TEC Center Alumni

  • Afshin Mostaghim

    Alumni, TEC Center

    My name is Afshin Mostaghim and I currently work as a Quality Engineer in one of the largest medical device manufacturers, Boston Scientific. I graduated from UCR in 2015 with a background in Bioengineering. I was given the opportunity to join the team and be one of the individual contributors for the Bioreactor project. This was truly an eye-opening and humbling experience to be able to see a system come to life from scratch. Each component and every bolt in this system worked hand in hand in order to make it functional. This is what I learned most while being on the team with Doug: Teamwork is key. I was fortunate enough to be apart of an enthusiastic and exciting team that worked hand in hand to get the job done. We even got to publish a paper out of our hard work! In addition to teamwork, I learned how to use a 3D printer, Solidworks, and various machine shop skills. These skills have given me an extra edge in my resume and allowed me to be a competitive candidate in the job market. This opportunity has opened many doors for me including an internship I had with a start up medical device company and then numerous job interviews. I could not thank Doug and Dr. Grover enough for the opportunity, I will always be thankful to be apart of their team.

  • Allen Partano

    Alumni, TEC Center

    My name is Allen Partano, and I study Bioengineering in University of California, Riverside. My goal in this lab was to learn enough solidworks to design and create objects. While doing this,I developed engineering design and skills i.e tolerance and improving designs. My work in the lab has consisted of designing Solidwork parts for the chain lift system. Although the current design tests with marbles, eventually this chain lift can be repurposed toward other designs like with plant segments or test tube segments for automated experiments.

  • Casey Hill

    Alumni, TEC Center

    My name is Casey Hill and I currently work at an all-in-one business automation company in Santa Barbara called ONTRAPORT. To give a full scope of the impact of working with Doug and the lab in one paragraph will be challenging but let me start here. Ideas are cheap. Execution is the impetus that drives real and sustaining change. Working with Doug was about bridging that gap between ideation of paradigm shifting technologies and implementation of them. When I worked in the lab, it was in a multi-faceted capacity. I did grant writing, design work, outreach, recruiting and a range of other tasks as needed. My passion lies in creating innovative ideas that have the capacity to create real world change and working with the TEC program I could see without a shadow of a doubt that what we were building had that potential. There were many hard skills I learned in the lab. Some of the skills I learned include Solidworks design, Adobe Illustrator, G Codes for CNC, navigating around grant platforms like Pivot, etc.. But what was most impactful was iterating and working in a dynamic atmosphere where my opinions were heard and integrated into our designs and approaches. I have no doubt that the work that was compiled during my time there, and continues to be developed, will turn into transformative technology. The mark of a truly great project or company is one that can answer the question, “How is this going to change the world?” This does just that.

  • Chandler Morehouse

    Alumni, TEC Center

    My name is Chandler Morehouse, and I am an undergraduate at University of California, Riverside.My objective for this program is to be able to properly implement a three stage communication system between a personal computer, Arduino Uno, and various ATtiny84 microcontrollers. The project will consist of writing code that will use I2C interfacing to communicate between all devices and to design a system of devices that control mechanical systems and multiple sensors. The purpose of this system is to be able to write high level programs in Python which is translated through the Arduino into I2C serial data protocol. This data then communicates with address specific AVR controllers to execute specific commands created in the original Python code.My objective for participating in this project is to further my knowledge in the use of AVR microcontrollers and programing. I wish to learn how to use I2C communication and to get a better understanding on how a system of AVR controllers work together to accomplish particular goal. From this project I would also like to get more experience with working with a team of engineers and more specifically learn how working with engineers who are not from the same field of engineering.

  • Chip Pearson

    Alumni, TEC Center

    My name is Nels “Chip” Pearson. I have always been involved in technology with a focus on small scale embedded microcontroller systems, sensors, and actuators. I enjoy combining hardware and software designs for the best results. From March 2015 to October 2015, I was primarily involved in implementing Doug’s concepts of an I2C network of components that could support multiple devices within them. The architecture would also support auto-generated code processes to simplify development of new components. I also provided suggestions for the design of the website. Working in the lab gave me the incentive to advance local network concepts that I had been investigating for use in small scale robot platforms development. I learned a little of what Bioengineering was all about and the current state of some bio-tech investigations. I have been retired since 2013 but I still build small robots, work on various embedded microcontroller projects, and design websites.

