues are prevalent in Bangladesh, and those issues effected Jarin the most. This experience coupled with Jarin’s affinity toward research led her to the University of Buffalo for her undergrad. 

Finding Mentorship and Research Passion

“When I got into the college level, I was thinking about research, and I found a mentor who was Bengali,” said Jarin. “He was working on water disinfection, so I explored that lab. Not only did I have interest in the research, but the mentor was wonderful. That’s where I stuck for a couple years, and that was my first undergraduate research experience that I fulfilled.” 

Jarin was working with nanotechnology focusing on clean water, specifically as it relates to other places of the world. While Jarin’s bachelor’s was in chemical engineering, her research was in environmental engineering, and she felt this work was making real-world impact. 

“My mentor [in the University of Buffalo’s Department of Civil, Structural, and Environmental Engineering], Nirupam Aich, was the one who inspired me to apply to grad school,” said Jarin. “He recommended a number of environmental programs–really top universities. He built me into a better presenter, and I took all of that into my graduate application process.” 

Choosing Georgia Tech

While Jarin received offers from prestigious universities across the country, her decision to attend Georgia Tech for her graduate education was significantly influenced by the people and opportunities it offered. She credits the students and staff she met during her visit to Tech as the impetus for her decision, specifically Danielle Lesperance Ramirez, a graduate coordinator in the School of Civil and Environmental Engineering graduate school, and her advisor, Xing Xie.
“My advisor is a very open, welcoming individual,” said Jarin. “Despite his extremely nice exterior, he pushed very hard for me to come here. He nominated me for the President’s Fellowship that I received. He clearly showed that not only did he want to advise me and guide me, but he also showed me the potential I didn’t see in myself. That is how I ended up here, and I have never regretted it since.”  

Xie’s support fostered a transformative experience in her research journey. 

“He first pushed me into some of these entrepreneurial paths,” said Jarin. “It really brought out all of my strengths, and now I’m getting to do cutting-edge research. I don’t think I would have had the slightest fraction of a similar experience anywhere else.” 

Stay tuned for part two of Jarin’s story as she delves deeper into her research and impact.