The director of the MARS Lab is Professor Panos S. Shiakolas. Dr. Shiakolas was born and raised in Zodia, a small town in the island nation of Cyprus, until the Turkish invasion of Cyprus in 1974 during which his family became refugees. The family moved around the government controlled part of Cyprus and eventually settled in Nicosia, the capital of Cyprus. After completing high school at the Kykko Lyceum for Boys, he attended the Higher Technical Institute in Nicosia, Cyprus where he obtained the Higher National Diploma in Mechanical Engineering. Subsequently, he joined the National Guard of Cyprus for his military service where he served as a sergeant and honorably discharged in 1984. He joined the University of Texas at Austin in 1984 where he earned the BS and MS degrees in 1986 and 1988 respectively. He then joined The University of Texas at Arlington where he earned the PhD degree in 1992. All his degrees were in Mechanical Engineering in the areas of robotics and computer aided design.

He worked as a Faculty-Research Associate at The University of Texas at Arlington from 1993 through 1996. He joined the faculty as assistant professor in 1996 and is currently tenured Associate Professor of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering at The University of Texas at Arlington.

Dr. Shiakolas' research interests are in the generals areas of robotics, medical, manufacturing, microsystems, automation and controls fields as they apply to the betterment of society. In addition to his research interests, he is passionate about engineering education; he firmly believes and advocates that laying the correct foundations early in a student's carreer, both undergraduate and graduate are very important, and in addtion that theoretical frameworks should be demonstrated with hardware modules for better understanding. He has developed a number of educational and research testbeds and routinely demonstrates concepts in his courses in the areas of robotics, automation, and controls.. Follow Dr. Shiakolas on .

Dr. Panos S. Shiakolas
Associate Professor
Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering
The University of Texas at Arlington
Arlington, TX 76019-0023

Telephone: (817) 272-5715
Fax: (817) 272-5715

The greatest resource of the MARS Lab are the researchers who participate in the diverse research activities of the lab. These researchers include doctoral, masters and undergraduate students. The interaction between these students with varying backgrounds and preparation levels provides the opportunities for the younger students to be mentored and for the older students the training to learn how to mentor. The resources of the lab promote excellence in research both theoretical and applied and exceptional educational opportunities.

This webpage lists the alumni of the MARS lab Alumni (Doctoral, Masters (MS), Masters (ME), Undergraduate).
I would like to personally thank and express my appreciation to all the alumni for their participation and contribution to the research performed in the lab.

As of January 2017, the alumni family consists of 6 doctoral, 40 masters of science, 32 masters of engineering, 63 senior project and 3 iEngage students.

The current researchers could be found at Current Researchers.
The information on this web page is provided as is and is updated appropriately (last updated on March 2, 2017 ).
If you find a mistake or omission, please email me ( and I will be happy to correct it.

Alumni of the Lab:
, Masters (MS), Masters (ME), Undergraduate


6. Hasan Abu Md
and PhD!

Primary Research Area: Analysis of Dental Devices
Secondary Interests: Application of finite element analysis to biomedical device design

Please note that due to intellectual property concerns, Hasan's work will not be made public at this time (Fall 2016).

  • Hasan has a journal paper accepted in the Journal of Mechanics in Medicine and Biology (accepted March 1, 2017).
  • Hasan attended the ASME IMECE 2015 conference in Houston, TX and presented two papers on his research work.
  • Hasan passed his PhD Diagnostic Examination in August 2014. Congratulations!
  • The lab group would like to wish Hasan all the best on the occasion of his wedding in June 2104!
    We are all very happy for him and we look forward to meeting his wife upon their return to Arlington. Safe travels and Congratulations!
5. Salman N. Khan, PhD

Biomechanical Analysis of the Cornea to Improve Post Surgical Outcomes through Finite Element Analaysis

The dissertation abstact can not be made public yet due to intellectual properties issuess since UTA decided to pursue a provisional patent application.

