Five BME students selected for the 2019-2020 Attributes of a Gator Engineer Award

Five UF BME students were selected for the Attributes of a Gator Engineer Award. The Gator Engineering Attribute Awards are intended to provide an ideal guide for all members of the gator engineering community. Established in 2010 as part of the college’s centennial celebration, the Attributes of a Gator Engineer embody the college’s expectations of all students and faculty.

UF BME awardees:
•    Attribute of a Gator Engineer Award for Creativity: Rani Mahmoudi and Enrico Opri
•    Attribute of a Gator Engineer Award for Leadership: Margaret Fettis and Angela Jimenez
•    Attribute of a Gator Engineer Award for Professional Excellence: Olivia Liseth


Rani Mahmoudi is a fourth-year biomedical engineering student who started the organization Dream Team Engineering, under Dr. Stephen Hugo Arce’s mentorship. Dream Team Engineering members work with physicians and childlife specialists to create medical technologies for the UF Health Children’s Hospital. The organization currently has a partnership with the computer science company Google and the University of Florida Art School to create three iPad applications to teach children about the heart, prepare patients for surgery, and perform exposure response therapy for patients in the Pediatric Cardiac Intensive Care Unit at UF Health. Alongside these iPad applications, Dream Team Engineering works on surgery models to train residency students, a model MRI to prepare patients for their testing, a model Berlin Heart to be used for therapy for children and hosts STEM Special Events to fill the educational gap patients face due to their extended visits at the hospital. This summer, Rani will be moving to Southern California to work for Edwards Lifesciences in their Technical Development Program.



Enrico Opri is a biomedical engineering Ph.D. candidate in Dr. Aysegul Gunduz’s Lab. Enrico has been working on cortico-thalamic neurophysiology and novel closed-loop deep brain stimulation in humans affected by essential tremor, through a collaboration with the UF Neurology and Neurosurgery Departments. He has been involved in mentoring students undergraduate and graduate students in the lab, as well as in senior design projects, the Integrated Product and Process Design (IPPD) program, and Student Science Training Program (STTP). Enrico has also served as the IEEE EMBS UF Chapter treasurer and president. In his free time, Enrico enjoys baking, as he needs lots of cookies to convert ideas to code.



Angela Jimenez is a fourth-year biomedical engineering student in Dr. Carlos Rinaldi’s lab. Angela’s primary research focus is on drug delivery using magnetically controlled nanocarriers loaded with chemotherapeutic to better understand drug loading and release for breast cancer applications. On campus, Angela is a B.Mentor for the J. Crayton Pruitt Family Department of Biomedical Engineering, a Peer Advisor for the Herbert Wertheim College of Engineering, and a member of Tau Beta Pi. Angela is also a house manager of her non-profit housing organization, Southern Scholarship Foundation. In her free time, Angela enjoys exercising, watching movies, and trying out new food. This fall, Angela will begin her Ph.D. studies in biomedical engineering at Georgia Institute of Technology.



Maggie Fettis is a graduate student in Dr. Greg Hudalla’s lab and she recently defended her Ph.D. Maggie is a peptide and protein engineer and her research focused on proteins that bind carbohydrates and glycomaterials that can interact with them. During her graduate studies, Maggie held leadership positions with the Society for Biomaterials, the BME Graduate Student Council, Tau Beta Pi, and the Center for Precollegiate Training and Education. In her free time, Maggie likes to run, practice yoga, recharge with her cat, and spend [Face]time with her family and friends. After graduation, Maggie will complete postdoctoral research with plans of running her research program someday.


Professional Excellence:

Olivia Liseth is a fourth-year biomedical engineering student in Dr. Blanka Sharma’s lab. Olivia works with BME graduate student Shreedevi Kumar to study the degenerative joint disease osteoarthritis and to develop and test therapeutics for the disease. This semester, Olivia completed a thesis project investigating the therapeutic potential of secretomes from adipose-derived stem cells for osteoarthritis. On campus, she also serves as an Engineering Peer Advisor and an officer in the engineering honor society Tau Beta Pi. In her free time, Olivia enjoys baking, traveling, and eating out at Gainesville’s many great restaurants. After the conclusion of this spring semester, Olivia plans to continue her research in Dr. Sharma’s lab for the summer and to study abroad in France this coming fall semester before graduating in December.

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