2022-23 COE Graduate Fellowship Recipients


Ian Bales



I am an incoming mechanical engineering PhD student, and I will be conducting research in the Utah Wearable Robotics Laboratory under Dr. Zhang. I graduated with a BS in mechanical engineering from UIUC. I am interested in exploring the ways in which robotics can be used to help people out in their daily lives. Outside of school I enjoy rock climbing and snowboarding.

Trey Blackwell



I was born and raised in Utah, and I recently completed an undergraduate degree in Electrical Engineering at BYU. During this time I worked as an intern for a medical device company, where I took part in preparing an application to the FDA for a new medical device, as well as researching new methods for delivering supplemental oxygen to sedated patients. I'm looking forward to building on this experience as I further research the development of anesthesiology and respiratory related medical devices at the University of Utah. Outside of engineering, I am also passionate about Poland, hiking and fishing in the mountains, music, Oreos, and spending time with my wife and family.

Jade Bookwalter



Jade Bookwalter is a first-year PhD student in the biomedical engineering program who plans to study cardiovascular engineering. She graduated from BYU with a BS in biophysics and a minor in French studies, and hopes to find ways to make use of both in her career going forward. She will be working with Dr. Ademuyiwa Aromolaran to research ion channels in the heart, which is a fascinating field of study that she is excited to learn more about. Outside of school, she enjoys reading, crocheting, and being with family, and she is very excited to be continuing her studies at the University of Utah.

Paul Cardon



Paul Cardon graduated with a Bachelors in Metallurgical Engineering from the University of Utah in May 2022. His degree emphasis was Energy Conversion & Storage. This paired with his undergraduate research focus on lithium-ion batteries, including as a Crus Scholar. Beginning fall 2022, he will pursue his Ph.D. in Materials Science & Engineering studying ion-intercalation materials for information storage applications with Dr. Huiwen Ji. Outside his studies, Paul enjoys community service through the Salt Lake Rotaract Club and making pizzas with his beloved wife.

Colleen Chemerka



"Science is magic that works" – Kurt Vonnegut
This is how I feel every day, and I am lucky to be able to experience this magic throughout my academic career. I graduated with my bachelor's in Medical Engineering in 2019 at the University of Koblenz, Germany, and my master's in Neuroscience with a focus area on Neurotechnology in 2022 at the University of Freiburg, Germany. During my studies, I was able to be involved in different research projects, one of them at the University of Calgary, and worked for a neurotechnological company in Germany. I am fortunate to be a first-year Ph.D. student in Electrical and Computer Engineering at the U and am excited about all the knowledge and new experiences I will gain throughout my time as a graduate student.

Austin Eiting



After graduating from the University of Utah with a Bachelor of Science in Chemical Engineering in 2015, Austin spent the next 6 years working in various specialty chemical industries. Having started doing research as an undergraduate, and continuing to be involved in R&D work throughout his time in industry, Austin is excited to be entering a PhD program to not only continue this type of work, but to take the next step toward becoming a more adept researcher. With experience in reactive polymer chemistry as well as petrochemicals, Austin is interested in many of the program's ongoing projects and excited to join the team at the University of Utah. Go UTES!

Dallin Hansen



My name is Dallin Hansen, and I lived in Utah County before I came to the University of Utah. I am now finishing my honors bachelor’s degree in Electrical Engineering and am about to start a Ph.D. in the same field. Back when I was a freshman, I never thought I would consider a Ph.D. It wasn’t until my senior year, when I discovered the enjoyment and fulfillment which comes from diving into research, that I realized pursuing a Ph.D. was the path for me. Outside of my education, I love camping and reading books in the quiet ambiance of nature next to a comforting campfire. I also enjoy a variety of other outdoor activities, such as swimming, kayaking, hiking, and fishing whenever I can find the time.

