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Shadi Shariatnia
Graduate student Shadi Shariatnia defended her Ph.D. in October 2021 and will start her new role as a product engineer at Amazon in January 2022. | Image: Courtesy of Shadi Shariatnia

Mechanical engineering graduate student Shadi Shariatnia was recently awarded the 2021-22 College of Engineering Outstanding Graduate Student Award at Texas A&M University. The award is reserved for students who demonstrate exceptional dedication and tenacity in their research and academic studies.

Shariatnia obtained her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in mechanical engineering from Ferdowsi University in Iran in 2014 and the University of Houston in 2016, respectively. Prior to beginning her Ph.D., Shariatnia co-founded a medical device startup, Ictero Medical, which provides the first minimally invasive and definitive treatment for high-risk patients with gallstone disease. Working alongside renowned experts in such a highly specialized environment inspired her to further her education.

“That’s why I decided to get my Ph.D.,” said Shariatnia. “Not only for the technical expertise, but also for the other skillsets you develop along the way.”

Throughout her time as a student, Shariatnia served as a member and treasurer of the Mechanical Engineering Female Graduate Student organization. She also was an executive team member in the Graduate Consulting Club, where she began to learn the ins and outs of management consulting working on pro bono projects.

Shadi Shariatnia shakes Dr. Hurtado's hand while accepting her award
Shadi Shariatnia receives her award from Dr. John Hurtado, interim dean of the College of Engineering. | Image: Texas A&M Engineering

Shariatnia researched under advisor Dr. Dorrin Jarrahbashi in the Computational Thermo-Fluids Lab and co-advisor Dr. Amir Asadi in the Polymer Composites Advanced Manufacturing Lab. Her work focuses on developing bottom-up nanofabrication techniques to fabricate multi-material systems with engineered properties. As materials and structures become more specialized, so does the need to innovate and improve the functionalities within these systems.

With the support of her advisors, Shariatnia developed a novel atomization system for targeted delivery of nanoparticle carrier droplets, and their goal is to engineer the self-assembly of nano-colloids within each droplet to achieve the desired shape and properties in the final deposited nanostructure. Her work has numerous applications in functional coatings, 3D printing and electronics manufacturing. Despite the advances she’s made in her academic research, she credits her doctoral journey for helping her grow not only as a student of engineering, but of life.

“The main thing I learned from my Ph.D. is how to learn,” explained Shariatnia. “The irony is that at the end of your doctoral journey, you finally realize how little you actually know.”

After graduating, Shariatnia will join Amazon’s Lab 126, the research and development team that designs computer hardware. As a product design engineer, she’ll be working in an innovative and fast-paced environment. “I’ve always been passionate about developing new technologies,” said Shariatnia. “I’ve always valued working on projects that will, at some point, improve people’s quality of life.”