Dr. Astrid Layton
Assistant Professor in Mechanical Engineering
Ph.D. student Luis Angel Rodriguez joined the BiSSL group Fall 2020 as an MS candidate. As a mechanical engineering undergraduate at A&M, he participated in competitions such as G.M. Autodrive Challenge, SPE Drillbotics, & NASA Moon-to-Mars Challenge. He received the Billie G. Earnhart Memorial Scholarship for excellent academic progress and leadership during his undergrad and became a certified Aggie research scholar in 2018.
Ph.D. mechanical engineering student Emily Payne joined the BiSSL lab group in Spring 2022 as an undergraduate researcher in Architectural Engineering. She is a member in the Society of Women Engineers and actively supports engaging with the next generation of female engineers in high schools. Emily has worked on developing a more sustainable balance between building energy usage and resilient technology. Her current research is looking at improving how buildings impact the health of people and the community.
Ph.D. mechanical engineering student Hadear joined our group in Fall 2021 from Texas A&M Qatar Campus after graduating with a BS in mechanical engineering in May. Hadear was awarded the TAMUQ Fellowship Fall of 2021. Hadear’s research interest revolve around the assessment of sustainability and resilience of systems.
Ph.D. mechanical engineering student Alexander Duffy joined the BiSSL group in Spring 2022 as a MS of Energy student, after completing his BS in Mechanical Engineering at Texas A&M with a certificate in International Engineering. Alexander’s research interests center on the intersection of space engineering, sustainable energy, and bio-inspired design – stemming from his experience as a Program Manager for the AggieSat Laboratory during his undergrad. Alexander hopes to use his education, experience, and research to help the international community develop sustainable, space-based energy infrastructure.
MS student Samuel joined our group in Fall 2020 after finishing his BS in mechanical engineering at A&M. As an undergraduate Samuel was a recipient of the James J. Cain ’51 Award for Outstanding Student Achievement in 2019 in the mechanical engineering department. Samuel was awarded a J. Mike Walker ’66 Department of Mechanical Engineering Graduate Summer Research Grant for Summer 2021 and a J. Mike Walker ’66 Department of Mechanical Engineering Graduate Fellowships for Fall 2021.
MS student Amira Bushagour joined the BiSSL group Fall 2022, after graduating with a bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering and a corrosion engineering certificate from Texas A&M University in May 2022. As an undergraduate, she was a member of the Women in Engineering VEX Robotics team and a student coordinator in the Zachary machine shop. Amira is researching net-zero communities.
MS of Finance student Drew Thoms joined the BiSSL group in Spring 2023 after completing his undergrad at A&M in mechanical engineering. He’s interested in economics and bio-inspired design and is combining those in his research.
Undergraduate Student Researchers
Does bio-inspired system research sound interesting? Do you want to solve sustainability and resilience issues? Get in touch now!
BiSSL Student Alumni
Hannah Wagner (January 2022 – December 2022)
Undergraduate Mechanical Engineering student Hannah Wagner joined the BiSSL lab group in Spring 2022. She also work with the peer mentor program within the engineering village, supporting freshmen beginning in engineering. Hannah is working collaboratively on addressing the sustainability and resilience of building systems. She brings to her work an interest in the energy industry’s future sustainability.
Brian Chen (August 2022 – December 2022)
Undergraduate Mechanical Engineering student Brian Chen joined BiSSL Fall 2022. Brian has a passion for the use of Computer-Aided and Bio-Inspired Design to assist in developing solutions. He will be investigating the minimization of waste streams by using bio-inspired systems perspectives. He graduated Fall 2022.
Abheek Chatterjee (August 2018 – December 2022)
Angel Alex (January 2021 – May 2022)
Undergraduate Mechanical Engineering student Angel Alex joined the BiSSL lab group in Spring 2021. She enjoys learning about and contributing to sustainable engineering practices that invest in a mutually beneficial future for both consumers and industries. She is currently involved in assisting the research of Net-Zero Communities and the benefits of implicating their design with ecological network analysis.
