The unique world of Engineering Mechanics
February 15, 2021
I started working with Postdoc Jonathan Hoff in Fall 2020 after seeing an ad in the MechSE email announcements and shooting him an email with my resume. I immediately became interested in the project: Jon was aiming to optimize the flight mechanics for his actuated robotic bat "B2" and asked me to design a new bio-inspired membrane that was similar to real bats. I was extremely excited to apply my knowledge of biomechanics to create this new membrane, especially since biomechanics is a relatively unexplored field I plan to study in graduate school. What I love about this project is gathering related literature and piecing together a design that works, almost like piecing together a puzzle piece. With the new membrane that we designed, we are hoping to improve flight dynamics and hopefully understand more about bio-inspired fabrication for robotics.
My advisor Stephanie Ott-Monsivais has made my experience as a Grainger Engineering especially meaningful. I remember my first time meeting Stephanie: I came into her office as a freshman asking her about switching into Engineering Mechanics (EM) from Mechanical Engineering (ME) -- a switch unheard of since EM is a major that most people don't even know exists. I remember how thrilled she was, excited that another woman in engineering was joining the community that EM brings (especially since she graduated from UIUC as an EM!). Stephanie is hands-down the best advisor and I always felt comfortable talking to her, whether it was about classes, professional aspirations, or just sharing my study abroad experience with her. Stephanie has every one of her students' best interests and I'm extremely grateful to have had her as an advisor throughout my college experience.