Tag: College of Engineering

DeVlieg Graduate Research Recipient – Summer 2024 – Fatemeh Razaviamri

Fatemeh Razaviamri standing outside with body of water, trees, and cityscape behind
Fatemeh Razaviamri – Biomedical Engineering

I am a third-year PhD student in the Biomedical Engineering department. My research focuses on designing polymeric biomaterials for antimicrobial, hemostatic, and wound healing applications under the supervision of Dr. Bruce Lee. Currently, I am working on a project aimed at developing a novel, antimicrobial hemostatic agent inspired by the strong adhesive properties of mussel adhesive proteins.

Hemorrhage is one of the leading preventable causes of death associated with trauma. Additionally, trauma patients are at a higher risk for developing infection, leading to substantial morbidity and mortality. I aim to develop a novel and portable hemostatic agent that could achieve hemorrhage control in a prehospital setting and prevent infection. This powder-form hemostatic agent can be activated by hydration through the patient’s bodily fluid or blood, which greatly simplifies the criteria for packaging and storage. The proposed hemostatic agent provides multiple mechanisms to prevent infection, including the ability to kill drug-resistant bacteria. The ability to disinfect the wound site in a prehospital setting will limit complications associated with infection and will greatly improve the rate of recovery.

I am immensely grateful for the support provided by the DeVlieg Foundation and the Graduate Dean Awards Advisory Panel. With their support, I will spend the summer conducting in vivo hemostatic and infected wound healing tests using a mouse model to evaluate the rapid and effective hemostatic properties of the designed hemostatic agent, as well as its ability to promote the infected-wound healing.

Doctoral Finishing Fellowship – Spring 2024 Recipient – Abhishek Patil

Abhishek Patil standing in front of mountains
Abhishek Patil, Mechanical Engineering – Engineering Mechanics

I am deeply thankful to the Graduate School and the Graduate Dean Awards Advisory Panel for awarding me the Finishing Fellowship. This invaluable support will enable me to fully focus on completing my final research projects and dissertation.

I extend my gratitude to the Intelligent Robotics & System Optimization Lab and the Department of Mechanical Engineering and Engineering Mechanics for providing the essential resources that have greatly contributed to the success of my research. The collaborative and enriching environment has played a pivotal role in shaping the depth and quality of my work.

My research, centered on designing algorithms for the efficient coordination of multiple autonomous robots, is a passion that aligns with the complex challenges of this multidisciplinary field. The Finishing Fellowship presents a unique opportunity to further explore and expand my knowledge and skills in this area.

I want to express my sincere appreciation to my advisors, Dr. Jungyun Bae and Dr. Myuoungkuk Park, whose mentorship has been instrumental in guiding me through my research journey at Michigan Tech. Their support has not only influenced my academic pursuits but has also been a source of inspiration.

As I enter the final stages of my research, I am eager to leverage this opportunity to its fullest potential. I am committed to making meaningful contributions to the field of autonomous robotics, and I am grateful for the encouragement and support that have brought me to this significant juncture in my academic career.

Doctoral Finishing Fellowship – Spring 2024 Recipient – Shashank Pathrudkar

Indoor studio headshot of Shashank Pathrudkar

I am honored and grateful to accept the Finishing Fellowship Award and would like to express my sincere appreciation to the graduate school committee for this recognition.
My academic journey at Michigan Tech began in 2018 when I started my MS in the MEEM department . Immediately, I started working with Dr. Ghosh, whose guidance and mentorship have been invaluable throughout my academic career at Michigan Tech. The inherent potential and the learning opportunities presented by my Master’s thesis inspired me to extend my academic pursuit to a Ph.D. I have since been working at the intersection of Machine Learning, Mechanics, and Material Sciences.
The overarching goal of my research is to leverage machine learning models to bypass computationally expensive materials research methods. These models hold the promise of accelerating materials research, opening avenues for groundbreaking discoveries. The application of artificial intelligence in materials science has demonstrated remarkable potential in discovering novel materials that could revolutionize critical sectors such as energy harnessing, aerospace, electronics, and medical devices.
I am sincerely thankful to the graduate school for bestowing upon me the Finishing Fellowship Award. This recognition serves as a motivating force as I enter the final semester of my Ph.D. journey, encouraging me to give my best to the culmination of my research efforts. It is a testament to the support and belief the university has in my work.
I extend my deepest gratitude to Dr. Ghosh for providing me with the opportunity to be a part of his research group. Working on exciting research topics under his mentorship has not only enhanced my technical competence but has also played a pivotal role in my growth as a capable researcher. I am grateful for the trust and encouragement he has provided throughout the journey of both my Master’s and Ph.D. Additionally, I would like to express my thanks to the faculty and staff of the MEEM department for their unwavering support through my Ph.D. and Master’s.
I am excited to conclude my doctoral research and further advance my career.

