Inaugural AJC Merit Research Scholars

Several engineering students and science students mentored by COE faculty are recipients of the inaugural AJC Merit Research Scholars. These students were selected from over 450 applicants for these highly competitive opportunities. The AJC Merit Research Scholar Award provides exceptional students with the opportunity to pursue STEM research co-ops in the laboratories of Northeastern University faculty at wages comparable to what these accomplished students might earn in industry. In addition to funding to follow their research co-op, the AJC Merit Research Scholars will receive extensive advising and mentoring designed to introduce them to the possibilities of the research Ph.D. and prepare them for advanced study and research at the graduate level.

Ruobing BaiBio-Inspired Adhesives AJC Merit Research Scholar Co-op

Scholar: Abigail Bemis COE’24, Mechanical Engineering
Mentor: Ruobing Bai, COE, Mechanical Engineering

Abigail Bemis will work with Professor Ruobing Bai on the 3D printing of novel bio-inspired materials for her spring co-op. As part of the Bai Lab, Abigail will engage in experimental research of 3D printing techniques and new applications of several novel switchable adhesives. The development of these materials is expected to fill a massive gap between existing engineering systems and their biological inspirations: many animals (geckos, insects, etc.) are capable of tough and switchable adherence to various surfaces. Abigail comes to her co-op having completed research in the Shefelbine Lab, where she works on preventing bone mineral density loss in wheelchair users. For her first co-op, Abigail also interned for Thermo Fisher Scientific, where she helped to create better voice recognition technologies. In addition, as a member of Disability Advocacy, Abigail has worked at the national level with peers to identify problems unique to Gen Z and worked with various entities on campus to improve accessibility.

Saiph SavageIntelligent Tools Design AJC Merit Research Scholar Co-op

Scholar: Maya De Los Santos COE’25, Electrical, and Computer Engineering
Mentor:  Saiph Savage, Khoury, Computer Science

Maya De Los Santos will return to the Northeastern Civic A.I. Lab to research and design A.I. tools to empower women of color in their professional lives. Maya’s project focuses on designing intelligent tools that will help women of color (specifically black and Latina women) develop their digital skills and access better jobs online. An accomplished electrical and computer engineering student. An Uplift Scholar in the College of Engineering, Maya completed research as a software engineer at Phillips, a leader in diagnostic imaging, image-guided therapy, patient monitoring, and home care. Most recently, Maya worked with Carnegie Mellon University to investigate TikTok users’ awareness of the platform’s privacy policy and whether they believed the benefits they receive outweigh the terms they must consent to before using the app. She served as a Summer Teaching Assistant for AI4ALL at Princeton University and is currently the President of the Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers. She was also a 2020 NCWIT Aspirations in Computing National Award Winner and Girl Scout Gold Award.

Organic Electronics AJC Merit Research Scholars Co-Op

Scholar: Jennifer Field COS’24, Mathematics and Physics
Mentor: Canek Fuentes, COE, Organic Electronic

Jennifer Field will join the Fuentes lab this Spring as part of her career aspirations of building medical devices in the future. in the Fuentes Lab, Jennifer will work at improving the sensing and user feedback capabilities of walking canes used by people with visual impairments. In preparation for this endeavor, Jennifer was an Apprentice Engineer for Photo Diagnostic Systems Inc. last spring. She participated in mechanical and software simulation tasks and designed, developed, prototyped, and tested imaging systems, components, and products. She is a member of the N.U. Honors program and a recipient of the Northeastern Honors Scholarship. Jennifer recently participated in The Boston Foundation’s Virtual Conversation About Building a Stronger and More Equitable Boston. Previously was an events coordinator for Girl Scouts of America and a Volleyball Coach with the New York Union Sports Women’s Association.

Operations Research AJC Merit Research Scholars Co-op

Scholar: Molly Hodsden COE’25, Industrial Engineering
Mentor: Kayse Lee Maass, COE, Operations Research

As an aspiring industrial engineer, Molly Hodsden will join the Operations Research and Social Justice (ORSJ) Lab of mentor Professor Kayse Lee Maass. While Molly will have the opportunity to work on various projects, the primary project she will be contributing to focuses on developing models to disrupt and dismantle human trafficking networks effectively. Molly comes to the position having already worked several jobs, ranging from a sandwich artist to a substitute teacher to a facilities assistant. As a result, she has experience with a wide swath of American communities. At Northeastern, she earned top marks in her industrial engineering major. She has also already worked on projects like Thera Glove, designing a prototype physical therapy glove to enhance finger dexterity for children with cerebral palsy.

Computational Biology AJC Merit Research Scholar Co-Op

Scholar: Kaitlyn Ramesh COE/COS’25, Bioengineering and Biochemistry
Mentor: Mingyang Lu, COE, Bioengineering

Kaitlyn Ramesh will return to the Lu Lab for the AJC Merit Research Scholars Co-Op working in computational biology, particularly scRNA-seq analysis and pseudotime. Kaitlyn will develop and apply computational modeling methods to this study of the operating mechanisms of gene regulatory networks driving cellular state transitions. This project aims to develop an algorithm to determine the kinetic parameters underlying gene expression from time-series single-cell gene expression data. Kaitlyn is part of a team contributing to a systems-level understanding of biological processes determining cellular state transitions. Kaitlyn has a wealth of experience. She spent the summer at the Prigozhin Lab under the Harvard Systems Biology REU Program. Aside from her lab work, Kaitlyn serves as an undergraduate teaching assistant, is a PEAK Ascent recipient, is the Assistant Director of Events for the Women’s Research Engagement Network and is a member of the Sigma Xi Scientific Research Honor Society.

Microfluids/Chem Engineering AJC Merit Research Scholar Coop

Scholar: Charles Wallace COE’24, Chemical Engineering
Mentor: Sara Hashmi, COE, Microfluidics and Chemical Engineering

Charles Wallace believes being different is an asset to any group. With the AJC Merit Research Scholars Co-Op, he looks forward to bringing his unique perspective to the Hashmi Complex Fluids Lab. Charles will work on refining a tensiometer/elastometer for high throughput, in-line measurements of droplet surface tension, and particle elasticity in a microfluidic device. These measurements can be used to screen for droplet or particle stability in microfluidic generation techniques, thereby seeking to improve a variety of microfluidic platforms, including those used in gene sequencing and drug discovery. Last year, Charles did his first Co-op at Entegris. This company provides products and systems for filtration and purification to transport critical materials related to semiconductor devices safely. When not in the lab, Charles will continue his advocacy work as Treasurer of Diversability: The Disability Alliance and Behind the SMILE (Suicide and Mental Illness Education). Charles’s commitment to helping others is as vital as his belief in advancing research and development in Chemical Engineering.

Source: Undergraduate Research and Fellowships

Related Departments:Bioengineering, Chemical Engineering, Electrical & Computer Engineering, Mechanical & Industrial Engineering