Incoming graduate students awarded Dantzig Scholarships

6/13/2023 Julia Park

Catalina Bastias and Tommy Livesay are this year's recipients of the Jon and Anne Dantzig Graduate Scolarship, awarded to graduate students interested in biological concentrations.

Written by Julia Park

MechSE has selected two mechanical engineering graduate students, Catalina Bastias and Thomas Livesay – both of whom will start in the fall – to receive the Jon and Anne Dantzig Graduate Scholarship.

Catalina BastiasBastias, who earned her undergraduate degree from the University of Colorado Boulder, will work with Assistant Professor Callan Luetkemeyer. Her research interests are in biomechanics, solid mechanics and materials, and the effects of pregnancy on the mechanical injury of soft tissues. As an undergrad, Bastias conducted research into the effects of exercise on medial collateral ligament mechanical behavior and studied the effects of pregnancy on the mechanical injury criteria of murine uterosacral ligaments (i.e. those in mice).

Livesay, a graduate of Duke University, will work with Professor Randy Ewoldt. His research interests lie in nano-scale heat transfer and energy storage and conversion as it relates to sustainability efforts and renewable energy. One of Livesay’s research highlights includes developing a new method of mechanically deploying sound and camera traps in tropical rainforests using drones with the intent to observe and measure biodiversity without disturbing the rainforest.

Tommy Livesay“Ms. Bastias and Mr. Livesay embody exceptional incoming students that pave the way for Latinx students like themselves to push the boundaries in the field of biomechanics and rheology. I am thankful that former professor Jon Dantzig and his wife Dr. Anne Dantzig can support their academic development and research opportunities,” said Joann Pyon, Graduate Admissions Coordinator in MechSE.

Retired professor Jon and his wife Dr. Anne Dantzig established the Jon and Anne Dantzig Graduate Scholarship Fund in 2018 to support MechSE graduate students interested in biomechanics, biomaterials, or bioengineering as both of the Dantzigs’ careers (engineering and life sciences) were aimed at improving quality of life.

“My wife and I were able to have fulfilling careers because of our graduate education. We see this scholarship fund as an opportunity to give some of that back, to enable future generations of students to be able to attend graduate school and to develop their careers,” said Dantzig, who became a professor emeritus in 2008 after teaching at Illinois for 28 years.

Share this story

This story was published June 13, 2023.