The Department of Mechanical Engineering offers fellowships to outstanding master’s applicants in the form of partial or full tuition waivers for  master’s degree graduate study in the Department of Mechanical Engineering. All eligible master’s applicants are automatically considered for this fellowship and no additional material is required at the time of application.

Weixuan Li

Weixuan is a master’s student in mechanical engineering, specializing in fluid mechanics under the guidance of Professor Rajat Mittal. She earned her B.S. degree in Theoretical and Applied Mechanics from the Southern University of Science and Technology (SUSTech). At SUSTech, she served as the Vice President of the Table Tennis Club and was a key member of the school debate team. She spent her senior year at MIT in the SUSTech-MIT special student program, where she achieved full marks in all courses and made a significant contribution to the work “Intraspecific Diversity in Thermal Performance Determines Global Phytoplankton Ecological Niche” in Professor Michael Follows’ Lab. Her research interests lie in Computational Fluid Dynamics and Biomechanics, with the goal of developing innovative computer-based simulation techniques to simulate turbulent flows and multiphase flows in different cases in engineering. In her daily life, she enjoys reading books, cooking, and playing the piano.

Brian Ngoh

After graduating in 2022 with a B.S. Mechanical Engineering from the University of Maryland, Brian Ngoh is focusing his graduate studies in biomechanics and robotics with the goal of earning a Ph.D. degree in rehabilitation engineering and a career in assistive device design for people with disabilities. He served as the production lead for the Accessible Prosthetics Initiative dedicating time on the development of prosthetics for community members and prosthetics education, earning him a Dale Family Foundation Scholarship for human health innovation. He is a church youth leader teaching self-development and leadership and enjoys soccer and dance.

Hannah Thompson

Hannah Thompson is a Mechanical Engineering master’s student with a focus in fluid mechanics under the guidance of Professor Tamer Zaki. She graduated from the U.S. Air Force Academy with a B.S. in Aeronautical Engineering and Applied Mathematics as a Distinguished Graduate and a Martinson Honors Program Scholar. While at the Air Force Academy, Hannah was a member of the U.S. Air Force Parachute Team “Wings of Blue”, where she competed in formation skydiving across the United States and became an instructor and certified jumpmaster for the five solo-jump program, Airmanship 490. Hannah was also a passionate student, earning the Department of Aeronautics Award for the Outstanding Cadet in Aircraft Design. Hannah is from Oak Park, Illinois and enjoys running, reading, and creating music playlists in her free time. After graduation, Hannah will go to helicopter pilot training in Fort Rucker, Alabama. She hopes to eventually fly search and rescue missions for the Air Force. 

Kate Concannon

Kate Concannon is a Master of Science in Engineering student majoring in Mechanical Engineering with a concentration in biomechanics and living systems. She completed her B.S. in Mechanical Engineering at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. During her time there as an undergraduate student, she served as Vice President of Pi Tau Sigma, the mechanical engineering honors society, where she was awarded the Mechanical Engineering Honor Society F.M. Young Award for Outstanding Senior Member. Additionally, she acted as an upperclassmen mentor in Women in Mechanical Engineering. Kate was a ROTC cadet and commissioned as a Distinguished Military Graduate into the U.S. Army Reserves. At Johns Hopkins University, Kate is advised by Dr. Sung Hoon Kang and is a member of the Kang Group where she performs research in the Hopkins Extreme Materials Institute on a medical device. Kate is from Berwyn, PA and enjoys running, cooking, traveling, and spending her summers down the shore in North Wildwood, NJ with her family.

Priya Gillan

Priya Gillan had started her degree work in Mechanical Engineering but recently switched to master’s program in Robotics. She received a B.S. in Computer Science with a minor in Mathematics from Illinois State University. At Illinois State University Priya played Division I soccer as a goalkeeper. She played over 2,000 minutes in net for the Redbirds where she had 96 career saves and never allowed a penalty kick goal. Academically, Priya was named “Most Distinguished Freshman in the School of IT”, received the University Scholar Entrance Scholarship, and graduated with honors at Illinois State University. Priya joined the Johns Hopkins University Division III soccer team as a goalkeeper for the 2022 fall season. The team won the Centennial Conference title as well as the 2022 National Championship. After graduation, Priya hopes to work in the electric car industry working hands-on with the cars on the manufacturing line. Priya has a two-year-old black lab named Sadie. Priya and Sadie love to go on hikes together and take road trips.

