Samuel Figueroa

MIT Department: Materials Science and Engineering
Faculty Mentor: Prof. Christopher Schuh
Research Supervisor: Christian Edward Oliver, Yannick Naunheim
Undergraduate Institution: University of California, San Diego
Hometown: Fremont, CA, USA
Website: LinkedIn

I am an upcoming senior at UC San Diego majoring in Nanoengineering with a specialization in materials science and engineering. My family is originally from Honduras, but I was born and raised in the California Bay Area. My research experience encompasses various aspects of ceramics science and metallurgy, focusing on the fabrication of bulk ceramics and ceramic microstructures for high hardness and ultra-high temperature resistant applications in body armor and aircraft. My research interests lie within the field of bioinspiration, where I am interested in taking design motifs and structures found within biological materials in nature (spider silk, horse hooves, seashells) and replicating these hierarchical structures within engineering materials such as ceramics, metals, polymers, and inorganic materials. Furthermore, I am also interested in the use of bioinspired materials for biomedical applications such as prosthetics, implants, and tissue regeneration. As such, I am incredibly enthusiastic about fields such as additive manufacturing, sintering, and photopolymerization. My future goals are to work for the Department of Defense or DARPA and use my research for defense applications and biomedical technologies. I am also a filmmaker on the side, with dreams of making action / sci-fi films, I enjoy acting and theater, and I am an avid lover of classical piano music. I also thoroughly enjoy health and fitness, and hope to learn more about parkour, gymnastics, and bodybuilding.