  • Daniel Chang

    Alumni, TEC Center

    My name is Daniel Chang, and I graduated from the University of California, Riverside in 2016 with a Bachelors degree in Bioengineering. I joined this team with no experience, eager to learn anything and everything I could. Starting with Microsoft Visio, I would draw schematics of solenoids and circuit boards. Schematics of circuit boards would eventually be translated to printed circuit boards with the help of EAGLE. The design process allowed me to see the details that went into electronics. Eventually I was introduced to SOLIDWORKS in order to design 3D models for the future MEC system. Being able to actually print my designs and use them as part of a larger system provided me with a sense of accomplishment. Before joining, I had zero ideas for what I wanted to do in the future. But working at the TEC Center allowed me to find my passion in CAD design and pursue a career in designing components and medical devices. I have no doubt this work will end up making the world a better place!

  • Hashim Chaudhry

    Alumni, TEC Center

    My name is Hashim Chaudhry and I graduated with a Bachelor's degree in Chemical Engineering from the University of California, Riverside. My project for this lab was to design, program and build a fluorescence image processing system for blood/bacteria samples in order quickly collect and analyze data from a sample. This interdisciplinary project pulled knowledge from computer science, biology, 3D CAD design, and optics. Specifically, the project will utilize a DAPI or Phalloidin staining protocol onto various bacteria/blood samples. These samples will be analyzed via Python (utilizing the Python Imaging Library or sci-kit image) to test for and determine variables such as cell density, ID50, and cell growth rates. The importance of this project was to provide a more cost effective way to determine these parameters without sacrificing quality as modern day imaging systems can cost upwards of $20,000. This can be done due to advances in 3D printing, open source imaging libraries and other biomodules developed by my peers at the TEC center. Research is always difficult, and at the TEC center I learned how to improve from my mistakes, how to keep going even in the face of multiple failures and how to communicate effectively. I also learned how to begin building a physical system starting from only an idea, how to read research papers to extract useful information quickly, and how to ask professionals for help when I reached a dead-end.

  • Humberto Sanchez

    Alumni, TEC Center

    Hello there! My name is Humberto Scott Sanchez, I graduated with a BS in Chemical Engineering in the Spring of 2015. Before I started my time in the laboratory, I was interested in the field of bio-process engineering. My past research experiences were spent studying and engineering protein-DNA nano-structures, refining cell transformation processes, and optimizing the separation of cellular components from culture media. My Senior Design Project was based on the incorporation of a Microbial Fuel Cell into Organic Wastewater Treatment.

    All of these experiences led me to helping Doug Hill with his analytical bioreactor, I was only able to assist the lab for a short time, but that time helped me a lot. In that project I helped redesign the heating unit and temperature control system, I designed a testing rig for that system, and fabricated prototypes of those components. Along with the hands-on work I developed many design equations for those systems. I learned a lot about how I can translate my background of chemical engineering into other fields of engineering. I learned how to solder, design milli-fluidic systems, and handle 3D printed components. Most importantly I gained confidence that I can convey most physical phenomena to others using design equations. The lab was a big inspiration for me to pursue instrumentation and microfluidic research for when I go back to get my doctorate.

    I am currently a support technician for the Amgen Pilot Plant in Thousand Oaks, CA. The lab has helped me be a more well rounded engineer who is able to communicate with others in different fields of engineering. I plan to go back to back to graduate school in the future and implement what I learned in the lab.

    Read more about Humberto’s story

  • Ivan Sotelo

    Alumni, TEC Center

    My name is Ivan Soleto, and I am a Bioengineering alumni of University of California, Riverside. My Objective to participate in this program, was to learn and understand better design techniques related to 3D Printing, such as the use of CAD softwares, as well as evaluating the printed pieces and printers themselves. I also learned the overall process of multi-disciplined involved projects, and how related fields come together to see the big picture of the project. Such projects involved were the creation of bioreactors, lab on a chip projects, etc. Thus, my participation in lab was 3D printer evaluation, printed piece testing (especially with cell filters and quality control), and bioreactor design with the inline filter. These skills built upon one another and culminated in my mastery of Image J, AMScope, Solidworks, and Excel. These skills will help me greatly to pursue my 3D printed prosthetic designing aspirations.

