Four from MechSE named new Mavis Fellows


Julia Park

Four graduate students from MechSE were recently named Mavis Future Faculty Fellows (MF3) for the 2022-23 academic year.

The MF3 Academy was developed in The Grainger College of Engineering to help prepare talented graduate students for their future transition into academia. The program focuses on research, teaching, and mentoring, offering professional development activities and workshops, significant teaching experience, and mentorship of a less experienced student.

The group of 57 new Mavis Fellowship winners include the four from MechSE: Yashraj Rajendra Bhosale, Shahriar Nahid, Jad Yaacoub, and Kai Zhou.

Yashraj BhosaleYashraj Bhosale’s research revolves around unravelling the dynamics of soft and rigid structures interacting with different environments, specifically focusing on structures immersed in viscous fluids, with applications falling under the umbrella of soft robotics, microfluidics, and material design. As a research assistant in Professor Mattia Gazzola’s lab, Bhosale is currently pursuing research in theoretical and computational continuum mechanics, that can be roughly mapped to three stages: 1) design algorithms for capturing dynamics of elastic/rigid solids, viscous fluids and their interaction 2) develop high-performant software that scales up these algorithms to run parallel on supercomputers; and finally, deploy this software for 3) design of elastic/rigid devices targeted towards applications that include contactless drug delivery, particle manipulation, microfluidics-based medical diagnostics and material design.

Shahriar Muhammad NahidShahriar Muhammad Nahid is a doctoral candidate working with Professors Arend van der Zande and SungWoo Nam (now at University of California, Irvine). His research interest lies in the realm of two-dimensional materials consisting of stacked sheets of single layer atoms. These materials have extraordinary electrical, optical, and mechanical properties. Nahid’s current project explores how mechanical deformation modulates and controls the electrical polarization of 2D ferroelectric α-In2Se3. His research demonstrated that bending α-In2Seabove a threshold angle leads to the formation of wedge disclination and results in polarization switching. This phenomenon not only provides a fundamental understanding of the interplay between mechanical deformation and electrical polarization but also indicates a method of voltage-free control of polarization in ferroelectric materials. In addition, Nahid is also investigating the formation of charged domain walls and the origin of photoconductivity in ferroelectric 2D systems. In the future, Nahid said he wants to build his career in academia and continue conducting research in nanoscience.

Jad YaacoubJad Yaacoub is a research assistant in Professor Sam Tawfick’s Kinetic Materials Research Group working on understanding the mechanics behind the graphene-catalyst interface through indentation. Yaacoub and the team grow graphene on varoius metallic substrates, including copper, platinum, palladium, then use a plethora of characterization techniques to understand the interaction between the 2D material (graphene) and the 3D material (metal substrate).

Kai Zhou works on synthesizing materials for daytime radiative cooling. Radiative cooling achieves a cooling effect even under intense sunlight without any electricity consumption, showing a possible solution to save electricity used for cooling. Materials for radiative cooling must fulfill stringent requirements on optical properties, i.e. highly reflective in the solar spectrum and highly emissive in the infrared band. The current materials for radiative cooling are expensive and complex to fabricate, so in Professor Lili Cai’s lab, Zhou has been designing and synthesizing cost-effective and easy-to-fabricate materials towards real-world applications.  “My long-term career goal is to continue doing research in academia, as my research and teaching experience in MechSE are enjoyable and pleasant,” Zhou said.