2022 Graduate Student Fellowship Winners


Thursday, July 7, 2022

We are excited to announce that three ME graduate students have won prestigious fellowships in 2022

Gabriela Villalpando Torres has been awarded a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship.  Gabriela is advised by Beth Pruitt.

Heart tissue experiences prestress which is linked to disease states such as hypertension and prestress-induced vasoconstriction. Gabby's project is to learn how this stress affects cardiomyocyte (heart muscle cell) remodeling. Cardiomyocytes are composed of a sarcomeric cytoskeleton of actin-myosin arrays, and a non-contractile cytoskeleton of microtubules, globular actin, and intermediate filaments such as desmin. Finding the prestress load of a single cardiomyocyte will give insight into the support that the non-contractile (non-sarcomeric) cytoskeleton provides at the cellular level as the tissue remodels.

Patrick Babb has been awarded a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship.  Patrick is advised by Yangying Zhu.

Patrick's research interests are water and sustainability. His NSF GRFP fellowship will focus on passive solar thermal desalination, where he will combine nanotechnology, phase change heat and mass transport, and materials science to develop a highly efficient desalination system, and to understand phase change thermal transport from nanostructures.


Nick Tulshibagwale has been awarded a Department of Defense National Defense Science and Engineering Graduate Fellowship.  Nick is advised by Sam Daly.

Nick's research interests lie at the intersection of the experimental mechanics of materials and machine learning. His NDSEG fellowship will focus on the use of machine learning approaches to analyze acoustic emissions in order to characterize the damage state of advanced composites; acoustic emission is a widely used technique for the characterization and structural health monitoring of materials.

Congratulations Gabriela, Patrick, and Nick!

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