In July 2022, the MIT Faculty of Engineering welcomed its first-class of students chosen for the Postdoctoral Fellowship Program for Engineering Excellence. The thought for the fellowship grew from conversations happening inside the faculty’s Range, Fairness and Inclusion (DEI) Committee — established in 2020 — that recognized a have to diversify the pool of postdocs employed inside the faculty. This system seeks to find and develop the subsequent technology of college leaders to assist information the college towards a extra numerous and inclusive tradition.
“We’re excited to supply this new fellowship alternative,” says Anantha Chandrakasan, dean of the Faculty of Engineering. “I sit up for the constructive affect these postdoctoral fellows will carry to their work and analysis whereas additionally serving to the Faculty of Engineering proceed our development as a extra welcoming and numerous neighborhood for all.”
This system affords annual stipends for postdocs to pursue analysis and academic efforts that widen the scope and breadth of the college’s present work, whereas sustaining its dedication to excellence in engineering. It’s partially impressed by MIT’s Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Visiting Students and Professor Program, which goals to carry a larger variety of numerous students to campus.
Engineering is a subject at MIT that has lengthy struggled with supporting students from underrepresented backgrounds. As we speak, solely 8 % of Faculty of Engineering graduate college students establish as an underrepresented minority. Solely 5 % of undergraduates establish as Black or African American and solely 14 % establish as Hispanic or Latinx. Ladies account for about half of the Faculty of Engineering’s undergraduate enrollment however make up only a third of the college’s graduate college students.
Postdoc demographics are equally disconcerting, says Dan Hastings, the Faculty of Engineering’s affiliate dean of DEI and head of the Division of Aeronautics and Astronautics.
“If we seemed on the knowledge from institutional analysis on postdocs within the Faculty of Engineering, the range of that group was horrible. There’s no different method to describe it,” says Hastings. “The sense was, why cannot we have now a program just like the MLK Program that draws a various inhabitants of postdocs?”
The Postdoctoral Fellowship Program for Engineering Excellence goals to construct on the college’s different initiatives, like its DEI committee, the MIT Summer season Analysis Program initiative, and the work of the gender fairness committee. The goal is to particularly diversify the pool of postdoc researchers employed by the college every year. Supporting postdocs is especially vital, says Hastings, as a result of hiring for these positions usually occurs by means of diffuse skilled networks and through private college contacts.
“We hope that by deliberately constructing a supportive neighborhood for our students, we are able to create an area the place postdoctoral students which can be traditionally underrepresented in engineering can thrive,” says Nandi Bynoe, assistant dean, DEI for the Faculty of Engineering.
Apart from supporting postdocs of their analysis, this system gives alternatives for fellows to achieve skilled expertise required to achieve potential careers in three completely different areas: entrepreneurship, engineering management — supported by MIT’s Gordon Management Program — and academia.
The 2022-23 MIT Postdoctoral Fellows for Engineering Excellence are:
Sofia Arevalo is a Faculty of Engineering Distinguished Postdoctoral Fellow within the Division of Civil and Environmental Engineering. Arevalo’s doctoral work centered on nanomechanical evaluation of orthopedic implants to optimize the longevity of complete joint replacements. Her analysis experience is in supplies characterization, nanomechanics, medical polymers, and failure evaluation. Her postdoctoral analysis focuses on studying from nature to optimize efficiency of self-healing supplies for medical purposes. Along with analysis, she has intensive expertise mentoring and instructing graduate- and undergraduate-level engineering programs and was a recipient of the College of California at Berkeley’s Excellent Graduate Scholar Teacher Award in 2021. Arevalo acquired her BS, MS, and PhD in mechanical engineering from UC Berkeley and was a recipient of the Nationwide Science Basis Graduate Analysis Fellowship Program in 2016.
Molly Carton is a Faculty of Engineering Distinguished Postdoctoral Fellow within the Division of Mechanical Engineering. Her analysis focuses on utilizing algorithmic design and computational fabrication to generate architected supplies and mechanisms with new mechanical properties. Carton earned her BA in physics from Princeton College, and her MS in utilized arithmetic and PhD in mechanical engineering from the College of Washington at Seattle.
Steven Ceron is a Faculty of Engineering Distinguished Postdoctoral Fellow within the Division of Electrical Engineering and Laptop Science. His analysis space focuses on leveraging coupled oscillators to allow robotic swarms to exhibit numerous morphologies and features throughout all size scales. Ceron earned his BS in mechanical engineering from the College of Florida and PhD in mechanical engineering from Cornell College.
Matthew Clarke is a Boeing Faculty of Engineering Distinguished Postdoctoral Fellow within the Division of Aeronautics and Astronautics. His analysis focuses on plane design, aerodynamics, and aeroacoustics, with an emphasis on the evaluation and optimization of electrical automobiles for city air mobility. Clarke is an alumnus of the MIT Summer season Analysis Program, earned his BS from Howard College in mechanical engineering, and each his MS and PhD from Stanford College in aeronautics and astronautics.
Suhas Eswarappa Prameela is an aeronautics and astronautics Faculty of Engineering Distinguished Postdoctoral Fellow. His analysis pursuits embody supplies discovery for excessive environments, propulsion supplies for area purposes, machine studying, and informatics. Eswarappa Prameela has a PhD in supplies science and engineering from Johns Hopkins College, an MS in materials science and engineering from Arizona State College, and a BS in mechanical engineering (gold medalist) from RV Faculty of Engineering, India.