Carson Kennedy ( January 2022 – May 2022)
Undergraduate Mechanical Engineering student Carson Kennedy joined the BiSSL lab group in Spring 2022. His interests center around supporting sustainability in manufacturing. He is currently involved in research using ecological network analysis for makerspaces and net-zero communities.
Tyler Wilson (August 2020 – August 2022)
MS student Tyler Wilson joined the BiSSL group Fall 2020, after graduating from Texas A&M with a BS in mechanical engineering in May. Tyler’s research interests include applying ecological principles to improve the sustainability and resilience of supply chains, which he has hands on experience from undergraduate internships.
Garrett Hairston (August 2019 – August 2022)
MS Mechanical Engineering student Garrett joined our group in Fall 2019 as an undergraduate researcher. His interests center around methods to achieve “net-zero” within our society and the general advancement of renewable energy implementation. Garrett was awarded a J. Mike Walker ’66 Department of Mechanical Engineering Graduate Summer Research Grant for Summer 2021 and a J. Mike Walker ’66 Department of Mechanical Engineering Graduate Fellowships for Fall 2021.
Jessica Ezemba (August 2020 – May 2021)
Undergraduate student Jessica Ezemba joined the BiSSL group Spring 2021 to continue with research she started in MEEN 440 Honors – Bio-Inspired Engineering Design Fall 2020. Jessica’s research interests include brain injury prevention. She is researching biology draw inspiration from how brain injury is prevented or minimized in nature. She is a cohort of the national Grand Challenge Scholars Program focusing on solving the grand challenge of reverse engineering the brain. In this program, she has conducted research abroad in France and has presented her previous work at national competitions like the Women in Engineering (WE20) conference and regionally at Rice University. Fall 2021 Jessica starts her Master’s of Innovation and Product Services degree at Carnegie Mellon University as a GEM scholar recipient.
Yanneliz Nava (May 2020 – December 2020)
Undergraduate mechanical engineering student Yanneliz joined our group for a summer research internship in 2020 to learn more about bio-inspired systems design. She also works at the Public Policy Research Institute at Texas A&M.
Christian Mendiondo (January 2021 – May 2021)
Undergraduate biomedical engineering student, Christian joined the BiSSL group in Spring 2021. His desire to positively impact the lives of others through research and technology stems from a news segment when he was 13 about the DEKA Arm, an advanced prosthetic arm that uses electrodes to allow users to perform tasks with just their thoughts. He was a part of the Biomedical Engineering Research for Active Military Veterans (BRAVe) program summer 2021, which is run by the Institute of Regenerative Medicine at the University of Texas at San Antonio. He is currently applying to PhD programs in biomedical engineering.
Andrew Foster (May 2020 – August 2021)
MS in Energy (through the Texas A&M Energy Institute) student, Andrew joined the BiSSL group in Summer 2020. His research focuses on integrating design inspiration from biological food webs to the design of power grids. His interests include improving energy systems related to renewable and clean energy.
Tejas Adsul (January 2020 – August 2021)
MS mechanical engineering student, Tejas joined the BiSSL group in Spring 2020. He graduated from the Indian Institute of Technology Bombay, Mumbai, India in August 2019, with a Major in Mechanical Engineering and a Minor in Physics. Tejas is applying his prior work in mathematical modeling and simulation of systems to our project on modeling innovation with Dr. Cynthia Hipwell from the INVENT Lab.
Josh Jaynes (Sept. 2019 – May 2020)
Undergraduate mechanical engineering student Josh joined our group in Fall 2019. His research interests center around circular economy and waste-reduction efforts.
Kristina Viro (May 2019 – May 2020)
Undergraduate mechanical engineering student Kristina Viro joined the group Summer 2019. She works with both BiSSL and the INVENT Lab, run by Dr. Cynthia Hipwell, on modeling innovation. Kristina was awarded the J. Mike Walker ’66 Impact Award fall 2019.
