My Summer Experience at the Bargatin Research Group

David Candia, SEAS ’23, Sacramento, California

This summer I had the opportunity to work with the Bargatin Research Group at Penn in the Mechanical Engineering department. The group focuses on research in nanofabrication techniques to create materials and structures with unprecedented mechanical properties. These enable applications such as heat-to-electricity direct energy conversion, new levitation techniques for micro-flyers, and interstellar travel using a lightsail.

In the first few weeks of my work in the lab, I focused on familiarizing myself with the field by reading the group’s papers and other relevant publications. Then I began working on tasks such as manufacturing and assembly of pressure chambers and mylar structures. I also used COMSOL simulation software to model surface contact conditions of nanomaterial applications in thermionic energy converters. These simulation results now provide an optimal guide for the nanofabrication process.

Overall, I learned a lot about another field of Mechanical Engineering which I previously did not have any exposure. I am grateful to the Bargatin Research Group for offering me a position this Summer. The content was highly interesting and has provided me with a lot of experience to guide my future career path.

This is part of a series of posts by recipients of the 2022 Career Services Summer Funding Grant. We’ve asked funding recipients to reflect on their summer experiences and talk about the industries in which they spent their summer. You can read the entire series here.

By Career Services
Career Services