Four from MechSE selected as Mavis Fellows

10/30/2018 Veronica Holloway

Written by Veronica Holloway

Four MechSE graduate students have been named Mavis Future Faculty Fellows (MF3) for the 2018-2019 school year.

The MF3 academy was developed in the 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, a significant teaching experience, and mentorship of a less experienced student.

Chinnappamudaliar Rajagopal works with Associate Professor Sanjiv Sinha on heat transfer studies at the nano and macro scales with applications ranging from biological cells to composite heat exchangers. Aspiring to be a future member of academia, the Mavis Fellowship provides him networking opportunities and professional training on mentorship, teaching, and writing research statements.

Jun Li works in the Air Conditioning and Refrigeration Center (ACRC) with Professor Pega Hrnjak researching the separation of liquid from vapor in the intermediate header of microchannel condensers to improve the efficiency of reversible thermal management systems in electric vehicles. With all that the program offers, Li said he hopes that the program can fast-track his career growth and help him become a successful faculty member.

“It is not only about becoming a good researcher, but also a good mentor to pass along the knowledge, the vision, and the way of thinking to future generations,” said Li.    

Kaihao Zhang’s research, with Assistant Professor Sam Tawfick, is focused on 2D materials synthesis and the nanomechanics of graphene-metal composites. The MF3 Academy brings together a community of future instructors, which is important to Zhang. Meeting peers with interdisciplinary backgrounds sharpens his teaching and mentoring skills, he said. 

Umer Huzaifa is making frameworks for robots, to assist in ease of operation as well as generate more variable movements for the same tasks. Working with Assistant Professor Amy LaViers, his research will help in making robots more expressive, and he dreams of expanding the technology to make robots accessible to all people in the future. The multi-faceted nature of MF3 is what Huzaifa said is the most valuable to his future in academia.

“A professor has a multi-faceted role involving disseminating knowledge in the classroom, and mentoring enthusiastic minds to further the bounds of explored knowledge. While I have enjoyed taking courses and learning new skills in graduate school, it is exciting to be part of the Mavis Future Faculty Fellowship as it is designed to train graduate students aspiring to be faculty members, in mentoring skills, responsibilities as a professor, keeping a balance between the different roles, and help them with job search in the academic market,” said Huzaifa.

Photo at top, L-R: Rajagopal, Huzaifa, Zhang, and Li.

Share this story

This story was published October 30, 2018.