Principal Investigator:


Mona Eskandari, PhD 

Assistant Professor
Department of Mechanical Engineering


Mona Eskandari

Dr. Mona Eskandari is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering (Cooperating Faculty title in the Department of Bioengineering, collaborating with the School of Medicine's multidisciplinary BREATHEcenter) at UC-Riverside. She is a recipient of the prestigious Hellman Foundation Faculty Fellowship. She also holds the honored title of Distinguished Teaching Professor.

She received her doctorate and master's degree from Stanford University, and her bachelor’s degree from the University of Arizona, where she was also a Nugent medalist. She was granted the University of California Provost's Engineering Faculty Research Fellowship to conduct her postdoctoral research at UC-Berkeley, and was previously named a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellow, a DARE Doctoral Fellow, and a Stanford Graduate Science and Engineering Fellow.

Her area of expertise is computational modeling and experimental characterization of biological systems, with an emphasis on pulmonary mechanics. Professor Eskandari received the Early Engineering Educator Award from the American Society for Engineering Education, and the renowned K. Patricia Cross Future Leaders of Higher Education Award from the Association of American Colleges and Universities.





Dr. Arif Badrou is a postdoctoral scholar focusing on structural pulmonary biomechanics research. His work involves multiple computational projects with an emphasis on an inverse finite element modeling project of whole-organ nonlinear deformation mechanics, using 3D surface strain digital image correlation (DIC). Arif obtained his PhD in Biomechanics from INSA de Lyon (France) in 2022, where he worked on the development of decision support tools using model order reduction for active endovascular navigation. Afterwards, he continued his research as an industrial postdoc to work on the simulation of an active catheter to reach cerebral targets.



Dr. Mohammad Maghsoudi Ganjeh is a postdoctoral scholar and focuses on leveraging fundamental biomechanics to address chronic lung disorders with the overarching goal of impacting clinical practice. He uses inverse computational methods (finite element analysis) coupled with state-of-the-art experimental techniques. Mohammad obtained his Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Texas at San Antonio in 2020, where he worked on nanoscale computational modeling of bone and bio-inspired materials. He has received multiple awards including graduate scholarship in biomaterials/biomechanics and computational solid mechanics from UTSA.


Dr. Heleen Fehervary is a postdoctoral fellow visiting from the University of Leuven (KU Leuven, Belgium). Her expertise lies in the experimental characterization and modeling of various soft biological tissues. Her focus in the bMECH lab is on the development of microstructural modeling of the pulmonary airways from experimental confocal imaging. Heleen obtained her PhD in Mechanical Engineering at the University of Leuven on planar biaxial testing of soft biological tissue in 2018. Afterwards, she continued her research as a postdoc at the University of Leuven and received a postdoctoral fellowship from the Flanders Research Foundation.

Samaneh Sb3C

Samaneh Sattari is a Ph.D. student in Mechanical Engineering at UC-Riverside. Her master's degree is in Biomechanical Engineering from the University of Calgary where her research centered on the mechanical, microstructural, and histological characterization of the human aneurysmal aorta, providing experimental measures for computational models. Additionally, she received a master's and bachelor's degree in Chemical Engineering from Amirkabir University of Technology and Iran University of Science and Technology, respectively. 



Crystal Mariano is a Ph.D. student in Mechanical Engineering, and joined bMECH as a Junior Lab Specialist upon graduating with her bachelor's degree in Bioengineering from UCR. Her undergraduate research experiences focused on materials science, mechanical engineering, and bioengineering, exploring transparent cranial implants centered on the synthesis, characterization, and biocompatibility of nanoparticles. She also has experience in photolithography to aid in the etching and study of titanium microneedles. 


Kathrine Anduaga is a Ph.D. student in Mechanical Engineering at UC-Riverside. Her bachelor’s  degree is in Engineering Physics from Point Loma Nazarene University in San Diego, California. Her undergraduate research focused on graphene synthesis and its biomedical application; she investigated ideal parameters for large-area single layer graphene and its cellular impact. She also has experience working with robotics and 3D printing.


