Photo of Chukwuebuka “Ebuka” Nweke, PhD Graduate Student

Persistent, Inquisitive, Outgoing

NSF Bridge to the Doctorate Fellow

I was born in Lagos, Nigeria and came to the U.S. at the age of 12 for a better education. I am a civil engineer because I enjoy creating/building/assembling things. I also enjoy nature and want to understand a little about how it works. I love puzzles and things that require challenging thought processes. I enjoy listening to and creating music, woodworking, doing research and learning new things. In summary, I like taking the road less traveled.

My research topic is the “Constitutive Modeling of Lightly Cemented Sands” and my mentor/advisor is Professor Juan Pestana in Civil and Environmental Engineering.

My long-term goal is to become a professor so I can teach, do research (work on new and exiting projects constantly), and more importantly, serve as a beacon/mentor/role model for other African American students/children to show that they too can be valuable in academia.


“NERDS has been an outstanding resource for me (and many others). I can say that without the assistance NERDS provides, it is highly likely that I would probably not be here today doing my PhD. The financial sustenance given to me in the form of the NSF Bridge to Doctorate Graduate Fellowship was a huge catalyst in prolonging my stay. In addition, the workshops (professional development, academic coaching, leadership training), the guidance, the advising, and the overall support that come in many forms (such as providing a space for students, conferences and travel grants, and volunteer opportunities) were essential in my progression and journey at UC Berkeley. NERDS is pivotal in the growth and matriculation of minority/underrepresented students. It is in mine.”

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