Professional Experience

Education

Doctor of Philosophy, Bioengineering

Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta GA

Master of Science, Mechanical Engineering

Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta GA

  • Graduated: Dec 2020

  • Focus in Mechatronics

Bachelor of Science, Mechanical Engineering

Clarkson University, Potsdam NY

  • Graduated: May 2016

  • GPA: 3.96/4.00

  • Minor in Mathematics

Overlooking the GT campus.

Research and Employment Experience

REAR Lab

I started at Rehabilitation Engineering and Applied Research (REAR) Laboratory in January 2017 for research during my doctoral studies at Georgia Institute of Technology. I received my MS and PhD in December 2020 and continued my research as a post-doctoral research fellow starting January 2021.

Post-Doctoral Research Fellow

Rehabilitation Engineering and Applied Research (REAR) Lab

Georgia Institute of Technology


01/2021 – Present


  • Used robotic Anatomical Model Propulsion System (AMPS) to measure energetic costs of propelling manual wheelchairs (MWCs) in realistic over-ground environments

  • Developed ‘intermittent velocity’ control for the wheelchair tester

  • Conducted several studies to measure the tradeoffs arising from:

    1. Energy-dissipating components [J1]

    2. Frame type (folding and rigid) before and after simulated-use testing

    3. Wheelchair frame mass [J2, C3, C4]

    4. Wheelchair component (wheel and tire) selection for a lightweight wheelchair frame [J3, C1]

  • Supported by Field-Initiated Projects grant through NIDILRR and the U.S. Administration for Community Living, Department of Health and Human Services, Washington, D.C. 20201.


Graduate Research Assistant

Rehabilitation Engineering and Applied Research (REAR) Lab

Georgia Institute of Technology


01/2017 – 12/2020


  • Developed novel hardware-software integration to generate 'intermittent torque’ propulsion

  • Findings serve to inform MWC users, clinicians, and manufacturers about design decisions that directly impact energy loss of the system [J4]

  • Generated mathematical models for energetic costs of propulsion in MWC motion [J5, C2]

  • Collected data of adipose tissue compliance from human subjects to validate hand-held tissue tester, presented work at RESNA 2018 conference in Washington, D.C. [C5]

  • Segmented MRI scans of MWC user buttock tissue to investigate tissue deformation

Members of the REAR Lab at a group event.

REAR Lab members and collaborators at an event.

Clarkson University

My undergraduate education was at Clarkson University in Potsdam, NY where I was part of the mechanical engineering department and the Honors Program. During my 4 years here, I held several desk jobs, one undergraduate research position, and an international research experience.

Undergraduate Researcher

Biomechanics Laboratory

Clarkson University


08/2014 – 05/2016


  • Studied under Dr. Kuxhaus and Dr. Yuya in the inter-disciplinary Biomechanics Lab

  • Investigated nanoscale spatial variations in material properties of trabecular bone

  • Trained to use wet lab facilities and procedures to handle and prepare cervine femur samples

Cervine femur sample encased in epoxy resin.

Internships

During my undergraduate education, I spent my summers conducting research and interning at companies around New York State.

International Researcher

Chang-An Wang Research Lab

Tsinghua University, Beijing


05/2015 – 08/2015


  • Trained and certified to use on-site facilities including calcination furnace, SEM, TEM, X-ray diffraction, X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy, and cyclic voltammetry

  • Tested electrochemical behaviors of various composite nanoscale materials and geometries

  • Published in Journal of Materials Science: Materials in Electronics [J5]

Mechanical Engineering Intern

Sensor Research and Development Lab

Esterline Tech. Corp.


05/2014 – 08/2014


  • Utilized CAD to design speed and temperature sensors for industrial engines

  • Tested products in wind tunnel, water bath, and speed rig to meet customer specifications


Process Engineering Intern

Plant Engineering Laboratory

Norwich Pharmaceuticals


05/2013 – 08/2013


  • Utilized Autodesk AutoCAD to design layouts of proposed production lines in building

  • Studied ladder logic to troubleshoot the plant industrial controller and add new equipment

  • Created and executed validation protocols on controlled substance handlers and specialized pharmaceutical tools

Teaching Experience

Graduate Teaching Assistant

ME 3057 - Experimental Methods Laboratory

Georgia Institute of Technology


08/2020 – 12/2020


  • Recitation and lab instructor under Dr. Jeff Donnell and course instructor Peter Griffiths

  • Supervised two lab sections (16-20 students each) through series of experiments,
    covering a broad range of engineering concepts and fundamental mechanical design
    decisions including sensor uncertainty, acoustics, strengths of materials, and vibrations

  • Facilitated student-led, group-based experimental design processes in acoustics and
    materials testing

  • Provided feedback and weekly evaluations of student performance in the course


Graduate Teaching Assistant

ME 4182 / ID 4081 - Capstone Design

Georgia Institute of Technology


08/2019 – 12/2019


  • Lab instructor and multi-group mentor under Dr. Stephen Sprigle and Dr. Wayne Li