Shelby Warrington (Aug. 2017 – July 2020)
Undergraduate mechanical engineering student and Clare Boothe Luce Scholar, Shelby joined our group in Fall 2017. Shelby co-authored a peer-reviewed ASME conference paper during her Junior year titled “Waste Reduction: A review of common options and alternatives.” Shelby was awarded the James J. Cain ’51 Award Fall 2019 by the department. Shelby graduated with her BS in May 2020 and stayed on through the summer to finish up some publications. She starts Fall 2020 at Yale for a Masters of Environmental Management, specializing in Urban or Industrial Ecology.
Laura Homiller (Jan. 2020 – May 2020)
Undergraduate mechanical engineering student Laura joined our group for Spring 2020, getting MEEN 491H research credit working in our group. Although she was only with us for one semester, she made strides in applying novel inspiration from the study of biological food webs to the design and analysis of power grids. Laura is doing a internship with Mathworks before continuing on to graduate school for her PhD.
Colton Brehm (Aug. 2018 – May 2020)
MS mechanical engineering student, Colton joined our group in Spring 2018 as an undergraduate research student. Colton was awarded the J. Mike Walker 66′ Department of Mechanical Engineering Graduate Excellence Fellowship Spring of 2019. Colton also won a graduate travel award to present his first authored paper at the 2019 CIRP Life Cycle Engineering conference at Purdue University, where his paper was a finalist for the Leo Best Paper award. Colton graduated in May 2020 with his MS (thesis titled “Improving the Environmental and Economic Outcomes of Industrial Networks using Nestedness to Design Resource Distribution Infrastructure“). He now works at SAIC in their Mission Support division doing Probabilistic Risk Assessment.
Varuneswara Reddy Panyam (Sept. 2017 – Dec. 2019)
MS mechanical engineering student Varun joined our group in Fall 2017 from Shiv Nadar University. April 2019, Varun became an Associate Fellow in the Center for the Integration of Research, Teaching, and Learning (CIRTL) Academy for Future Faculty (AFF). Varun was awarded the J. Mike Walker 66′ Department of Mechanical Engineering Graduate Fellowship Spring of 2019. Varun graduated December 2019 with his MS thesis titled “Bio-inspired design for robust power systems.” He now works at Gate Scientific.
Tirth Dave (Jan. 2018 – Dec. 2019)
MS mechanical engineering student Tirth joined our group in Spring 2018 from Gujarat Technological University where he was part of a robotics design team, winning 2nd place at the ROBOCON International Robotics Contest. While Tirth is completing his Masters at A&M he also had the opportunity to work as an intern at Volvo. Tirth won 1st place for graduate student engineering presentations in the Spring 2019 Texas A&M Student Research Week for his presentation titled: “Sustainable Water Networks Design: A Bio-inspired Approach.” Tirth also won a graduate travel award to present his first authored paper at the 2019 CIRP Life Cycle Engineering conference at Purdue University. Tirth was awarded the J. Mike Walker 66′ Department of Mechanical Engineering Graduate Student Fellowship Fall of 2019. Tirth graduated December 2019 with his MS thesis titled “Designing Robust Water Distribution Systems Using Ecology as Inspiration.” He now works at Johnson & Johnson in their Medical Robotics division.
Jewel Williams (May 2018 – Aug. 2019)
MS mechanical engineering student, Jewel joined our group in Summer 2018. Jewel won a graduate travel award to present her first authored paper at the 2019 ASME Manufacturing Science and Engineering Conference at Penn State Erie. She graduated with her MS (her thesis was titled “Opportunities of Applying System Analysis to the US Waste Management System: Bio-Inspired Solutions for a More Circular Economy”) in August 2019 and joined Meggitt Aerospace as one of their 15 graduate engineers selected for their prestigious leadership program.