HomeNewsExploring the boundaries of mechanical engineering

Exploring the boundaries of mechanical engineering

From cutting-edge robotics, design and bioengineering to sustainable energy solutions, ocean engineering, nanotechnology and progressive materials science, MechE students and their advisors are doing incredibly progressive work. The graduate students highlighted here represent a snapshot of the nice work underway within the Department of Mechanical Engineering this spring, showing that the long run of the sector is as limitless because the imagination of its practitioners.

Democratizing design through AI

Lyle rainy weather
Hometown: Champaign, Illinois
Advisor: Assistant Professor Faez Ahmed
Interests: Eating, climbing, skiing, soccer, tennis, cooking

Lyle Regenwetter is happy by the prospect of generative AI to “democratize” design and enable novice designers to tackle complex design problems. His research explores latest training methods to show generative AI models to implicitly follow design constraints and synthesize more powerful designs. Rainy Weather recognizes that aspiring designers often have a deep understanding of user needs, but otherwise may not have the technical training to create solutions. That's why Regenwetter can be developing human-AI collaboration tools that enable AI models to interact and support designers in common CAD software and real-world design problems.

Solve an enormous problem

Loicka Baille
Hometown: L'Escale, France
Advisor: Daniel Zitterbart
Interests: Being outside – diving, caving or climbing. Sailing on the Charles River, taking martial arts classes and playing volleyball

Loïcka Baille's research focuses on the event of distant sensing technologies to review and protect marine life. Her primary project revolves around improving shipboard whale detection technology to forestall ship strikes, with a specific concentrate on protecting North Atlantic right whales. Baille can be involved in an ongoing study of emperor penguins. Her team visits Antarctica yearly to tag penguins and collect data to enhance their understanding of penguin population dynamics and draw conclusions concerning the overall health of the ecosystem.

Water, water in every single place

Carlos Diaz Marin
Hometown: San Jose, Costa Rica
Advisor: Professor Gang Chen | Former advisor: Professor Evelyn Wang
Interests: Hiking, biking and dancing in New England

Carlos Díaz-Marín designs and synthesizes low-cost salt-polymer materials that may absorb large amounts of moisture from the air. His goal is to vary the way in which we get drinking water from the air, even in dry conditions. In addition to producing water, these salt-polymer materials may also be used as thermal batteries that may store and reuse heat. Beyond scientific applications, Díaz-Marín looks forward to continuing to conduct research that may have major social impact and discover and explain latest physical phenomena. As a LatinX person, Díaz-Marín can be committed to helping increase diversity in STEM.

Scalable production of nanostructured materials

Somayajulu Dhulipala
Hometown: Hyderabad, India
Advisor: Assistant Professor Carlos Portela
Interests: space exploration, taekwondo, meditation.

Somayajulu Dhulipala is working on developing lightweight materials with tunable mechanical properties. He is currently working on methods for the scalable production of nanoarchitectural materials and the prediction of their mechanical properties. The ability to fine-tune the mechanical properties of specific materials provides versatility and adaptableness, making these materials suitable for a wide selection of applications across quite a few industries. Although the research proposals are quite diverse, Dhulipala is captivated with making space habitable for humanity – an important step towards a spacefaring civilization.

Ingestible health devices

Jimmy McRae
Hometown: Woburn, Massachusetts
Advisor: Associate Professor Giovani Traverso
Interests: Anything related to basketball: playing, watching, attending games, organizing hometown tournaments

Jimmy McRae desires to dramatically improve diagnostic and therapeutic options through non-invasive health technologies. His research focuses on using materials, mechanics, embedded systems, and microfabrication to develop novel ingestible electronic and mechatronic devices. This ranges from ingestible electrocapsules that regulate hunger-regulating hormones to devices that enable continuous ultra-long-term monitoring and remotely triggered actuations from the stomach. The principles that guide McRae's work in developing devices that work in extreme environments could be applied far beyond the gastrointestinal tract, with applications for space, the ocean, and more.

Freestyle BMX meets machine learning

Eva Nates
Hometown: Narberth, Pennsylvania
Advisor: Professor Peko Hosoi
Interests: Rowing, running, cycling, mountain climbing, baking

Eva Nates is working with the Australian cycling team to develop a tool to categorise Bicycle Motocross Freestyle (BMX FS) tricks. It uses a singular value decomposition method to perform principal component evaluation of the time-dependent point tracking data of an athlete and his bike during a run and classify each trick. The 2024 Olympic team hopes to include this tool into their training routine, and Nates worked with the team at their facilities on Australia's Gold Coast during MIT's Independent Activities Period in January.

Reinforcement of astronauts with wearable limbs

Erik Ballesteros
Hometown: Spring, Texas
Advisor: Professor Harry Asada
Interests: Cosplay, Star Wars, Lego bricks

Erik Ballesteros' research goals to support astronauts performing planetary spacewalks through using supernumerary robotic limbs (SuperLimbs). His work is tailored to design and control manifestation to help astronauts with fall recovery, quadruped locomotion as a human leader/robot, and coordinated manipulation between the SuperLimbs and the astronaut to perform tasks equivalent to excavation and sample handling.

MechE connects


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Must Read