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Graduate Student Spotlight: Trevor Evans

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Trevor Evans

Where is your hometown?

I’m from Lanham, Maryland. It’s about 10 minutes from Washington, DC.

What is your area of study, and what made you pursue it?

My PhD research focuses on human movement biomechanics, specifically related to gait. I've always been interested in human performance and how dynamic our bodies are! Why humans walk the way we do has always fascinated me too.

What brought you to Ohio State?

There were two main reasons:

1) There was a lot of cool biomechanics research and coursework at OSU, and my advisor’s lab aligned with my interests.

2) I really enjoyed Columbus when visiting and had a few friends who were OSU students that showed me the city!

What do you like most about the major and opportunities OSU allows?

Mechanical Engineering is such a broad field that permits exploration of many different interest areas. After graduation, I think we have a variety of skills that can be useful for helping others. Also, it’s really satisfying to understand how and why the technology we encounter each day works.

There’s a strong relationship between the colleges at OSU, so there are always opportunities to collaborate with other disciplines. For example, my research intersects engineering and medicine, so I’ve taken several courses within the College of Medicine that count towards my degree.

What is the best class you have taken so far and why?

My favorite MechE class was Musculoskeletal Biomechanics, the foundational course that taught me how human movement happens on multiple scales, from the whole body down to the cellular level.

My other favorite classes were from various departments. One was Physical Therapy Biomechanics, which taught me how PTs view movement from a clinical perspective. The other was Injury Biomechanics, where we learned how technology is used to assess high-impact situations such as car crashes. Both of these courses had direct real-world translations that put into perspective the field’s impact.

What advice would you give high school students considering pursuing engineering as a major?

I would encourage them to keep an open mind before and after declaring an engineering major. Put real time and effort into choosing a major, but don’t worry about potentially choosing the wrong one or taking the wrong class! When I chose mechanical engineering years ago, I had no clue what biomechanics was and definitely didn’t think I’d be pursuing a degree doing research in it! I would also advise them to reach out to current or past MechE students who can speak to the experiences and/or careers that they have.

What is an important decision you made during your time at MAE?

An important decision I made was determining how to structure my time. Some of my habits from undergrad didn’t translate well into grad school, particularly in the later years when I was no longer taking classes. Getting a PhD is an independent process, and it’s vital to establish schedules to balance developing as a researcher and maintaining a personal life.

What was your favorite activity to do as a kid?

Playing sports was huge in my life as a kid, particularly golf and basketball. My love for them eventually fueled my interest in biomechanics. Today, I’m able to combine my passion for engineering and human performance in my research!

Categories: GraduateSpotlights