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Second-year UCLA mechanical engineering graduate student Samira Chizari has received a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship. The competitive fellowship recognizes “outstanding graduate students in NSF-supported science, technology, engineering, and mathematics disciplines who are pursuing research-based master’s and doctoral degrees at accredited United States institutions.” It provides three years of financial support, including an annual stipend of $34,000, along with a $12,000 cost-of-education allowance for tuition and fees.

Chizari is a member of Professor Jonathan B. Hopkins’ Flexible Research Group. Her research focuses on developing an advanced optical microfabrication technique that can enable additive manufacturing of mechanical metamaterials. This method combines holographic optical tweezers and direct laser writing via two-photon polymerization to achieve its goal.

Chizari has received several honors as a UCLA graduate student, including a mechanical engineering department fellowship. She is also the co-founder and co-president of the department’s graduate student council. She has also served as a teaching assistant for MAE 162A, Introduction to Mechanisms and Mechanical Systems, for a physics lab course for undergraduate science and engineering students, and for programming and mathematics course in life sciences department.

Chizari received her bachelor’s degree in 2014, majoring in mechanical engineering at Khaje Nasir Toosi University of Technology, in Tehran, Iran. She graduated with an Elite Student recognition and received the Honors Student award of exceptional talents.

Chizari is one of four engineering students – two graduate students, two undergraduates – to receive the NSF Graduate Research Fellowship.  In total, 36 UCLA students and alumni received the 2017 fellowship. In total, the National Science Foundation offered 2,000 students graduate research fellowships.