Doctoral Finishing Fellowship – Spring 2024 Recipient – Siyuan Fang

Indoor headshot of Siyuan Fang

I started my Ph.D. journey in Environmental Engineering at Michigan Tech in Fall 2019 under the supervision of Prof. Yun Hang Hu. My research is focused on heterogenous catalysis, carbon materials, and waste biomass valorization. Under the guidance of my advisor Prof. Hu, I developed a series of thermo-photo synergetic catalytic processes for hydrogen production, conversion of greenhouse gases (carbon dioxide and methane), and degradation of aqueous pollutants (antibiotics), and deeply investigated the underlying mechanisms of these processes. In addition, I explored the synthesis, properties, and applications of cutting-edge carbon nanomaterials (atomic carbon chain and carbon ring) and advanced the scientific understanding of their molecular behaviors. Furthermore, I exploited the approaches to converting waste biomass (particularly dead leaves) into high-value multifunctional materials and applied these materials to solve the critical issues in the realms of energy and environment. I sincerely wish that my research could provide new answers towards sustainable development for creating a greener future.

I would like to express my sincere gratitude to the Graduate Dean Awards Advisory Panel for awarding me the Doctoral Finishing Fellowship that affords me the precious opportunity to dedicate my full attention for my dissertation and defense in my final semester. My special appreciation goes to my advisor, Prof. Yun Hang Hu, whose continuous guidance, support, and encouragement have shaped me into not only an independent researcher but also a positive and ambitious individual. I extend my gratitude to my esteemed committee members, Prof. Loredana Valenzano-Slough, Prof. Ranjit Pati, and Prof. Stephen Hackney, as well as my labmates, family, and friends for their unwavering help and support throughout my doctoral journey.

Doctoral Finishing Fellowship – Spring 2024 Recipient – Utkarsh Shailesh Chaudhari

With a Bachelor’s degree in Chemical Engineering from India and my commitment to never stop learning, the journey of my Master’s degree in Chemical Engineering began in August 2017 at Michigan Technological University (MTU). My passion and eagerness to learn new things led me to work voluntarily on multiple sustainability-related research projects during my Master’s degree, which also helped me in earning a Graduate Certificate in Sustainability in 2019. I soon realized that there are still a lot of things to explore and learn more about while contributing my efforts to ensure a sustainable world. With this idea in mind, the journey of my PhD in Chemical Engineering started in the Summer of 2019 in Dr. David Shonnard’s research group.

As a part of my research, we developed a systems analysis framework to identify the major plastic supply chain processes starting with production of plastics to the end-of-life management of waste plastics in the U.S. Furthermore, it expands on evaluating and optimizing the supply chain processes to minimize the environmental impacts such as greenhouse gas emissions and energy consumption of the entire system. My research also identified different types of commercially existing and newly emerging advanced or chemical recycling technologies for waste plastics and estimated their environmental and economic feasibility to compare against fossil-based traditional technologies that produce plastics. Additionally, our research also addressed the socio-economic impacts such as employment, revenues, and annual wage generation across the entire plastic supply chains due to increased recovery and recycling of plastics. I am incredibly grateful to work with various collaborators from national laboratories, industry partners, and different universities.

I would like to thank the Graduate Dean Awards Advisory Panel as well as the Dean for their kind recommendation to approve my Finishing Fellowship application for the Spring 2024 semester. This fellowship would allow me to dedicate my time and efforts to prepare better and achieve my final PhD research goals. I would also like to thank my advisor Dr. David Shonnard for his continuous support and guidance throughout my PhD journey. His timely advice has not only helped me to develop critical research skills but has also contributed significantly to my personal and professional growth. I also extend my gratitude to all the faculty and staff in the department of Chemical Engineering for their teachings and assistance. Additionally, I would like to thank my family members for their never-ending support, motivation, love, and blessings. Finally, I am extremely excited about the next steps in my professional career to help build a more sustainable, circular (waste-free), and safer world!

