Graduate STEM Fellow Profile
Ingenuity Incubators Prepare Technical High School Students for College Engineering
College/University: University of Connecticut
Research Advisor: Kazem Kazerounian
Degree Sought: Ph.D., Mechanical Engineering
Department: Mechanical Engineering
Research Focus: Smart Systems for Efficient Energy Use
Teaching Partner(s): Steve Orie, Bonnie Brush
Description of Research
As a Master’s student, my research focused on machine design and mechatronics. Sponsored by industry, I worked to develop a mechanical system that simulated certain tactile features of the human hand. Currently, my interests are focused on developing intelligent systems to increase the efficiency of the ways in which we use energy. Examples would include using microsystems to scavenge waste energy, or, at the opposite end of the spectrum, integrating smart systems into the design of buildings to monitor energy usage.
Example of how my research is integrated into my GK-12 experience
I draw heavily on my practical design and problem solving experience when I present concepts or conduct activities in the classroom. As we are involved in a long-term design project (building a small wind turbine), it’s very helpful to be able to explain not only the physical principles that allow the turbine’s components to function, but also the things one must consider when designing them, individually and as a whole. Thanks to my research experience, I am able to present the design process as a series of small problems, and then guide the students through the problem-solving process towards a design solution.