Cohort Three

Ben Shafer attended the University of Maryland – College Park and graduated with two BS degrees in kinesiology and bioengineering. During his undergrad, Ben volunteered at physical therapy and Orthotics & Prosthetics clinics following his interest in rehabilitation and assistive devices. In addition, he has worked in academic labs studying running biomechanics and mechanical tissue characterization. Ben went on to spend 2 years conducting research on peripheral neurological devices and neuromodulation at the FDA. He has a passion for physical health as well as engineering and hopes to combine the two in a fulfilling career facilitating movement in both disabled and able-bodied people. In his free time, he enjoys socializing, being active, traveling, and binging TV shows.




Phillip Tran obtained a B.S. in Bioengineering from University of Maryland, College Park. His research interests are in the rehabilitation robotics, soft wearable robotics, and automation. His goals are to obtain a PhD in Bioengineering. Outside of school, Phillip enjoys reading and hiking.







Mariah Schrum graduated from the Johns Hopkins University with a BS in Biomedical Engineering with minors in Robotics and Mathematics.  While at Hopkins, Mariah worked in the CIIS surgical robotics lab.  Her interests involve machine learning and AI applications in assistive robotics to help those with disabilities.  In her free time, she enjoys traveling, running and other outdoor activities.  Her goal is to work in industry research to develop state of the art assistive robotics. 






Lucinda Peng earned a B.S. in Biomedical Engineering and Engineering Science – Mechanical, and a M.S. in Biomedical Engineering from Yale University. Her previous research includes biomechanics at the whole body and protein level. Her research interests involve understanding the mechanics of movement and how that can translate to better treatments for patients and designs for robots, both in their own motion and for rehabilitation purposes. Recreationally, Lucinda loves hiking, training for triathlons, dancing, and playing violin. In the future, she would like to continue studying biomechanics and its applications for rehabilitation.





Keshav Bimbraw received his bachelor’s in Mechatronics Engineering from Thapar University, Patiala, India. As a graduate student and a research assistant in Robotic Musicianship Lab, he is motivated to work on robotics for human augmentation targeted towards amputees and stroke patients. His research interests lie in the fields of Robotic Musicianship and designing robots for rehabilitative, assistive and medical applications. Ultimately, he wants to design affordable multifunctional prosthesis and orthotics for people with different forms of physical disability. Outside of research, he is an Indian classical musician and loves his family dog Pablo.





Aakash Bajpai attended the University of Maryland, Baltimore County for his BS in Mechanical Engineering and minor in Entrepreneurship and Innovation. His interests include mechanical design, controls, and rehabilitative robotics. As a Meyerhoff scholar (26th cohort), Aakash is passionate about diversity/inclusion in engineering and community outreach; he wants to ensure that the scientific field is more representative of the diversity the nation has to offer. His current goal is to pursue a career in academia and become a research professor focused on developing robotic solutions for underserved populations. Aakash enjoys longboarding, playing guitar, hiking, camping, and eating Atlanta’s wide variety foods.





Jonathan Zia obtained his BSE in Electrical Engineering from Arizona State University. He is passionate about advancing medical science through artificial intelligence. As an MD/PhD student, he hopes to leverage his clinical experience to create translational, human-centered technologies. Outside the lab, Jonathan is an avid entrepreneur, tinkerer, and shawarma addict.







Dean Molinaro obtained his B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Florida. His technical interests include the design of powered prosthetic and exoskeleton control systems, the study of human-robot interaction, and the implementation of machine learning in robotics. With these areas of research, Dean plans to advance technology in restoring and expanding human mobility, specifically through the design of human intent recognition systems. He aspires to become a professor to continue his work in research and inspire the next generation of engineers. Additionally, Dean enjoys golfing, reading, and raising his dogs.