MechSE undergraduate Nikita Lukhanin was one of five students selected to receive a 2022 Beckman Institute Undergraduate Fellowship.
The Beckman Institute Undergraduate Fellows Program provides undergraduate students with a $3,000 award to pursue interdisciplinary research at the Beckman Institute during the summer. Entering its seventh year, the program is supported by funding from the Arnold and Mabel Beckman Foundation.
Lukhanin is a rising senior studying mechanical engineering with a minor in physics. He plans to collaborate with Joaquin Rodríguez-López, an associate professor of chemistry, to make a special type of microscopy called scanning electrochemical microscopy, or SECM, more accessible to a wide range of interdisciplinary researchers. SECM is an invaluable tool for collecting nano-scale topographies of chemical systems like solar cells, batteries, and cancer cells, but its high cost creates barriers to accessibility. Lukhanin will develop an inexpensive, easy-to-use compliant mechanism-based actuator to help increase the accessibility of SECM systems to non-specialists and create opportunities for interdisciplinary research.