MEMS Graduate Student Committee at Carolina Tiger Rescue

MEMS Graduate Student Committee


To work with the MEMS Director of Graduate Studies and the Graduate Program Coordinator to recruit, educate and promote graduate students within the Duke Department of Mechanical Engineering & Materials Science.

Contact Us

Examples of committee activities

  • Weekly MEMS graduate student newsletter
  • Social: Bowling, Rooftop Bar
  • Outreach: Durham Women’s Shelter, Habitat for Humanity, voter registration, Carolina Tiger Rescue
  • Graduate Seminar Series
  • Outings and activities: Baseball games, rock climbing, soccer, flag football

Calendar of Events »


Siobhan Oca


Siobhan Oca

  • Hometown: New Orleans, La.
  • Undergrad: Massachusetts Institute of Technology
  • Research: Medical robotics
  • Lab: Daniel Buckland
  • Why I joined: To meet new people in Duke MEMS and help engage the community within and outside of MEMS through activities and service.
  • What I like most about Duke MEMS: MEMS is an awesome field to be in—with research in everything from airplanes to critical parts of medical care. I am so excited to learn more about everything happening at Duke and appreciate that there are opportunities to learn more about things happening outside of my specific field.

Ricky Hollenbach

Seminar Chair

  • Ricky HollenbachHometown: Hatfield, Pa.
  • Undergrad: University of Pittsburgh
  • Research: Nonsynchronous Vibrations in Turbomachinery
  • Lab: Bob Kielb
  • Why I joined: To mentor new students at Duke and connect them with upper-level graduate students
  • What I like most about Duke MEMS: The combination of volunteer events, social gatherings, and intellectual student seminars provides a well-rounded experience

Heer Majithia


  • Heer MajithiaHometown: Mumbai, India
  • Undergrad: University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign
  • Research: Mechanical properties of interphases in polymer nanocomposites
  • Lab: L. Catherine Brinson
  • Why I joined: To foster and maintain a sense of community within the department and welcome new students
  • What I like most about Duke MEMS: The collaborative and interdisciplinary nature of research in the department and its welcoming atmosphere

Hunter Newman

Recruitment Chair

  • Hunter NewmanHometown: Milford, Pa.
  • Undergrad: Boston College
  • Research: Orthopedic biomaterials to accelerate fracture healing
  • Lab: Shyni Varghese
  • Why I joined: To help recruit students to our department and also maintain the unique close-knit environment MEMS has by providing events to get together
  • What I like most about Duke MEMS: The MEMS community is both diverse in research and its students. It is amazing how supportive and welcoming the community truly is.

Concetta Morino

Recruitment ChairConcetta Morino

  • Hometown: Cleveland, OH
  • Undergrad: The Ohio State University
  • Research: Injury biomechanics
  • Lab: Dale Bass
  • Why I joined: This program is rapidly growing and I wanted to contribute to the growth through the recruitment of future members.
  • What I like most about Duke MEMS: The incredible people in this program have made Durham a home for me in such a short amount of time.

Natalia Von Windheim

Outreach Chair

  • Natalia von WindheimHometown: Durham, NC
  • Undergrad: NC State University
  • Research: 3D printing polymers for biomedical applications
  • Lab: Ken Gall
  • Why I joined: To contribute to the growth and future of the department
  • What I like most about Duke MEMS: The relationships I’ve formed with colleagues and friends in the department

Karsten Poulsen

Social ChairKarsten Poulsen

  • Hometown: Corcoran, MN (Minneapolis area)
  • Undergrad: Twin Cities
  • Research: Nanoparticle-biomolecule interactions
  • Lab: Christine Payne
  • Why I joined: I wanted to join MEMS GSC to become a more active member of MEMS and work towards making MEMS a more inclusive and connected department.
  • What I like most about Duke MEMS: I really like the wide variety of research areas and interesting people within the MEMS department.

Nicholas Finan

Alumni Relations Chair Nicholas Finan

  • Hometown: Broomfield, CO
  • Undergrad: Purdue University
  • Research: Understanding and designing nanocomposite materials using artificial intelligence
  • Lab: Cate Brinson
  • Why I joined: When I joined the MEMS program I was surprised by the amount of support and professional development offered and wanted to be a part of such an active group.
  • What I like most about Duke MEMS: MEMS at Duke shows a remarkable number of interdisciplinary initiatives and I enjoy having the opportunity to work with students and faculty with diverse backgrounds.

Yijie Zhou

Master’s Representative

  • Yijie ZhouHometown: Hunan, China
  • Undergrad: Beihang University, China
  • Research: I am working on a Trajectory Planning problem by combining High-Dimensional Bayesian Optimization and Model Predictive Control.
  • Lab: Michael M. Zavlanos
  • Why I joined: MEMS GSC helped me a lot when I first came to Duke. Therefore, I am willing to pass that on to help more students.
  • What I like most about Duke MEMS: Multi-disciplinary research atmosphere