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PEOPLE

Principal Investigator
Mehmet Kurt, PhD
mkurt@stevens.edu | Phone: 217-819-6200

Prof. Mehmet Kurt graduated from Bogazici University (Istanbul, Turkey) with a Bachelor’s Degree in Mechanical Engineering in 2010. In June 2014, he received a Ph.D. degree in Mechanical Science and Engineering from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. After his graduation, he held a postdoctoral scholar in the Department of Bioengineering at Stanford University between 2014-2016.  His awards include the Lucile Packard Children Hospital Postdoctoral Fellowship (2016), Thrasher Research Foundation Early Career Award (2015), the Independent Teaching Fellowship (2014) and the Thomas Bernard Hall Prize for the Best Paper of the Year (2011). In Spring and Summer 2014, he was recognized in the “list of teachers ranked excellent by their students” at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

Postdoctoral Researchers
Gloria Fabris, PhD
gfabris@stevens.edu

Gloria graduated from the University of Trieste (Italy) with a Bachelor's degree in Physics in 2010 and went on to earn a Master's Degree in Biophysics from the Catholic University of Leuven (Belgium) in 2012. During her Ph.D. in Cellular Biomechanics, she focussed on studying the role of cytoskeleton and basement membranes for the mechanical properties of single epithelial cells and 3D microtissues. After graduating from the University of Bonn (Germany) in Nov. 2016, she joined Kurtlab as a Postdoctoral fellow working on cellular and multiscale brain biomechanics.

Tibaut Detroux, PhD
tdetroux@gmail.com

Thibaut graduated from the University of Liege (Belgium) with a Master's degree in Aerospace Engineering in 2012.  During his Ph.D at the University of Liege, he focused on the stability and bifurcation analysis of nonlinear vibrations of large-scale structures. After his graduation, he held a FNRS Postdoctoral position between 2016 and 2019, including research stays at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and Duke University. In October 2019, he joined Kurtlab as a Postdoctoral fellow working on nonlinear modal analysis of the brain.

Graduate Students

Efe graduated from Bogazici University (Istanbul, Turkey) with a Master's Degree in Mechanical Engineering in 2016, and is currently a Ph.D. student in Kurtlab, Stevens Institute of Technology; advised by Professor Kurt. His interests include eddy current damping, phononic band gaps, and brain biomechanics.  His current research focuses on understanding the mechanical properties of the developing brain.

Javid Abderezaei
jabderez@stevens.edu 

Javid graduated from the University of Tehran (Tehran, Iran) with a Master's Degree in Mechanical Engineering in 2017. During his Master's project, he worked on modeling the mechanical behavior of biological cells by developing a viscoelastic shell element. Currently, he is a Ph.D. student in Kurtlab, Stevens Institute of Technology; advised by Prof. Kurt. His current research focuses on modal analysis of brain and work on axonal microtubules.

Emily (Em) Triolo

 

etriolo@stevens.edu

Em Triolo graduated from The College of New Jersey with a Bachelor's degree in Biomedical Engineering in May of 2019. During their time at The College of New Jersey, they worked on developing and preforming human trials of a robotic exoskeleton for the human hand to augment grip and pinch strength. They are currently a first-year Ph.D. student at Stevens Institute of Technology in KurtLab, advised by Dr. Kurt.

Aytac Teker

 

ateker@stevens.edu

Aytac graduated from the University of Colorado Boulder with a Bachelors's Degree in Aerospace Engineering in May of 2019. During his time at CU Boulder, he worked on developing a UAV deployed drifter, modeling computational fluid dynamics of a wing, and investigating frequency resonance of airplanes. Currently, he is a Master's student at Stevens Institute of Technology in KurtLab, advised by Dr. Kurt. His interest is the modal analysis of the nonlinear dynamics of the human brain.

Michael Fanton (co-advised)
mfanton@stanford.edu

Michael graduated from UC San Diego in 2014 and is currently a Ph.D. student in the Camarillo Lab, Stanford University, co-advised by Professor Kurt and Professor Camarillo. His interests include applying dynamics, biomechanics, and robotics to investigate the mechanisms of brain injury and design novel preventative equipment for athletes. He is working with Professor Kurt on modeling and designing a “smart” airbag helmet, which can sense pre-impact conditions and inflate accordingly to optimally cushion the head and neck during a collision.

Undergraduate Students
Derek Petti 
dpetti@stevens.edu

Derek is currently an undergraduate Mechanical Engineering major and a Music Tech. minor. He is interested in designing MRI compatible systems for improving and further developing Magnetic Resonance Elastography. He wants to use his education to improve people’s lives: whether it be through similar work to what he is doing at Kurtlab or through entertainment and the arts.

Daniel Nasti
dnasti@stevens.edu

Danny is currently an undergraduate student at Stevens Institute of Technology studying Mechanical Engineering. He joined Kurtlab to test the effect of soccer heading on the neurological performance of players. As a former soccer player at Stevens, he hopes to use his background to help prevent concussions in the sport. 