Amy Rae Fox is a joint fellow within the MIT Laptop Science and Synthetic Intelligence Laboratory METEOR Postdoctoral Fellowship Program and the Faculty of Engineering Postdoctoral Fellowship Program. She is a Faculty of Engineering Distinguished Postdoctoral Fellow within the Division of Electrical Engineering and Laptop Science. Her analysis focuses on the function of cognition in data visualization, and he or she goals to construct bridges between primary analysis in cognitive psychology and design analysis in human-computer interplay. Fox earned her BS in pc science from College of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, MSEd in tutorial design from Université Pierre-Mendès France, MA in interdisciplinary research from California State College at Chico, and PhD in cognitive science from College of California at San Diego.
Timothy Holder is an IBM Faculty of Engineering Distinguished Postdoctoral Fellow within the Division of Aeronautics and Astronautics. His analysis pursuits embody improvement of wearable, non-contact, and distant psychophysiological sensor programs for the detection of affective states, and for the event of wellness interventions in underserved populations. He additionally investigates cognitive and performative latent variables for human-robot interactions. Holder acquired his BS in chemistry-engineering from Washington and Lee College and his PhD in biomedical engineering from North Carolina State College and the College of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Michael Kitcher is a Faculty of Engineering Distinguished Postdoctoral Fellow within the Division of Supplies Science and Engineering. His analysis examines spin transport and chiral interactions in magnetic supplies with the objective of growing spintronic units that handle far-reaching wants, corresponding to energy-efficient computing. Kitcher earned his BS in supplies science and engineering from MIT earlier than incomes his PhD, additionally in supplies science and engineering, from Carnegie Mellon College.
Ulri Lee is an Electrical Engineering and Laptop Science Faculty of Engineering Distinguished Postdoctoral Fellow. Lee’s analysis focuses on growing microfluidic applied sciences to mannequin the blood-brain barrier and examine hyperlinks between its dysfunction and neuropsychiatric problems. Lee acquired her BS and PhD in chemistry from the College of Washington, the place she was the 2020 SLAS Graduate Analysis Fellow.
Jorge Méndez is an IBM Faculty of Engineering Distinguished Postdoctoral Fellow in Electrical Engineering and Laptop Science. His analysis seeks to create versatile artificially clever programs that accumulate information over a lifetime, with purposes in pc imaginative and prescient, robotics, and pure language. Méndez acquired his BS in electronics engineering from Universidad Simón Bolívar, and his MSE in robotics and his PhD in pc and data science from the College of Pennsylvania.
Kristina Monakhova is a Boeing Faculty of Engineering Distinguished Postdoctoral fellow in Electrical Engineering and Laptop Science. Her analysis pursuits contain combining computational imaging with machine studying to design higher, smaller, and extra succesful cameras and microscopes. Monakhova acquired her BS in electrical engineering from the State College of New York at Buffalo and her PhD in electrical engineering and pc science from the College of California at Berkeley.
George Moore is a Faculty of Engineering Distinguished Postdoctoral Fellow within the Division of Mechanical Engineering. His analysis focuses on person journeys by means of design pondering practices and the environmental impacts of small-scale manufacturing strategies associated to those design pondering practices. Moore earned his BS in mechanical engineering from the College of South Alabama, and his MS and PhD in mechanical engineering from the College of California at Berkeley.
Kimia Nadjahi is a Faculty of Engineering Distinguished Postdoctoral Fellow in Electrical Engineering and Laptop Science. Her analysis pursuits lie in designing machine studying algorithms that provide a superb stability between sensible benefits and theoretical justification, with the long-term objective of facilitating their deployment in real-world purposes. Nadjahi acquired her BS in utilized arithmetic and pc science from Ensimag (France), her MS in pc imaginative and prescient and machine studying from ENS Cachan (France), and her PhD from Telecom Paris (France).
Maria Ramos Gonzalez is a Faculty of Engineering Distinguished Postdoctoral Fellow within the Division of Mechanical Engineering. Her analysis focuses on the design of robotic arms that she plans to translate to higher limb neuroprosthetics. Ramos Gonzalez earned her BS and PhD in mechanical engineering from the College of Nevada at Las Vegas and was chosen because the Nevada System of Larger Schooling Regents’ Scholar.
Matthew Rivera is a Chemical Engineering Faculty of Engineering Distinguished Postdoctoral Fellow. His thesis work centered on natural solvent separations with new composite membranes. At MIT, his work focuses on data-driven supplies discovery to deal with difficult chemical separations issues. Rivera acquired twin BS levels in chemistry and chemical engineering from Mississippi State College, and his PhD in chemical engineering from Georgia Tech.
Joseph Wasswa is a Faculty of Engineering Distinguished Postdoctoral Fellow within the Division of Civil and Environmental Engineering. Utilizing analytical and computational expertise, his present analysis focuses on understanding the transformation and destiny of contaminants within the surroundings. Wasswa earned a BS in agricultural engineering from Makerere College, his MS in civil engineering from San Diego State College, and his PhD in civil engineering from Syracuse College. He additionally obtained a Certificates of Superior Examine in Sustainable Enterprise (CASSE) in 2021 from the Martin J. Whitman Faculty of Administration at Syracuse College.