  • Joey Milia

    Alumni, TEC Center

    My name is Joey Milia, and I am an undergraduate at University of California, Riverside. My Primary objective was to make a 100% duty cycle compressor/vacuum pump that can be used in any TEC center project that requires compressed air or vacuum to operate. This pump will have electronic sensors so that max pressure can be maintained and modified from a connected computer. The pump will have four output all on manual valves, two (one from each tank) for connecting to an external system, and two for manual venting each tank.

  • Kevin Pham

    Alumni, TEC Center

    My name is Kevin Pham, and I graduated from University of California, Riverside with a Masters degree in Bioengineering. I joined this lab hoping to learn more about sensors and automation, and so my work in MEC was tailored for these goals. I started with circuit board layout to create boards that would link our MEC systems to a microcontroller for automation. Designing and creating my own circuit boards provided insight into how electronics are assembled and operated. Eventually, I began building 3D models to prototype, test, and improve new 3D printed components for the MEC systems, parts including t-joints, valves, solenoids, optical density sensors, edge detectors, and many more. This lab has taught me how to solve problems through engineering design. Working in a team environment also promotes communication skills and collaboration. We each have our own tasks, but it is important we understand one anothers plans and needs to create a functioning system. It has provided a hands-on experience and valuable skills that can carry over into industry.

  • Norman Li

    Alumni, TEC Center

    My name is Norman Li, and I have worked on the MEC project for two summers. I worked on mostly mechanical aspects of the project, as well as refining fabrication techniques and aiding in the design process. My first summer was mostly spent creating the Coulter system through board design and testing. My second summer was spent aiding in Solidworks design of parts, designing the heater part and helping to refine parts of other interns. I also helped to manage other interns and fabricate the parts and electronics required for the Solidworks parts. Another important aspect of my involvement was testing the solenoids. I helped to test and build many early designs of solenoids and helped test new standardized components. During my time as an intern I learned important fabrication skills including: soldering, using a jig saw, using a drill press, and printing parts on two different 3D printers. The rapid design and revision process allowed by the 3D printers was key in putting together these systems, and knowing that these many of these parts were easily created in a few steps and couple hours made logistics more simple. I feel that my time working as an intern with Doug helped me learn marketable skills and begin to understand the design process integral to a large project such as MEC.

  • Raymond Wan

    Undergraduate Researcher, TEC Center

    My name is Raymond Wan, and I graduated with a BS in Bioengineering at the University of California, Riverside. My first project in this lab was the automation of a marble machine. Furthermore, I helped to set up the inventory system in lab to organize the 3D printed parts manufactured in the TEC center. As my interests lie in prototyping, programming, microcontrollers, and fabrication, these projects will help me to further develop these skills. During the 2016-2017 school year, I led a team to rebuild the bioreactor system in our lab.

  • Razn Abu Qamar

    Alumni, TEC Center

    It was Hugh Herr that proclaimed “A person can never be broken. Our built environment, our technologies, are broken.” My goal is to dedicate my work to ensuring people have the technology to overcome any disability or disease, to always have the option to live whatever life they choose. In this pursuit, I have joined the TEC lab. This lab has already garnered a multitude of skills. Amongst the most prominent of which has been experience with SolidWorks, AVR coding, and systems design/analysis. I hope to further learn skills in management and leadership, as well as other practical skills through the experience I gained here. I work on the heating component of the bioreactor, which regulates heating of fluids and cells whilst analyzing and moderating flow. The bioreactor regulates the growth of cells within its system whilst boasting modularity and cost efficiency. My work has taught me skills in calibration, hardware design, and design intuition. I have created modular parts that are incorporated throughout the bioreactor allowing for flexibility in design and construction. Furthermore, my work around lab circulates towards training new recruits in lab procedures, SolidWorks, and system design. The work I conduct at the lab has been invaluable. This work has helped propel my education and my knowledge as an engineer, teaching me important skills that will come to use throughout my lifetime. My name is Razn Abu Qamar, I am a UCR bioengineer, and I push to save the world one small component at a time.

  • Ryota Saito

    Alumni, TEC Center

    My name is Ryota, and I am a graduate (Class of 2016) of University of California, Riverside. I began by assisting fellow undergraduates in the lab with programming. Later on, my work in the lab has been with an Arduino and an ATiny 84 mounted onto a I2C bus. This meant interpreting the AVR spec sheet, translating to code, then working on servo control for pulse-width modulation. After weeks of studying and learning this subject, I was able to successfully teach another undergraduate my work in order to carry on the project. This allowed me to solidify my I2C bus knowledge for the future.