  • Mentored two interdisciplinary groups of mechanical engineering and industrial design students

  • Fabricated roller-crusher to process Vernonia amygdalina, a nutritious bitter leaf from West Africa

  • Taught SolidWorks modeling and simulation (thermal, static, dynamic)

Honors and Achievements

(2022) 3rd Place Poster Presentation, RehabWeek 2022 Conference in Rotterdam, The Netherlands


(2021) idea 2 IMPACT BootCamp Participant, IMPACT Center at University of Pittsburgh


(2021) Georgia Clinical & Translational Science Alliance (CTSA) Translational Education and Mentoring in Science (TEAMS) Fellow


(2020) Highest-Rated Review, NIDILRR FIP Grant Submission


(2020) Student Scientific Paper Competition Runner-Up, RESNA 2020


(2020– 2021) Georgia Institute of Technology President’s Undergraduate Research Award Reviewer


(2020) Journal Manuscript Reviewer, Assistive Technology


(2020) Journal Manuscript Reviewer, Critical Reviews in Biomedical Engineering


(2019) Journal Manuscript Reviewer, Disability and Rehabilitation: Assistive Technology


(2016 – 2019) Georgia Institute of Technology President's (Graduate) Fellowship


(2017 – 2021) National Instruments Certified LabVIEW Associate Developer (CLAD)


(2016) National Science Foundation's Graduate Research Fellowship (Hon. Mention)


(2012 – 2016) Clarkson University Honors Program and Presidential Scholar

Mentorship Experience

Alicia Suarez, Mechanical Engineering

REAR Lab Undergraduate Student, Georgia Tech


05/2022 - 05/2023


  • Inherited hair management project for individuals with quadriplegia

  • Developed multi-part casting process to coat 'slap bracelet' products in silicone rubber with textured grips

  • Prototyped several spring-hinged clasps for one-handed operation

  • Joined the wheelchair-propelling robot project for the wheelchair frame material assessment study

  • Instrumented and tested 5 wheelchairs (3 aluminum, 1 carbon fiber, 1 titanium) for propulsion cost and vibration attenuation


Junzhe Yan, Industrial Design

REAR Lab Undergraduate Student, Georgia Tech


08/2022 - 12/2022


  • Worked with Lekotek of Georgia's projects

  • Adapted several refurbished, repaired, or repurposed toys to better accommodate children with disabilities

  • Designed the enclosure and decorations for an LED pinwheel toy


Iain Mackeith, Mechanical Engineering

REAR Lab Undergraduate Student, Georgia Tech


08/2022 - 11/2022


  • Designed and prototyped a 3-part support system to improve stability of persons with disabilities in airline seats

  • Modeled and fabricated multiple seat cushions to replace existing airline seat cushions, with a pelvic recession

  • Created a mechanism to deploy and retract an adjustable-height footrest support

  • Developed a multi-point body harness supporting the user's trunk stability with straps connecting to the arm rests


Tuelo Rapotsanyane, Mechanical Engineering

REAR Lab Undergraduate Student, Georgia Tech


05/2022 – 08/2022


  • Inherited interdisciplinary capstone design team project for "Independent In-Bed Mobility" bed frame

  • Improved reliability of system by reducing number of moving parts and articulated joints

  • Quickened time-to-turn by increasing roller radii and designing a pressure-controlled longitudinally-split mattress topper

  • Developed two separate mechanism to grip and turn user (body harness and 'swaddling sheet' approaches)


Luke Towery, Mechanical Engineering

REAR Lab Undergraduate Student, Georgia Tech


05/2022 – 08/2022


  • Developed wheelchair tire scrubber based on stakeholder meetings and prior work from interdisciplinary capstone design team

  • Repurposed rotary drill system and handheld vacuum cleaner to scrub the tire tread and collect debris

  • Designed and fabricated enclosures to minimize the spread of dust and debris during use

  • Wrote and published the "Do-It-Yourself" guide to make the tire scrubber on Instructables (link)


Maria Paulina Morales Gonzales, Mechanical Engineering

REAR Lab Undergraduate Student, Georgia Tech


05/2022 – 08/2022


  • Augmented the vibration measurement capabilities of the AMPS

  • Instrumented the rigid aluminum 'Ethos' wheelchair frame from Ki Mobility with built-in elastomeric suspension towers

  • Collected data from multiple surfaces, speeds and occupant masses for 5 unique Ethos elastomer configurations


Tara Fahy, Mechanical Engineering

REAR Lab Undergraduate Student, Georgia Tech


01/2022 – 05/2022


  • Designed hair management solutions for persons with quadriplegia and other upper extremity impairments

  • Worked closely with clinicians, therapists, and clients of the Seating and Mobility Clinic at the Shepherd Center

  • Prototyped 'slap bracelet' and 'banana clip' approaches to gather and secure long hair with limited arm and hand strength


Iain Mackeith, Mechanical Engineering

REAR Lab Undergraduate Student, Georgia Tech


01/2022 – 05/2022


  • Designed medication dispenser for individuals with low strength, dexterity, and tremors in their upper extremities