“Passion. Hard work. Consistency. Struggle. Patience. Sky is the limit.”- Self.

Key research areas: Systems analysis, Plastics supply chain, Recycling, Life Cycle Assessment, Techno-economic Analysis, Sustainability, Circular Economy

Doctoral Finishing Fellowship – Fall 2023 Recipient – Benjamin Barrios Cerda

First, I would like to extend my gratitude to the Graduate Dean Awards Advisory Panel for recommending me for this prestigious award. I also want to acknowledge the department of Civil, Environmental, and Geospatial Engineering for its support during my PhD studies. Most importantly, I thank my advisor Dr. Daisuke Minakata, who has guided me throughout my journey and equipped me with critical thinking skills. Without his unwavering commitment, understanding, and guidance, I would not have achieved the level of proficiency as a PhD student that I possess today.

I have been passionate about chemistry ever since I was in high school. Chemistry teaches you how matter transforms, and because matter is everything we are surrounded by, chemistry essentially helps you to understand the world. Many of the big problems our world faces can be tackled in some way from a chemical perspective. Energy, pollution, water scarcity, health, are some of the global issues that are actively being addressed with chemistry.

During my PhD, I have translated my chemistry background to the environmental engineering field by understanding how pollutants are transformed in natural and engineered water systems, such as lakes, rivers, or water treatment plants. My philosophy is that the molecular details of those chemical reactions have a profound influence on the rate of degradation and products distribution. This led me to publish papers where I show that we can use results from molecular simulations to explain phenomena at the bulk scale such as how fast reactions take place. Understanding these details will enable engineers to optimize operational parameters on the removal of contaminants, and will inform environmental policy makers about the fate of toxic compounds once released to bodies of water.

Doctoral Finishing Fellowship – Fall 2023 Recipient – Hrishikesh Gosavi

Since I began learning the basics of science, the effects of vibrations on environments has always fascinated me. As Nikola Tesla said, “If you want to find the secrets of the universe, think in terms of energy, frequency and vibration.” It was with this aim that I started my Ph.D journey in Fall 2020.

My research has been in regards with “Metastructures”. These are unique structures which absorb vibrations in a system in particular frequency range, often called as ”bandgap”. It is because of this bandgap phenomenon that metastructures are widely used to mitigate vibration effects. Owing to large number of applications, it becomes important to estimate bandgaps in a metastructure to predict the frequency range in which the vibrations will be absorbed so that metastructures can be designed for various applications.

Through my research, I have aimed to developed new methods to estimate these bandgaps. The current methods available in the literature require a physics-based model of the metastructure (analytical model, finite/spectral element model) in order to estimate bandgaps. However, for various anisotropic materials, the material properties are difficult to quantify accurately which makes the physics-based model inaccurate. My research aims to overcome these limitations by developing methods which estimate bandgaps using purely experimental data. We have used the experimental data to study how a vibration wave is propagating through the metastructure (dispersion curve) and estimated bandgaps. Various other techniques such as substructuring, data-driven modeling algorithms were utilized. The developed techniques considerably reduced the design efforts required and made the entire design process much easier.

The funding provided by this fellowship will truly be helpful for me in putting all my energies in finishing my thesis in time and complete my Ph.D.!
I am grateful to the Graduate School for granting me this fellowship.
My advisor, Dr. Sriram Malladi has been more than helpful in guiding me through various ups and downs throughout my Ph.D journey. I am truly thankful for the relentless support he and his family has given me. Last but certainly not the least, I am thankful to my family i.e. my wife and my parents for their support in every aspect of my journey!

Doctoral Finishing Fellowship – Fall 2023 Recipient – Mehnaz Tabassum

Ever since my early days as an undergraduate student, I have been captivated by the potential of technology to revolutionize our daily lives. Michigan Technological University has provided an enriching environment for my research endeavors. The collaborative spirit among faculty members and the vibrant research community have fostered an environment for innovative ideas and cross-disciplinary collaborations. Engaging in stimulating discussions with brilliant minds and participating in cutting-edge projects have amplified my intellectual growth and fortified my passion for pushing the boundaries of knowledge in vehicular networking.

