Ahsan Munir, PhD Candidate

Home: Lucknow, India
Degree: PhD Candidate

Why did I choose WPI?
WPI offers the best combination of technical expertise with a touch of the human element. Small, interdisciplinary research groups provide close interaction with your peers, as well as better learning opportunities and ability to tackle problems hands-on. There always has been a feeling of family for me at WPI, something that is very important to me. These unique features helped me join WPI for my PhD.

How has WPI's philosophy of Theory and Practice, and working with teams, been beneficial to me during my time at WPI?
WPI's philosophy of Theory and Practice has helped me to transform my research into something that has real application, especially in the area of medical diagnostics. Working with people of different majors, especially at WPI's Gateway Park, has helped me to see the problem, with different perspectives, and come up with more robust solutions.

What do I think are WPI's greatest strengths?
The presence of the human element, where everyone knows everyone, and a sense of an interdisciplinary approach to tackle challenging problems are unique and make me proud to be a WPI student.

How have the professors in the Chemical Engineering Department at WPI impacted your studies and your life?
I have been working under the supervision of Professor Susan Zhou on my PhD degree since the time I joined WPI. She has been my mentor and guide throughout. She has often motivated me when I am down and offered extra help to support me when we are solving a very challenging problem. She has always helped me with her valuable suggestions, which not only helped me during my research but will be very valuable in my future career.

What research projects am I involved in at WPI?
My doctoral research focuses on designing and developing a magnetic nanoparticle-based microfluidic system for efficient mixing, separation, and detection of biomolecules for point-of-care analysis. I am working with Professor Susan Zhou on this PhD research project.

What do I hope to do when I graduate? What would be my ideal job?
I plan to work as a research and development chemical engineer in process and product development, with a focus in microfluidics, medical diagnostics, mathematical modeling, and design.

Groups or extracurricular activities I participate in at WPI:
I played tennis with some of my WPI colleagues.

Academic or professional awards I have received:

  • First-place poster award winner at GRAD 2011 Symposium, Engineering category, WPI, March 30, 2011.
  • Promoted to full membership in Sigma Xi Research Society at WPI for contribution in the area of microfluidics, April 13, 2009.
  • Received Tony B Award in 2011 Lab-Automation Conference organized by the Association for Laboratory Automation, Palm Springs, Calif., January 29-February 2, 2011.
  • Received Tony B Award in 2010 Lab-Automation Conference organized by the Association for Laboratory Automation, Palm Springs, Calif., January 23-27, 2010.
  • Third-place poster award winner at GRAD 2009 Symposium, WPI, April 1, 2009.
  • Awarded associate membership in Sigma Xi Research Society for outstanding research work in magnetic nanoparticle-based bioseparation, WPI, April 13, 2009.
  • Received CIC Traveling Scholarship to do bio-MEMS course at University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, August-December 2006.
  • Received NSF Fellowship to attend NSF Summer Institute on Nano-Mechanics and Materials at Northwestern University, Evanston, Ill., August 7-11, 2006.
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