Five MechSE graduate students have been named Mavis Future Faculty Fellows (MF3) for the 2020-21 school 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.
Onur Aydin’s research with Professor Taher Saif focuses on biohybrid soft robotics, in which biological cells such as muscle fibers and neurons are integrated with engineered compliant scaffolds to create biohybrid robots capable of autonomous locomotion. In addition to possible future applications in robotics, these systems also allow him to study the biomechanics of animal locomotion in an engineered model system. Aydin said he believes that biohybrid soft robotics will help further the understanding of the principles of animal movement and locomotion and help inspire advances towards treatments for injury or disease of musculoskeletal and nervous systems. Aydin received his BS and MS in mechanical engineering from Koc University in Istanbul, Turkey.
Ophelia Bolmin studies the biomechanics and dynamics of ultra-fast motions in biological systems. Her current work looks at the use of click beetles as a case-study organism and she investigates the physical phenomena that enable this insect to move extremely fast. She and Assistant Professor Aimy Wissa in the Bio-inspired Adaptive Morphology (BAM) Lab are analyzing how these biological principles can be used to design micro-robots. Bolmin earned her BS in mechanical engineering and an MS in mechanical engineering and structures calculations, both from ENSTA Bretagne, France. She also earned an MS in aerospace engineering from Illinois.
Bashar Emon is pursuing a PhD in theoretical and applied mechanics. He works with Saif and is one of the T32 Tissue Microenvironment (TiMe) scholars at the Cancer Center at Illinois. Emon’s current project explores the dynamic interactions between biophysical and chemical signaling within the tumor microenvironment. Bashar and Saif have developed a novel ultra-high sensitive sensor that can measure the force of single cells in 3D matrices, quantify the stiffness of the tissue construct and matrix remodeling with time, and apply stretch and compression on the cells—all in the same platform. These PDMS devices can be microfabricated in arrays to design and develop high-throughput assays for practical applications such as patient-specific drug screening, chemo- and radio-resistance test, primary cell-based migration-invasion, would healing, and more. If successfully introduced and implemented, the sensors can be translational for mechanobiology-based research and clinical applications. Emon completed his B.Sc. and M.Sc. in civil & structural engineering from Bangladesh University of Engineering & Technology.
Alireza Mojahed is a TAM doctoral candidate working in the Linear and Nonlinear Dynamics and Vibrations Laboratory with Professors Alexander Vakakis and Lawrence Bergman. His current research focuses on modeling and system identification of soft materials. He performs theoretical and experimental studies in two main areas—the modeling and system identification of the dynamics of systems and structures with local strong nonlinearities, and the modeling of soft matter in the human brain with the aim of early diagnosis and prevention through protective measures (e.g., helmets) of traumatic brain injury. He earned his BS from Iran University of Science and Technology and an MS degree from Illinois.
Ganesh Patil works with Assistant Professor Katie Matlack in the Wave Propagation and Metamaterials Laboratory. His research is centered around understanding the mechanics of nonlinear elastic wave propagation through phononic materials. This understanding is valuable in designing a new class of multifunctional, damage-tolerant architected materials for engineering applications. He earned a B.Tech. in mechanical engineering and an L.M.E. in mechanical engineering, both from Veermata Jijabai Technological Institute (VJTI) in Mumbai, India, and an MS in mechanical engineering from Illinois.