Our Team







Drew Cietek


Hey there! My name is Drew and I’m a 2nd year PhD student under the supervision of Dr. Rainer Hebert. I completed my BSE in MSE here in 2018 and have since worked on a diverse set of engineering materials in industrial settings including thermal barrier coatings, GaN-on-SiC devices, and high-strength aluminum castings. I decided to come back to UConn for graduate studies to dive into the exploding field of metal additive manufacturing; specifically, I’m interested in creating and validating models that accurately predict chemical and microstructural features of alloys during rapid solidification. After leading the qualifying exam preparation efforts for 1st year PhD students, I decided to run for president of MRS to increase my involvement in the organization and build upon previous efforts for community building and networking within the materials-related disciplines here at UConn. Outside of my professional life, I am an amateur vocalist and enjoy spending time out in nature with my friends and family. I’m excited to be a part of MRS and can’t wait for all the exciting events we have planned in the coming months!






Vice President


Sara Pedram


My name is Sara Pedram, and I am currently a Ph.D. candidate in the Jankovic Research Group. I am working on the fabrication and characterization of a newly designed bio-inspired fuel cell catalyst layer. I did my undergrad in Chemical Engineering focusing on plasma surface modification of membranes for water treatment This background stimulated my interest in clean energy by highlighting the importance of efficient and sustainable energy sources to address environmental and resource challenges. I'm enthusiastic about joining MRS to support new students in their qualifying exams, just as I received assistance when I joined UConn. My passion lies in offering guidance and assistance with coursework, research, and career development as well as fostering collaboration and knowledge sharing among students, promoting a sense of community and interdisciplinary learning.






Morteza Attari


Hi there! I'm Mori, a second-year PhD student diving into the world of Regenerative Engineering, specifically exploring innovative treatments for knee osteoarthritis. I have the privilege of working under the guidance of Dr. Cato Laurencin. My academic journey started with a BS in Materials Science and Engineering, and I later pursued an MSc in Biomedical Engineering, both in my hometown Iran. Beyond the lab, you'll often find me enjoying quality time with friends. I also enjoy connecting with fellow adventurers who share my love for exploration and discovery. Feel free to connect with me to chat about science, nature, or anything in between!





Nabil Bhuiyan


Hi, I am Nabil. I am an international student from Bangladesh, currently pursuing my doctoral degree at UConn MSE. Before that I earned my MS from University of Nevada, Reno in Materials and Metallurgical Engineering. I am working with Prof Frame and Prof Serge. I am really thrilled to be a part of this e-board.  Alongside my studies, I find joy in travelling, movie-watching, and connecting with nature.







Mehedi Hassan Dipu


I am Mehedi Hassan Dipu, a second-year PhD student in Professor Volkan Ortalan's research group. Our primary focus is on Transmission Electron Microscopy (TEM), especially Ultrafast TEM (UTEM). This technique provides a dynamic view into atomic structures and their immediate transformations. When I am not in the lab, I immerse myself in books and engage in philosophical reflections. Meeting new individuals and understanding diverse perspectives is something I deeply value. As the senator of the Materials Research Society (MRS), I am committed to contributing fresh insights from my research experiences, promoting collaboration, and advancing the field of materials science.