Doctoral Research Proposal: On Improving Surgical Outcomes of Partial Thickness Corneal Endothelial Keratoplasty
Primary Research Area: Improving Opthalmic Surgical Outcomes through CAD Technology
Secondary Interests: Mechatronics and Engineering Education

  • Salman successfully defended his doctoral research in April 2015 - congratulations Dr. Khan!
  • Salman was awarded a scholarship from the Dr. Shamin Sughra Malik Scholarship fund (admninistered by the College of Engineering) in recognition of his current progress and succes in engineering. Congratulations!
  • Salman had a poster presentation on his research work titled A Study of Finite Element Structural Analysis of Allograft for Endothelial Keratoplasty at the 2014 IEEE Medical Device Symposium, The University of Texas at Dallas, Dallas, TX, Nov 7, 2014.
  • Salman succefully completed the I-Egnage program of the graduate school at UTA. He mentored ME undergraduate Mohammed Aliakbar, on finite element theory and the use of ANSYS in corneal graft modeling during summer 2014. Congratulations to both!
  • Salman was awarded the prestigious Dissertation Fellowship for summer 2014 from the Office of Graduate studies of UTA (May 2014). Congratulations!
  • Salman participated in UTA's ACES 2014 symposium on March 26, 2014 with a poster on his research work titled Finite Element modeling of Descemet’s Stripping Automated Endothelial Keratoplasty (DSAEK) surgery to improve surgical outcomes. Salman was awarded an honorable mention on the Graduate Poster Presentations. ACES awards web page
  • Salman successfully presented his proposal for his doctoral research topic (aka PhD Comprehensie) to his PhD committee (the second major hurdle of a PhD student) on December 12, 2103. Congratulations!
  • The lab group is wishing Salman safe travels for his upcoming trip to Pakistan (December 2014)! Salman is travelling to tie the knot - congratulations on your wedding and all the best. We are all very happy for him. We look forward to meeting his wife in 2014. Safe travels!
4. Mohsin Rizwan, PhD

A One Dimensional Dry Friction Microconveyor Platform: Modeling and Analysis of Micropart Motion Due to Surface Excitation

Doctoral Dissertation Abstract Fall 2011 (see also undergraduate international collaboration)

Dr. Rizwan was the first student to be admitted and graduate under the BS to PhD program of the MAE - COE at UTA.
Dr. Rizwan is an Professor at the University of Engineering and Technology, Lahore, Pakistan.

3. Nitin Uppal, PhD

A Mathematical Model Development and Sensitivity Analysis of Two Photon Polymerization for 3D Micro/Nano Fabrication

Doctoral Dissertation Abstract Summer 2008 (see also MS Thesis Research Info)

2. Mohammad Mayyas, PhD

Methodologies for Automated Microassembly

Doctoral Dissertation Abstract Fall 2007 (see also MS Thesis Research Info)

Dr. Mayyas is Associate Professor at Bowling Green University in Ohio.

1. Sunil Belligundu, PhD

Experimental Characterization of Femtosecond Laser Micromachining for Silicon Mold Fabrication and Hot Embossing for Polymer Microreplication

Doctoral Dissertation Abstract Fall 2005 (see also MS Thesis Research Info)

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Masters of Science

40. Michael Abraham

General Area: Medical Diagnostic Tool (can not disclose actual topic due to intellectural property)

MS Thesis Fall 2016

39. Shashank Kumat


Primary Research Area: Medical robotic diagnostic devices
MS Thesis Fall 2016

Please note that Shashank's work can not be disclosed yet due to intellectual property concerns.