  • Rapidly iterated through mechanisms and structures to accommodate various pill and tablet sizes and shapes

  • Generated a "Do-It-Yourself" version of the device and published a guide on Instructables (link)

  • Also generated a mass-producible version using injection molded parts and off-the-shelf stock material


Yuanning Liu, Mechanical Engineering

REAR Lab Undergraduate Student, Georgia Tech


01/2021 – 05/2022


  • Upgraded structural components to permit greater degrees of freedom with better ‘fit’ for various wheelchair configurations

  • Designed ‘Straight’ and ‘Slalom’ maneuvers with intermittent velocity control

  • Conducted experimental study with 7 wheels, 4 surfaces, and 2 maneuvers to assess vibration attenuation

  • Co-authored journal article on manual wheelchair vibration attenuation, published in IEEE Transactions on Neural Systems and Rehabilitation Engineering (link)


Tanner Hanes, Mechanical Engineering

REAR Lab Undergraduate Student, Georgia Tech


05/2019 – 05/2021


  • Updated CAD of tissue compliance tester to integrate physical push-button switches and quick-connect cables

  • Correlated data from materials-testing load frame and manual calibration apparatus

  • Validated repeatability of hand-held tester at multiple testing locations on phantom tissue and preliminary human trials


Hunter Kim, Mechanical Engineering

REAR Lab Undergraduate Student, Georgia Tech


01/2018 – 08/2020


  • Redesigned anthropometric layout of the AMPS to accommodate more realistic loading scenarios

  • Mapped the electronics of the AMPS and generated wiring diagrams

  • Characterized rolling resistances of casters and drive wheels using a coast-down protocol

  • Measured resistive scrub torque of casters and drive wheels with a modified materials-testing load frame

  • Produced literature review of SMARTWheel and other instrumented wheelchair push-rim torque data

  • Began research study investigating impact of mass and weight distribution on wheelchair propulsion cost [C4]


Christopher Murad, Aeronautical Engineering

REAR Lab Undergraduate Student, Georgia Tech


08/2019 – 12/2019


  • Utilized MATLAB and Simulink to model complex hybrid current- and velocity-feedback motor controller

  • Debugged custom script in Roboteq's proprietary MicroBasic language for use in the onboard AMPS controller


Chima Okechukwu, Computer Science

REAR Lab Undergraduate Student, Georgia Tech


05/2019 – 08/2019


  • Developed MATLAB scripts to identify accelerometer data peaks within target band for coast-down protocol

  • Installed mechanical clutch on the AMPS motors and measured rolling resistance improvements


Muhammad Anmbus Iqbal, Mechanical Engineering

REAR Lab Undergraduate Student, Georgia Tech


01/2019 – 05/2019


  • Investigated applications of capacitive touch sensors for the tissue compliance tester

  • Proposed protocols for hand-held operation and with materials-testing load frame

  • Optimized the size and shape of the CAD model body and probe for rapid fabrication techniques

  • Presented at the Undergraduate Research Symposium, Georgia Tech:
    "Validation of Tissue Compliance Tester: Finding Mechanical Properties to Assess Tissue Health"


Salim Ben Ghorbel, Electrical and Computer Engineering

REAR Lab Undergraduate Student, Georgia Tech


01/2019 – 05/2019


  • Motivated an extensive effort to develop a custom current-feedback motor controller using Roboteq hardware

  • Produced Simulink models to demonstrate feasibility of hybrid current- and velocity-feedback

  • Selected components and implemented hardware to filter out high-frequency noise on feedback channels

  • Learned Roboteq's proprietary MicroBasic scripting language and authored a closed-loop current controller

  • Designed benchtop test for DC motors under current-control to calibrate sensors and validate the device

  • Presented at the Undergraduate Research Symposium, Georgia Tech:
    "Implementing Torque-Controlled Propulsion Mode for Robotic Wheelchair User to Automate Wheelchair Testing"


Lakshmi Lasya Sreeramagiri, Mechanical Engineering

REAR Lab Undergraduate Student, Georgia Tech


08/2018 – 12/2018


  • Developed testing protocol for tissue compliance tester on a manual calibration apparatus

  • Finalized Arduino code to collect real-time force and indentation depth data, with maximal force application identification

  • Characterized the stress-strain curves for silicone "phantom tissue" samples


Lucas Portera, Mechanical Engineering

REAR Lab Undergraduate Student, Georgia Tech


05/2018 – 08/2018


  • Began tissue compliance tester device design with product search to identify key concepts and features

  • Fabricated multiple iterative prototypes with varying complexities to suit the needs of the research

  • Learned to program an Arduino and developed a rudimentary code to collect tissue compliance data


Fatima Jamil, Mechanical Engineering

REAR Lab Undergraduate Student, Georgia Tech


05/2018 – 08/2018


  • Collected rolling resistance data on an array of casters and drive wheels using coast-down protocol

  • Used materials-testing load frame to test resistive scrub torques of multiple drive wheels and casters