Many students are interested in “research” (developing new knowledge, tools, methods, and solutions) but might not know where to start. It might even seem intimidating to approach a professor or other students to ask and learn about research. However, the most important characteristic that we in the MMOT lab look for in prospective students is an eagerness to learn!
To provide a better idea of what research in the MMOT lab is like, check out what current students have to say from their research experiences during the summer or academic year:
Q: How did you get involved with the group?
“I was looking for a research ‘home’ where I could have a group to chat to about research and extracurriculars. I was recommended to the MMOT lab by another professor.” – Jaden Lee, MECH
“I was really interested in biomechanics after taking a class on it, so I wanted to see if any professor was doing work in this field. My advisor told me to look into Professor Wheatley, so I googled him and his website popped up. The work he and his students were doing appealed to me, so I sent him an email expressing my interest. I was invited to a few lab meetings, which I really enjoyed, and soon enough I joined the team full time!” – Minhaj Bhuiyan – BME
“I got involved with the group because I had a past teammate on the Cross Country team in the lab group. Her research seemed really interesting and sounded like something that I might enjoy so I decided to reach out to Professor Wheatley and see if I could join the group.” – Olivia Dyer, Cell Bio/Biochem
Q: What is the goal of your project?
“The goal is to find a relationship between intramuscular pressure and compressive loads. Finding a relationship will help determine if the fluid in skeletal muscle is a key contributor to muscle stiffness.” – Sabrina Lorza, MECH
“The goal of my project is to create a computational model of the knee to determine how pain can be related to joint mechanics. We are also trying to prove if other models may be necessary for this kind of work.” – Kyle Young, MECH
Q: What kind of work do you do in the lab?
“On a testing day, I come into lab and start my day off with dissection. I’ll cut and prepare a bunch of samples from fresh porcine muscle to test. I will then run my experiments using some of the equipment in the lab, such as the biaxial tensile testing machine. Once testing is done, I will begin data analysis. This includes mostly computer work using different softwares, such as Matlab. Most days are usually a fair mix between experimental and computational.” – Minhaj Bhuiyan, BME
“I would arrive in the basement at 9:00 sharp, and go through my plan for the day, week, and end of the project, making sure I stayed on task. Then I would travel to the Biomechanics Lab upstairs to gather my data. After I spent time getting quality electromyography results, I would take a lunch break and be back within an hour. The rest of my day would consist of filtering data, crunching numbers, and graphing results. I would always make sure to save time for throughout informative and inspiring conversations with the MMOT lab members.” – Keeler Thomas, BME/Neuroscience
Q: What do you enjoy most about research or the MMOT lab?
“I really like the environment that the lab has because even though everyone is generally working on their own respective projects we are all part of a family who wants to see all projects succeed.” – Sabrina Lorza, MECH
“As a biochemistry major doing research in an engineering lab group it is awesome to be able to get many different perspectives about research and to learn more about topics that are not normally covered in the biochemistry curriculum. I also love how welcoming the lab group is and how close we all are with each other. Everyone is always there to lend a helping hand when you need one.” – Olivia Dyer, Cell Bio/Biochem
Q: Do you have any advice for students interested in research?
“Ask your favorite professor or advisor about their research! They are bound to put you in the right direction.” – Sabrina Lorza, MECH
“I think that my biggest piece of advice is to try and find a project that you are interested in and that you know will challenge yourself. Additionally, keep an open mind about your research and try not to get too frustrated when it feels like things aren’t working or going to plan. It can be easy to feel like things are always working for everyone else, but more often than not they are probably running into roadblocks as well. One final thing, is to lean on others when things are going south because they might be able to help you figure out a solution that you had not thought of before.” – Olivia Dyer, Cell Bio/Biochem
Have questions about research at Bucknell or the MMOT lab? Send us an email!
Prof. Wheatley – firstname.lastname@example.org
Olivia Dyer – email@example.com
Sabrina Lorza – firstname.lastname@example.org
Minhaj Bhuiyan – email@example.com