Xuanning Liu

Xuanning Liu is pursuing a master’s degree in the Robotics track under the guidance of Professor Axel Krieger. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering from the Ohio State University, where she also minored in Computer and Information Science. While at tOSU, she served as a TA and student assistant and was also the Vice President of the Dance of the Soul from China club. Outside of academics, she enjoys dancing, swimming, photography, and baking. Her research interests are in the field of Surgical Robotics, where she aims to leverage the latest robotic technologies to design a surgical robot that addresses real-world challenges.

Xiao Wei

Xiao Wei is a master’s student in MechE on the robotics track. She completed her B.S. in Mechanical Engineering at Chongqing University and University of Cincinnati. During her undergraduate years, she served as the Vice President of the Student Sports Association and the minister of the new media department. The eight-month internship at Johnson & Johnson inspire her to engage in the medical device industry. To learn more about the latest technology, she joined the program to build eyeball model using ultrasound 3D tomography.  At Hopkins, she hopes to learn more skills that are used in medical engineering to better equip her as an engineer. In her free time, she likes to travel and play the drums.

Alex Watson-Jones

Alex Watson-Jones is a Mechanical Engineering Master’s student studying multi-layered recycled polymer morphology with the aim of better understanding the affect of recycling on crystallinity and mechanical properties. She earned her bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering at the University of Georgia where she worked at a small satellite research lab. When not studying at JHU, she works as a mechanical engineer at Goddard Spaceflight Center working on the Roman Space Telescope, which she will continue to do post-graduation. Outside of her work and studies, she enjoys designing things like shelves and tables with her personal 3D printer, hiking, thrifting, and reading comics.


Rebecca Rosen was also a Distinguished Master’s Fellow. We regret that several requests for a photo and profile were left unanswered.

Yitong Chen

Yitong Chen is a master’s student in the Robotics track, advised by Professor Jeremy D. Brown. Prior to starting her master’s degree at Johns Hopkins University, she worked for three years as a mechanical engineer at OneSubsea, a Schlumberger company in Houston, Texas, on the design, testing, and manufacturing of subsea production systems. In 2018, she received a B.S.E in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Michigan, with an International Minor in Engineering. At Michigan, Yitong worked as an undergraduate researcher under Dr. Mark Chiang at Michigan Medicine and was a member of the Formula SAE team, MRacing. She spent her childhood in Oklahoma and enjoys traveling and hanging out with her 2 year old rescue dog, Sugar. Her goal is to one-day be a part of a design team that develops a suite of world-class upper limb prosthetics.

Roderick Renfrow

Roderick Renfrow is completing a Master of Science in Engineering degree in Mechanical Engineering at Johns Hopkins University. He directly matriculated from the Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond, Virginia with a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering and minors in Mathematics and General Business. At VCU, Roderick worked through multiple co-op rotations at DuPont and Altria, served as an undergraduate TA, and completed research on engineered tissue vascular grafts under mechanical stimulation. Currently, he serves as the National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE) Programs Chairperson, overseeing the strategic development and managing of all K-12, collegiate, and professional programming for the society’s 24,000 members. He was introduced to NSBE his freshmen year of college where he discovered his enthusiasm for education and mentorship. Ideally, as an engineer with an entrepreneurial mindset, he aspires to use his education, industry, and non-profit experiences to propel STEM education and development nationally.

Lisa Chizmadia
Lisa Chizmadia is a master’s student in mechanical engineering on the robotics track. She completed her B.S. in Mechanical Engineering at Manhattan College with minors in mathematics and theater. In her time as an undergraduate student, she was the president of her school’s chapter of Tau Beta Pi and was a mechanical engineering department liaison to the Society of Women Engineers (SWE). At Johns Hopkins, she hopes to develop a deeper understanding of robotics and learn the skills needed to achieve her career goals. Her interests include combining what she has learned in the classroom with her passion for arts and entertainment. She aspires to one day design and create animated robotic characters and be a part of a team that is continuously advancing that technology. She is originally from New York but loves to travel in her free time, spend time with her dog, Jack, and play the guitar.