I am thrilled to share my remarkable journey as a doctoral candidate at Michigan Technological University. I started my PhD in Fall 2018 in the Electrical and Computer Engineering department. Throughout my doctoral journey, I have dedicated myself to unraveling the complexities of vehicular networking, exploring its intricacies one discovery at a time. By delving into areas such as intelligent transportation systems, vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V) communication, and infrastructure-to-vehicle (I2V) interactions, I aim to contribute to the seamless integration of vehicles into our evolving smart cities.

I am immensely grateful for the support of my advisor, Dr. Aurenice Oliveira, whose guidance, expertise, and unwavering encouragement have been instrumental in shaping my research trajectory.

To all aspiring researchers and technologists, I urge you to embrace your passions and fearlessly pursue your dreams.

Doctoral Finishing Fellowship – Fall 2023 Recipient – Ponkrshnan Thiagarajan

Growing up in a township full of scientists and engineers, I have always been curious about how things work. This led me to pursue a bachelor’s in engineering from Nehru Institute of Engineering and Technology affiliated with Anna University, Chennai. I then pursued a master’s from the esteemed Indian Institute of Technology, Madras where I delved into diverse research projects that captivated my interest. Fueled by this newfound interest, I started my journey as a Ph.D. student eager to tackle intriguing and fundamental challenges within the field of engineering.

I started working on my Ph.D. in the Fall of 2019 at the Computational Mechanics and Machine Learning Lab led by Dr. Susanta Ghosh at Michigan Tech. The focus of my research is on understanding the uncertainties associated with the predictions of computational and machine-learning models. Any model, computational or data-driven, is a representation of a physical phenomenon. We develop such models to understand the world around us better. However, predictions of such models are not always reliable due to the uncertainties associated with them. These uncertainties could arise for various reasons such as natural variability in the systems we study, assumptions in developing these models, numerical approximations, lack of data, etc. In order to use these models in real-life scenarios, quantifying these uncertainties is crucial. My research involves developing novel techniques to quantify the uncertainties, use these uncertainties to improve the model’s performance, and explain the reasoning behind the uncertainties. In my first project, we developed a Bayesian neural network-based machine-learning model that can reliably classify breast histopathology images into benign and malignant images. In addition, the model can quantify uncertainties associated with the predictions. We further developed techniques to explain the uncertainties and use them to further improve the model’s performance. In my second project, we developed novel loss functions for Bayesian neural networks and showed their advantages over the state-of-the-art in image classification problems. I am currently working on quantifying uncertainties in computational models that are used to characterize material behavior and extending the first two projects for several other applications.

I would like to thank my advisor Dr. Susanta Ghosh for giving me the opportunity to carry out this exciting research as well as for his immense help and guidance throughout the process. I thank the Graduate Dean Awards Advisory Panel and the dean for recommending me for this award. It is an honor. I thank the graduate school and the Department of Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics for their constant support.

Doctoral Finishing Fellowship – Fall 2023 Recipient – Hanrui Su

In the fall of 2019, I embarked on my Ph.D. program in Environmental Engineering at MTU, working under the guidance of Dr. Yun Hang Hu. My research focus revolves around environmental pollution control technology, functional materials, and energy conversion systems. Throughout my doctoral journey, I have dedicated my efforts to developing an ultrafast alternative to the sluggish oxide ion transfers observed in conventional solid oxide fuel cells.
Our research endeavors led us to the discovery of a new type of fuel cell, known as a carbonate-superstructured solid fuel cell, which exhibits enhanced efficiency and performance by utilizing hydrocarbon fuel directly. This technology offers numerous advantages, including fuel flexibility, improved durability, and increased energy conversion efficiency at relatively lower operating temperatures. Presently, I am actively engaged in improving the fuel cell performance and exploring the underlying mechanisms. My goal is to contribute to the advancement of sustainable technologies that can shape a greener future and generate a positive impact on society.
I would like to express my sincere gratitude to the Graduate Dean Awards Advisory Panel for awarding me the finishing fellowship. This award will afford me the invaluable opportunity to dedicate my full attention to completing my dissertation and preparing for my defense. I am sincerely appreciating my advisor, Dr. Yun Hang Hu, whose invaluable guidance, conceptual insights, and technical expertise have been instrumental in shaping me into an independent researcher. I also extend my gratitude to my committee members, Dr. Miguel Levy, Dr. John Jaszczak, and Dr. Kazuya Tajiri, as well as my lab members, family, and friends, whose unwavering assistance and support have been integral to my success throughout my doctoral journey.