Talyah Nelson is a Ph.D. student in Mechanical Engineering and a graduate of Walla Walla University (WWU), were she earned a Bachelor of Science in Engineering with a concentration in Mechanical Engineering. During her time at WWU, Talyah maintained a position as a manufacturing engineering intern at Key Technology. After graduating, she accepted a position at WWU as STEM Recruiter/Engineering Program Support. In this role, Talyah balances performing recruitment duties with teaching lower and upper-division engineering courses such as Intro to Engineering and Advanced CAD. 


Gustavo Ramirez is a Ph.D. student in Mechanical Engineering. He has a strong interest in biomedical engineering and is currently involved in developing a prototype for pulmonary healthcare in the bMECH lab. He was previously also the Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers academic chair at UCR and loves soccer.


Matthew Shankel is a Ph.D. student in Mechanical Engineering. He graduated from Walla Walla University (WWU) with a Bachelor of Science in Engineering and a concentration in bioengineering. After graduating, he joined Teach for America to teach high school physics in Los Angeles, during which he completed his Master of Arts in Urban Education at Loyola Marymount University.




Joy Bebawy is an undergraduate junior in Biomedical Engineering at UC-Riverside. Her  interest in the mechanics of heart valve replacements and the impacts of stenosis on an artery’s stress and strain led her to Professor Eskandari’s Lab where she assists in the exploration of different maneuvers of mechanical ventilation on pulmonary gas exchange. In her free time, she enjoys everything nature related, whether the beach or hiking.


Snigdha Prakash is an undergraduate sophomore in Mechanical Engineering. Her interest in mechanics of materials and analysis with biomechanics applications led her to join the bMECH lab. She is a Technical Development lead for the Biomedical Engineering Society at UC-Riverside (BMES at UCR), where she plans and conducts workshops on cross-disciplinary engineering topics. She is also a Music Director for Raaga at UCR, UCR’s competitive South Asian Fusion Acapella team where she arranges musical pieces for the team to perform. She enjoys singing and playing Hindustani Classical Music, reading, hiking, running and learning new languages.


Swathi Vittalbabu is a senior majoring in Mechanical Engineering at the UC-Riverside. She leads microstructural imaging research of pulmonary tissue. She is involved in UCR's SAE Aero team and Robosub team and enjoys building planes, singing Carnatic music, and knitting.



Neftali Lau  is currently a senior studying mechanical engineering at the UC-Riverside. His interest in the bioapplications of solid mechanics led him to join the bMECH lab, where he conducts in-vitro research on the mechanics of asthmatic airways using finite element analysis.




George Padilla is a senior undergraduate student at UC-Riverside pursuing his degree in Physics and Astronomy with an emphasis on Mechanical Engineering. He is involved in Aerospace Systems at UCR, the Philosophy Club, and is the treasurer of the Astronomy Club. He has previously conducted research on the holographic transmission of plane objects, focusing on the Fourier and Fresnel transformation of interfering light to produce holographic images on a two-dimensional surface 


Sarah Thompson is an undergraduate junior in Mechanical Engineering. She has previously studied Multiple Sclerosis in mice using histology, electrophysiology, and behavioral experiments. Her interest in Biomedical Engineering led her to become an undergraduate research fellow for the MARC U Star program. She’s also involved in SWE and enjoys hiking and the beach. 




Nikos Eulgem holds a bachelor's degree in Mechanical Engineering from UC-Riverside. He was involved in Aerospace Systems where he leads at team of students in the research and development of the clubs first liquid rocket engine. In his free time, he enjoys science fiction, astronomy, woodworking, and soccer.





Lab Alumni:

Nikolaos Matisioudis

Sanika Nishandar

William Li 

Ricardo Miguel Ruvalcaba Briones 

Talha Lone 


Lab Photos:


bMECH at SB3C 2024 Lake Geneva, Wisconsin



Lab Brunch - here's to a great 2023-2024 year!



b-M-E-C-H Lab!



Lab welcome and delicious chocolate



bMECH presents at the Annual Mechanical Engineering Graduate Student Association Colloquium



Lab Dinner



Whole organ human lung mechanical testing



Kicking off the 2022-2023 academic year with lab lunch



bMECH goes to Maryland 



Summer break



Demoing pulmonary diagnostic methods



bMECH at the Summer of Bioengineering Biomechanics and Biotransport Conference



Lung tissue characterization




Lab Lunch