Six students currently affiliated with the UCLA Henry Samueli School of Engineering and Applied Science were recently awarded prestigious Graduate Research Fellowships from the National Science Foundation.

The NSF program “recognizes and supports outstanding graduate students in NSF-supported science, technology, engineering, and mathematics disciplines who are pursuing research-based masters and doctoral degrees at accredited U.S .institutions.”

The 2013 NSF Graduate Research Fellows are: Jaideep Dudani, senior, Bioengineering; Michael Haddad, graduate student, Electrical Engineering; Saba Kohannim, graduate student, Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering; Robert Lamm, senior, Bioengineering; Brian McVerry, graduate student, Chemistry and Biochemistry; Dan Wilkinson, graduate student; Materials Science and Engineering. In addition, chemical engineering alumna Maricela Maldonado ’11, currently a graduate student at UC Riverside’s Bourns College of Engineering, also received a fellowship.

Brief profiles of the students and their research can be found below:

Jaideep Dudani, Bioengineering
Undergraduate advisor: Professor Dino Di Carlo
Research focus: Miniaturized systems for high-throughput preparation and analysis of cancer cells.
Future Graduate Institution: Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Biological Engineering
Dudani 2013 2
Michael Haddad, Electrical Engineering
Graduate advisor: Professor Diana Huffaker
Research focus: Growth, device fabrication, and characterizaton of III-V semiconductor nanostructures.
Undergraduate institution and degree: University of Florida, B.S. in Electrical Engineering
 Haddad 2013
Saba Kohannim ’11, Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering
Graduate advisor: Professor Tetsuya Iwasaki
Research focus: Uncover the biological principles underlying fish swimming and develop a systematic method for designing feedback controllers for robotic vehicles that achieve efficient propulsion through natural  oscillations of the coupled body-fluid system.
Undergraduate program and degree: UCLA Henry Samueli School of Engineering and Applied Science, B.S. in mechanical engineering
 Kohannim 2013
Robert Lamm, Bioengineering
Undergraduate Advisor: Professor Daniel T. Kamei
Research focus: The improvement of prostate cancer drug delivery utilizing the active targeting of the A11 Minibody.
Future graduate institution: University of Washington, Bioengineering
 Lam 2013
Brian McVerry, Chemistry and Biochemistry
Graduate co-Advisors: Professor Richard Kaner (Chemistry and Biochemistry, Materials Science and Engineering) and Professor Eric M.V. Hoek (Civil and Environmental Engineering)
Research focus: Development of self-cleaning membranes for large-scale water treatment
Undergraduate Institution: UC Santa Barbara, B.S. in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
 McVerry 2013
Dan Wilkinson, Materials Science and Engineering
Graduate Advisor: Professor Bruce Dunn
Research focus: Materials engineering for stem cell-based regenerative medicine. Specifically, encapsulation of stem cells in novel materials to probe cell adhesion characteristics and their effect on pluripotency and cell fate and development of a functional lung organoid from induced pluripotent stem cells using biodegradable scaffolds.
Undergraduate institution and degree: University of New Mexico, B.S. in Physics and Mathematics
Wilkinson 2013
Maricela Maldonado ’11
UCLA Engineering degree: B.S. in chemical Engineering
Undergraduate advisor: Professor Tatiana Segura
Current graduate institution: Bourns College of Engineering, University of California, Riverside
Graduate Advisor: Professor Jin Nam
Research focus: Using electrospun nanofibrous scaffolds to enhance stem cell differentiation for cartilage regeneration
 Maldonado 2013