The 4 currently listed mentors are for the Spring 2023 semester.

AJ Taylor
(Food Science and Human Nutrition)
AJ is a 4th year food science graduate student working on cacao and chocolate. There are currently three different projects that AJ is working on and needs help with. His focus for mentees is that mentees have to be the ones to put in the work and get the reward. Those that succeed are the ones who try.

Description of Possible Projects:
There are two major projects I have right now. One is to develop a cocoa tea product and create a kombucha product from that cocoa tea. This will include product manipulation and formulation, along with developing some chemical testing knowledge as we test for different quality characteristics.

The second project is using NIR to build a prediction model for quality of cacao beans, along with GIS data too. This one is very data centric and focuses on the collection and cleaning of data for model building using MATLAB or R.

Desired Skills/Time Commitment:
10 hours a week, minimum. You have to know what's going on and can't just do 1 or 2 hours a week. Skills is more on good chemical background, a quick and appreciative learner, social and able to communicate well, and to be flexible in the project.
Akash Bajaj
(Civil and Environmental Engineering)
I am a new PhD student working with Dr Imad Al-Qadi on a federally funded project. My research would revolve around trying to reduce the cracking occurring in transportation systems and help save millions of dollars by creating better specification to be used by agencies like FAA. I have worked with undergrads before and understand well how to create a good synergy. Hoping to find a great person to work with that will help them see the benefit of my project and increase their interest as well as skill in this field.

Description of Possible Projects:
Have a project with FAA to help them reduce cracking in airports. The tasks for the undergrad will be to help me with lab work on creating suitable physical specimens that we will test using cutting edge industry tools and gather some results to give to the agency. Expect to give any person working on this to get a very deep understanding about transportation systems and their deterioration and get to meet industry leaders and network. Great opportunity if you wish to go into this discipline after graduation

Desired Skills/Time Commitment:
Desired Skills:
Lab work to be done at remote UIUC lab location so having a car will be a huge boost, however not a necessity as I can provide rides. Will be mainly involved in physical lab work and working with materials like asphalt, stone etc. Candidate should not have a problem with lifting slightly heavy stuff and working near hot ovens. No prerequisite knowledge is expected, and I will teach them about all concepts as we go along. Just to reiterate this will involve physical effort when testing so be prepared.

Time Commitment:
I know undergraduates have a lot to juggle so happy to sit down and create a schedule with them. Longer time commitments are welcome but would recommend at least 4 hours each week so we can make good progress. Anything less and we can talk about it for sure.
Yogi Patel
(Aerospace Engineering)
Hello, I am Yogi Patel. I am a 3rd-year Ph.D. Candidate working in Aerospace Engineering department. I do most of the experimental research work that includes wind tunnel testing and performing exciting experiments such as thermography, particle image velocimetry, rotor thrust stand test, etc.

Description of Possible Projects:
In the upcoming semester, I am working on a project where I need assistance in CAD work and 3D printing. We will design aircraft wing sections in Solidworks and will finally 3D print those parts.

Desired Skills/Time Commitment:
Desired Skills: Solidworks, 3D printing

I would need help from an undergraduate student who has skills in CAD packages such as AutoCAD, Solidworks, PTC Creo, etc. Solidworks skills are preferable. We will also do a lot of 3D printing.

The candidate should also be willing to help me process data from my previous experiments and be willing to work in the lab as needed. I will provide training on these aspects. The candidate who can commit approx 10 hours a week time to the project and stay focussed throughout the semester, will be preferable.
Thanh Quang Pham
(Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering)
I'm PhD student, working on bacteria degrading plastic. I love research and mentoring. Besides lab and class, I do Taekwondo, play soccer, and go swimming. I'm excited to work with undergrad students and help you orientate your future ambitions and dreams.

Description of Possible Projects:
I can teach undergrad students my current research lab works, about plastic degradation by bacteria. I can ask my supervisor to pay them. If they contribute enough, I can add them as authors in my papers.

Desired Skills/Time Commitment:
I don't have any preferred skills or time frames. But as a professional person, being on-time and willing to learn is what desirable.
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