  • Stefany Cruz

    Alumni, TEC Center

    My name is Stefany, and I am a senior Electrical Engineering major at the University of California, Riverside. My interests lie within the realms of medical robotics, bio-mechatronics, and creating surgical/medical devices that would help enhance the human experience. I know the basics of electronics from what I have learned in Electricity and Magnetism physics class, Quantum Physics class, and an Intro to Electronics class. But, I desire to learn more about electronics and the computer programming aspects that it takes to build such cyber physical systems such as MEC and other related projects. I would especially like to gain hands-on experience in the lab with microcontrollers, programming languages, and other forms of circuitry. I want to learn to not only read and follow the schematics of electrical components, but design them myself as well. With this gained knowledge, I believe that I would be able to apply them to future projects and integrate them with other subfields of medical robotics. Ultimately, I see this TEC Center opportunity as one of the first stepping stones that I need to reach my goals.

  • Timothy Williams

    Alumni, TEC Center

    My name is Timothy Williams and I graduated from the University of California, Riverside. In this lab, I wanted to learn as much as I can from everyone. I am particularly interested in improving my knowledge of Fluid Dynamics, 3D modeling, and Electrical Engineering. I developed an inexpensive, reproducible weight sensor. My work thus far has consisted of Solidworks design to create the motor holder, bottle holder, and the baseplate of the device.

    Read more about why Tim enjoys project based learning over schoolwork

  • Vishak Kumar

    Alumni, TEC Center

    My name is Vishak Kumar, and I graduated from the University of California, Riverside. The reason for me joining the Outreach program at the TEC Center was because I wanted to gain insight into the real life scenarios of engineers and the jobs they do. I also wanted to improve the quality of life for those in need of it, and for those who deserve it. That, to me, is an obligation and a privilege that all engineers should strive for. Beyond this, I definitely wanted a personal gain in knowledge, which can only be done by acquiring new experiences and by being challenged. The TEC Center seems to me like a perfect opportunity to do just this. Being part of the TEC Center and the Outreach program has taught me a multitude of skills and lessons. The most fundamental lesson learned during my time in the lab was determination. Something that does not go according to plan or yields an unexpected result is no reason to give up or to submit to failure. The TEC Center taught me that there is always a lesson in any attempt, no matter the outcome. Another main skill learned while in the lab was Microsoft Visio, which is an incredibly useful program for engineering. While the program was relatively daunting at first, I learned how to use it as time went on and could complete the design of my system in the program. One of the main uses I had for Visio was to design an electric and pneumatic schematic for the vacuum pressure transport system that was being designed in the lab. I also learned about time management, which is critical to a successful team and project. On top of this, I learned a lot about different techniques on component creation, such as epoxy resin sealing and drilling via drill press. All of these techniques can be very useful when creating prototype parts that are unique to an original design. Lastly, I learned the valuable skill of teamwork, which is important in any engineering environment. Though it is important to value yourself and your knowledge, it is just as important to value others and what they can bring to a project. With more minds, more can be accomplished.

  • Zareh Hairapetian

    Alumni, TEC Center

    My name is Zareh Hairapetian and I studied Materials Science and Engineering while at UC Riverside. I joined the TEC Center hoping to acquire the basic skills necessary in starting off in the engineering career path. I hope to learn the proper methods of making schematics, using solid works, and using a 3D printer. Also, I want to understand learning in a work and research setting rather than a classroom and how I may incorporate the said basic skills and proper methods to reach a final product. I hope to get out of this program a wide variety of research experiences in different engineering disciplines, a mentor figure that will assist me in finding the correct career path for myself, friends and colleagues with similar aspirations, and to familiarize myself in a research lab setting. Since my time in the lab I have worked with multiple projects such as inventory, automated syringes, and bark removal for the Citrus Clonal Protection Program. My work has taught me skills in programming, design, construction, and group communication. The critical thinking required to make successful project decisions encompasses all of these skills and welds them into the core ideals of the TEC Center. In the words of Dan Bilzerian, Take pride in who you are as a person, what you have accomplished, and what you have done for others. I can humbly say I am proud of my work at the TEC Center and look forward to how I may further help others.

    Read more about Zareh and Letter of Recommendation to Doug

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