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Rana Soltani-Zarrin, a doctoral student in the Department of Mechanical Engineering at Texas A&M University, was recently awarded the Fran O’Sullivan Women in Lenovo Leadership scholarship from the Society of Women Engineers (SWE) for outstanding academic achievement and strong engineering potential in her field.

The scholarship is given yearly to one student, and this year SWE reviewed over 1800 applications. Soltani-Zarrin is the first engineering student from Texas A&M to receive the award.

Soltani-Zarrin’s research interests are robotics and control with a focus on rehabilitation robots. In partnership with Amin Zeiaee, a doctoral student in the department, she is currently working on the design and control of a new upper-limb exoskeleton that can be used to rehabilitate stroke victims in the mechanical engineering department’s Laboratory for Control, Robotics and Automation at Texas A&M under the supervision of Dr. Reza Langari, a professor in the department.

“The exoskeleton that we have developed can be used for the rehabilitation of stroke patients at various levels of disability,” said Soltani-Zarrin. “It can provide customized patient specific trainings, and intelligently adjust the assistance and modify the trainings based on patient progress.”

During her time at Texas A&M, Soltani-Zarrin has been involved in mentoring students within the AggiE Challenge program and the Women in Engineering program, and has held several leadership positions. She currently serves as chair-elect of the graduate student branch of the Texas A&M chapter of SWE.

SWE is the world's largest advocate and catalyst for change for women in engineering and technology. Its mission is to stimulate women to achieve full potential in careers as engineers and leaders, expand the image of the engineering profession as a positive force in improving the quality of life, and demonstrate the value of diversity.