Cordelia Latham



My interest in mechanics, physics, and mathematics spurred my undergraduate degree in physics with a minor in mathematics. I decided to study this for my undergraduate degree so I could not only gain the knowledge and experience of a physicist, but also to develop a feel for the many different applications of physics and math. The experience I have developed from physics along with my passion for mechanics led me to graduate school for mechanical engineering. Outside of school I managed to refurbish two of my cars, which included rebuilding an engine and making another vehicle suitable for off-roading. I am eager to jump into research, taking the opportunities that are available to me.

Mitchell Lewis



Mitchell Lewis (They/Them) is a first year Biomedical Engineering student in Dr. Tara Dean’s lab. They received their Bachelor’s and Master’s in Biomedical Engineering from the University of Utah and worked in Dr. Bruce Edgar’s lab at Huntsman Cancer Institute where they used fruit flies, cell culture, and mathematical modeling to study cell cycle regulation. Mitchell received the Undergraduate Research Scholar Designation for this work and presented it at the Utah State Capitol. Mitchell’s research interests include cell and tissue engineering, genetics, molecular biology, and oncology. In Dr. Dean’s lab, they will be working on platelet generation to target metastasizing tumors. Mitchell loves teaching and science communication and aims to become a professor to share knowledge, promote accessibility of science, and continue to research new technologies to help people. Outside of lab, Mitchell enjoys skiing, hiking, painting, and hanging out with cats.

Nathan Meigs



Nathan completed his undergraduate in Chemical Engineering at the University of Utah. He has completed many chemistry courses as technical electives and loves being in the lab. His capstone project for his undergraduate degree was a research and development project on creation and characterization of organic aerogels. He also has done undergraduate research on inhibitors for antibiotic resistant bacteria. Nathan is currently competing in the AICHE Design project in the group category with other talented engineering in his graduating class. Nathan loves the outdoors and looks forward to fishing with the other graduate students who go regularly. He looks forward to continuing his academic career in Nuclear Engineering research.

Benjamin Orkild



Ben is a first year Biomedical Engineering PhD student in Dr. Ranjan’s and Dr. MacLeod’s research labs. Prior to starting his PhD, he graduated with a B.S. in Biomedical Engineering from the University of Utah. During his time as an undergraduate, Ben completed research in shape analysis and cardiac electrophysiology, along with an internship at Acutus Medical. These experiences have generated further interest in cardiac electrophysiology, specifically in the application of computational modeling and inverse problems to cardiac electrophysiology. Following graduate school, Ben hopes to work in the medical device industry, developing new technology to aid doctors and improve patient care.

Colin Pronovost



After graduating from the University of Rochester with a major in Computer Science, Colin Pronovost became certain that he wanted to pursue a career in research. He spent several years working as a research programmer at his alma mater developing compiler instrumentation for security hardening. His research interests include compilers, security, formal methods, and operating systems. While at the University of Utah, he hopes to advance the state of the art in machine-assisted reverse engineering and automated bug finding.

Sophia Remick



Sophia is a first year PhD student in chemical engineering from York, Maine. She graduated from the University of Rhode Island with a bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering with a concentration in pharmacy. Sophia is interested in joining the bioengineering field, and spent her time as an undergraduate working in a particle engineering lab, where she focused on research in drug delivery to overcome physical and chemical barriers in the body.

Liam Sullivan



I am a recent graduate of the University of Washington with a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering concentrated in Biomechanics and a minor in Applied Mathematics. I have spent my undergraduate time researching prosthetic hands, building drones, and most recently co-founded a medical device startup company. I grew up in Seattle and love spending time outside through teaching sailing and skiing, being a volunteer ski patroller, cycling, climbing, and backpacking, and I look forward to exploring all that Utah has to offer!

Claire Ticknor



Claire is originally from Los Alamos, New Mexico. She completed her Honors B.S. in Mechanical Engineering at the University of Utah in 2021 working in Dr. Wenda Tan's lab. She is currently working toward a Ph.D degree in Mechanical Engineering in the Telerobotics Lab under Jake Abbott. Her research focuses on magnetic manipulation methods applied to space debris.