Welcome! I am a PhD student in Mechanical Engineering at Georgia Tech, currently working in the David Hu laboratory for biolocomotion.
I study smell. The sense of smell is one of the major human senses yet it is often overlooked. I have always been personally fascinated with the fact that humans and animals can easily recognize many different types of chemical traces in the air and how many different ways animals have evolved to accomplish this task better than the best artificial chemical sensor.
I also have a personal passion for teaching the next generation of students. Forexample, an event I titled “Our Hairy World,” (pictured on right) a local preschool class came in and learned about the many different functions of hair. The students also were able to tour our lab and look at different types of hair under a microscope including the sensing hairs on the moth antennas I study. It is extremely rewarding for me to have the opportunities to inspire children at a young age to pursue STEM education and careers knowing what that spark of interest can do for their futures.
Another avenue I pursue my passion for teaching students is as a member and leader of the Georgia Tech Invention Studio. The Invention Studio is an entirely student run makerspace open to all majors on campus and filled with cutting-edge prototyping equipment such as 3D printers, laser and water jet cutters, and much more. All of the equipment is available for students to use for free to create experimental devices for sponsored research or innovations of their own interest. For example, the wind tunnel and first versions of the antennae mimic I created were both fabricated using the Invention Studio facilities. While the access to specialized tools is invaluable in research, the student run aspect of the studio is what truly makes the Invention Studio unique from other makerspaces across the country and has provided me with incredible opportunities for mentorship and leadership.
Through the Studio I have had the opportunity to teach hundreds of students in one on one instructional sessions and give tours to teach many different groups across the nation and the world about mechanical engineering and fabrication (pictured on right). My research success 3D printing on the nano scale at Oak Ridge also largely had to do with my prior experience 3D printing on the macro scale in the Studio.
My future career aspiration is to stay in academia as a tenure track professor and continue pursuing basic research that I can translate into products that will help the world’s needs. Both my father and undergraduate adviser have gone through the process of creating start-ups from their academic research and I am continuing to increase my network in order to achieve also achieve that kind of success. I also plan to use the leadership experience gleaned from the Invention Studio to start/improve upon a similar makerspace environment at my future university and continue to inspire the next generation of students.