Alyaa Elkhafif
aelkhafi@stevens.edu 

Alyaa is currently a rising sophomore at Stevens Institute of Technology studying Mechanical Engineering and pursuing a Political Science minor. She is working on coupling Optical Coherence tomography with microindentation in an effort to better understand the way in which loads affect the mechanical properties of the meninges. 

Thomas McKenna
tmckenn1@stevens.edu

Tom is an undergraduate student at Stevens pursuing a bachelor's degree in Mechanical Engineering. He is interested in understanding how damage to brain tissue can be mitigated through analysis and temporarily modifying brain tissue to change its mechanical properties.

Vaughn Rice
vrice@stevens.edu

Vaughn is currently an undergraduate student at Stevens Institute of Technology, pursuing a Bachelor’s degree in Biomedical engineering. He is interested in the practical applications of research into brain trauma and how they will be applied in the medical field.

Kyle Shepitka
kshepitk@stevens.edu

Kyle is currently an undergraduate student at Stevens Institute of Technology pursuing a Bachelor's degree in Mechanical Engineering. He works on Finite Element Simulations for helmet testing devices and is interested in exploring how to use mechanical engineering tools for practical problem solving in the lab. 

Zachary Lopez
zlopez@stevens.edu

Zachary is a Biomedical Engineering major, pursuing a minor in Computer Science as he enters his senior year at Stevens Institute of Technology. Along with his studies, Zach is interested in the application of computer science to analyze health-related data in both research and clinical settings. 

Alumni

Alana is currently an undergraduate Chemical Biology student at Stevens Institute of Technology. 

Andrew Mulderrig
amulderr@stevens.edu

Andrew is a class 2018 alumnus who graduated with High Honors in Mechanical Engineering. He is currently working for Picatinny Arsenal and pursuing a Master's in Mechanical Engineering at Stevens Institute of Technology. 

Brett Salazar (co-advised)
bsalazar@stanford.edu

Brett is currently pursuing an MD degree at the Stanford University School of Medicine. Expected graduation: Spring 2021.

Brooke Stoddard 
bstoddar@stevens.edu

Brooke is currently an undergraduate Chemical Biology student at Stevens Institute of Technology who plans to attend medical school after. 

Caroline Russo  
crusso3@stevens.edu

Caroline is currently an undergraduate Biomedical Engineering student at Stevens Institute of Technology, who aspires to study surgery. 

Cassandra Gologorsky
cg492@cornell.edu

Cassandra was a student researcher at Kurtlab in the summer of 2018. She is currently an undergraduate student at Cornell University pursuing a Bachelor's in Biomedical Engineering. 

Daniel Kamieniecki
dkamieni@stevens.edu

Dan is currently an undergraduate Mechanical Engineering student at Stevens Institute of Technology, who also plans to pursue a Master's in Robotics & Control. 

Farryl Groder
fgroder@stevens.edu

Farryl is a class 2018 alumnus who graduated with a Mechanical Engineering Bachelor's and went on to pursue a Master's also in Mechanical Engineering. She is currently a research engineer at Tozuda LLC. 

Jing is currently an undergraduate student at Stevens Institute of Technology, pursuing a Bachelor’s degree in Social Science, with Psychology concentration and planning to attend Neuroscience Ph.D. program in graduate school after graduation.

John Martinez 
jmarti1@stevens.edu

John is a class 2018 Stevens alumnus who graduated with a Biomedical Engineering Bachelor's. He is currently a business analyst at Weber Shandwick. 

Joseph Katerba
jkaterba@stevens.edu

Joseph is a current undergraduate student at Stevens Institute of Technology, pursuing a degree in Mechanical Engineering as well as a masters degree in Engineering Management. 

Luke is a senior Mechanical Engineering major in the 4+1 Master's program at Stevens Institute of Technology. He is currently interning as an Engineering Technician in the Pharmaceutical Systems R&D Department of Becton Dickinson.  

Nick Rossi  
nrossi1@stevens.edu

Nick is a class 2018 Stevens alumnus who graduated with High Honors in Mechanical Engineering. 

Samantha Martino
smartino@stevens.edu

Samantha is currently an undergraduate student at Stevens Institute of Technology, pursuing a Bachelor's in Chemical Biology. 

Zeynep M. Suar
zsuar@stevens.edu

Zeynep is a class 2019 alumnus who graduated with a Master's in Mechanical Engineering. 

Collaborators

 

 

1. Alexander F. Vakakis and Lawrence A. Bergman, Department of Mechanical Science and Engineering, University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign (website)


2. Kaveh Laksari,  Department of Bioengineering, Stanford University (website)


3. David B. Camarillo,  Department of Bioengineering, Stanford University (website)

4. Max Wintermark, Department of Radiology, Stanford University (website)

5. Kim Butts-Pauly, Department of Radiology, Stanford University (website)


6. Ellen Kuhl,  Department of Mechanical Engineering, Stanford University (website)


7. Melih Eriten, Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of Wisconsin at Madison (website)