ME Ph.D. Student Ali Samarefilsoofi Recognized as ME TA of the Year

May 9, 2017

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The ME students’ choice 2016-2017 Outstanding Teaching Assistant (TA) of the Year Award is in recognition for Ali Samarefilsoofi’s devotion and genuine concern for students. Samarefilsoofi was a TA for the Intro to Robot Controls class, taught by mechanical engineering associate professor Stephen Mascaro.

Mascaro said, “Ali had a lot of responsibilities including preparing weekly lab experiments and keeping labs in working condition, as well as grading 45 homework papers and labs each week. I am pleased to hear the students recognized his efforts.”

Samarefilsoofi is a Ph.D. student in the ME Bio-Controls Laboratory advised by mechanical engineering associate professor Sanford Meek, where his research focuses on quadruped robots. When receiving this award Samarefilsoofi said, “It was a great experience to work closely with students and help them to better learn about the course materials. Having a teaching experience was helpful for me to achieve a deeper understanding of the material. This recognition from the students was unanticipated and means a lot. I encourage all Ph.D. students to enhance their experience by taking advantage of the TA program.”

Pictured left to right, mechanical engineering Ph.D. student Ali Samarefilsoofi receives the 2016-2017 ME students’ choice Outstanding Teaching Assistant of the Year Award from mechanical engineering professor and chair Tim Ameel, during the ME 2017 Graduation Reception held in the Mechanical Engineering Kennecott Bldg. Lower-Level Atrium.

The next top three students’ choice TA of the Year nominees were:

Mohamad Ghashami: TA in the Thermodynamics II class. Ghashami is a member of the Micro/Nanoscale Energy Transport & Conversion Laboratory, advised by mechanical engineering assistant professor Keunhan Park. His research area is experimental investigation of near-field thermophotovoltaic energy conversion.

James Tigue: TA in the Mechatronics II class. From Idaho Falls, Idaho, Tigue is a member of the Bio-Robotics Laboratory, advised by mechanical engineering associate professor Stephen Mascaro. Tigue says, “I am very interested bioinspired applications for robotics. My current research is on anatomically correct hand modeling. We hope to expand this to anatomically inspired hand exotendon mechanism research.“

Clay Audd: TA in the Composite Materials Class. Audd is a M.S. student and a member of the Utah Composites Laboratory advised by mechanical engineering assistant professor Michael Czabaj. Audd’s research is in the area of characterization of mode III fracture toughness of tape-laminate composites.