Shengni Xu
Shengni Xu is a master’s student in the robotics track, advised by Professor Louis Whitcomb. She completed her B.S. Mechanical Engineering at Sichuan University (SCU) and the University of Pittsburgh. During her two years at SCU, she contributed herself to the department of marketing in the student council. She also owned a great experience in the school choir as part of the soprano and participated in various performances. For her junior and senior years at Pitt, she was keen on finding more adventures in mechanical design projects and research in information science. At Johns Hopkins University, she will focus on the robotics field, to enlarge her vision for her future career as an algorithm engineer. In her daily life, she loves reading books in psychology, traveling with friends, communicating with people from diversified backgrounds, and practicing singing.

Juliette Mahaffey

Juliette Mahaffey is a master’s student in the Mechanics and Materials track, advised by Professor Jaafar El-Awady. Prior to starting her master’s degree at Johns Hopkins University, she worked for four years as a mechanical engineer at Draper Laboratory in Cambridge, Massachusetts, on diverse mechanical and electro-mechanical systems at various stages of development. In 2016, she received a bachelor’s degree from Harvard University in mechanical engineering, with a secondary field in French. At Harvard, Juliette worked as an undergraduate research assistant and wrote her undergraduate thesis on pop-up robotics under Professor Robert Wood at the Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering. She grew up in the Washington, D.C., area and enjoys hiking and photography; she hopes to visit all of the U.S. National Parks someday.

Chengyi Yang

Chengyi Yang is currently pursuing his master’s degree in mechanical engineering. He is building a strong foundation in robotics and computer vision to support his career goal of applying AI, the internet of things, and automation technology to people’s daily life, traditional manufacturing, and industrial practice. His various research projects and work experience, from human factors research on autonomous driving to using sensor capture in treating autism, allows him to get more inspiration on using new technology to help and serve humans. Ultimately, he hopes to build a career in the application of artificial intelligence to better the human experience.

Jenny Rosen

Jenny Rosen is completing a master’s degree in mechanical engineering from Johns Hopkins University, with a concentration in the mechanics of materials. Currently, she is also a Research Fellow at U.S. Army Research Laboratory, exploring laser gain media and optical materials by performing spectroscopic characterization. She earned a bachelor’s degree in materials science from Cornell University. Her goal is to work in the aerospace industry developing composite materials.

Vanessa Hannay

Vanessa Hannay is currently a Master’s student in mechanical engineering at Johns Hopkins University. She completed her B.S. in biomedical engineering at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute with a concentration in biomechanics. Her research interests include biomechanics of tissues, prosthetic devices, and surgical robotics. At JHU, Vanessa’s goals are to continue learning about biomechanics in greater depth, strengthen her overall mechanical engineering foundation, and hone her research skills and writing. After graduation, Vanessa aspires to work in research and development at a medical device or biotech company. Vanessa is originally from upstate New York.

Sarah Lee

Sarah Lee received her B.S in biomedical engineering from Johns Hopkins University in 2019, before starting a master’s degree in mechanical engineering. Sarah is originally from Boston, Massachusetts. During her undergraduate time at JHU, she was a member of Pi Beta Phi Fraternity, a peer-tutor, and a design team leader. She is also the CEO of Relavo, an early-stage medical device start-up that began as her undergraduate design project. Outside of work and school, Sarah enjoys cooking, yoga, and crosswords.

Tianyi Weng

Tianyi Weng is currently pursuing a master’s degree in mechanical engineering at Johns Hopkins University with a focus on robotics. Prior to attending JHU, she received her bachelor degree in mechanical engineering from the University of Delaware. Her career interests include autonomous driving, industrial robotics, and medical robotics. She likes working on international teams and her goal is to become a control engineer in robotics.

Yupin Shi

Yupin Shi is completing her master’s degree in mechanical engineering at the Whiting School of Engineering. She obtained her bachelor’s degree from Lehigh University prior to her graduate studies. Her research interests include finite element modeling for thermo-reactive soft robots and MRI compatible robotic systems for lower back pain injections. Yupin currently serves as the communication chair of Women of Whiting, building a social and professional support network for females in STEM fields. After graduation, she hopes to contribute to the healthcare industry with her expertise throughout her career and continue advocating for women in STEM.

Zhixin (Zoey) Li

Zhixin (Zoey) Li is a master’s student in mechanical engineering, with a special focus on robotics and control. Prior to joining Johns Hopkins, Zoey earned a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from The Ohio State University. Her goal is to start a company that designs assistive robots to benefit the elderly and people in need. She is originally from Bejing, China.