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Mengis Wins ASPIRE Award

Mengis Wins ASPIRE Award

Mechanical engineering junior Aaman Mengis recently received the Maryland Technology Enterprise Institute (MTECH) A Scholars Program for Industry-Oriented Research in Engineering (ASPIRE) Outstanding Student Research Award. This award is given to one ASPIRE student per semester. ASPIRE offers students the opportunity to venture beyond the classroom to collaborate with engineering faculty on projects with industry relevance through scholarships. Students perform research during fall or spring semesters, and are required to produce a project report discussing their findings.

Mengis conducts research on mechanobiology in Assistant Professor Ryan Sochol’s Bioinspired Advanced Manufacturing (BAM) Lab, which he joined after his freshman year. His research is aimed using 3-D printing technologies to develop structures to enable the accurate measure of cell migration solely due to substrate stiffness. He and his research partners envision that the ability to measure the forces of cells seeded on the presented stiffness gradients will enable researchers to better predict and control cellular behaviors. This research could have impacts in the fields of tissue engineering, biomaterials and regenerative medicine.

Mengis and Sochol in the BAM Lab.

“During my time in the BAM lab, I have experienced and learned just as much, if not more, than from my time in class,” explained Mengis. “These types of opportunities are plentiful at UMD and accessible to everyone.”

His research with Sochol in the BAM Lab was featured in last year’s issue of METRICS, the Department of Mechanical Engineering annual magazine.

Mengis is also active at Maryland outside of the lab. He helped plan Technica, Maryland’s all-women hackathon last fall. After he graduates next spring, he plans to attend graduate school to study bioengineering with a focus on research in innovative bioinspired technologies.

April 27, 2017


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