Yayun Du, a Ph.D. student who majored in robotics and control from the Structures-Computer Interaction lab supervised by UCLA MAE Assistant Professor M. Khalid Jawed was selected to participate in the Civil and Environmental Engineering Rising Star Workshop (http://cee.mit.edu/rising-stars/). This workshop invites 20 top early-career womxn in CEE and related domains (e.g. materials, systems, or environmental science) who are interested in careers in academia. It happens on the MIT campus every two years and happened on October 28-29 this year. The event brings together the next generation of CEE academic leaders for two days of scientific interactions and career-oriented discussions. It features research presentations by the participants, faculty talks, panels on issues relevant to academic careers, and opportunities for informal networking with faculty members at MIT.

Du’s talk at MIT is “Simple untethered flagellated robot in fluids and granular media”. Miss Du’s research interests range from robotic manipulation and control to soft structure design (e.g., bacterial flagellar robots, SWARM, and agricultural robots) by applying mechanics analysis, deep learning, reinforcement learning, computer vision, and SLAM techniques. Her goal is to become an inspirational professor in a renowned university and apply scientific achievements to real-life applications. She taught one graduate course and four undergraduate courses in four departments and got an average of 8.0/9.0 evaluation score (departmental average is around 7.2/9.0). She published or submitted six first-authored articles and two co-authored articles within 2.5 years in top journals and conference proceedings in robotics. In addition, she obtained a provisional patent for the under-canopy agricultural robot. More to mention is that she mentored and co-authored papers with 12 undergraduates. “Where there is a will, there is a way” is her life motto. Go bruins!