38. Utshav Shah

Human Robot Interaction using Knowledge Base Approach
MS Thesis Abstract (coming soon) Spring 2016

37. Matt Heuser
matt_defense matthew

Investigation of Additive Manufacturing using Industrial Robots
MS Thesis Abstract (coming soon) Spring 2016

36. Tushar Sanai

Additive Manufacturing Methodologies for MultiProcess and MultiMaterial Scenarios
MS Thesis Abstract (coming soon) Fall 2015

35. Shahid Faizee
shahid Methodology and Characterization of PhotoPolymerization Process Using UV Curable Resin
MS Thesis Abstract (coming soon) Fall 2015
34. Ryan Neufeld

Improving Scoliosis Rehabilitation
MS Thesis Abstract (coming soon) Spring 2014

33. Shruti Gandhi


Hydrogel Based Bandages for Wound Ttreatment
MS in Materials Science and Engineering.
Prof. Pranesh Aswath advisor - Prof. Shiakolas co-advisor
MS Thesis Abstract Spring 2011

32. Eric Olson

Analysis and Design of a Two-wheeled Robot with Multiple User Interface Inputs and Vision Feedback Control
MS Thesis Abstract Summer 2010

31. Raghu Mandayam

Kinematic Analysis of a Hexapod Robot as a Machine Tool
MS Thesis Abstract Spring 2010

30. Joonas Ponkala

On the Design of a Biodegradable POC-HA Polymeric Cardiovascular Stent
MS Thesis Abstract Summer 2009

29. Nikhil Kavadia

Nanocomposite Fabrication using Two Photon Polymerization
MS Thesis Abstract Spring 2009

28. Varun Sood

An experimental study on thermal bonding effects of PMMA based micro-devices using hot embossing
MS Thesis Abstract Fall 2007

27. John Henley

Design and Implementation of a Feedback Linearizing Controller and Kalman Filter for a Magnetic Levitation System
MS Thesis Abstract Spring 2007

26. Po Shiun Chen

Analysis and Design of a Piezoceramic Micro-Actuator
MS Thesis Abstract Summer 2006

25. Venkat Raghavan

Dual Use Laparoscopic Surgical Instrument
Fall 2005

24. Nitin Uppal

Femtosecond Laser Micromachining of Engineering Materials
MS Thesis Abstract Spring 2005

23. Vikram Patil

Parametric Analysis of Femtosecond Laser Micromachining on PolyMethylMethAcrylate (PMMA)
Fall 2004

22. Akash Deodhar

Intelligent Heat Control for a Hot Embossing Microreplication System
Fall 2004

21. Gaurav Keswani

Effects of Process Parameters on Micro-feature Topography in Femtosecond Laser Micromachining of Silicon
Summer 2004

20. Deshmukh Aditya

Control System Development for a Hot Embossing Microfabrication System
Spring 2004

19. Arvind Ramachandran

Automated Motion Planning of a Femtosecond Laser Micromachining System
Spring 2004

18. Mohammad Mayyas

Wafer Surface Reconstruction and Characterization for Motion Compensation in a Femtosecond Laser Micromachining System
MS Thesis Abstract Spring 2004

17. Vinay Chandra

Web Based Educational Tools for Mechanical Engineers
Fall 2003

16. Rajkumar Thanu
raj.jpg (251443 bytes)

Design, Analysis and Fabrication of Hot Embossing Microfabrication System
Co-advised with Prof. Shiv Joshi
Summer 2003

15. Joel Gorman

Experimental Identification of Process Parameters for Automated Composite Scarfing using a Stewart Platform
Summer 2003

14. Omideh Taghavi

Fuzzy Logic Control of a Magnetic Levitation System with Hardware in the Loop Implementation
Spring 2003

13. Dipanjan Ghosh

Analysis of PMMA Material Characteristics for Micro-Embossing Applications
MS in Aerospace Engineering & Co-advised with Prof. Shic Joshi
Spring 2003

12. Darmesh Koladiya

Application of Differential Evolution Optimization to Robotics and Mechnanism Synthesis
Fall 2002

11. Sunil Belligundu

Design and Prototyping of a Mechanical Finger for Artificial Hands
MS Thesis Abstract Summer 2001

10. Damrongrit (Daniel) Piyabongkarn

Digital Control of a Magnetic Levitation System Through xPC Real-Time Operating System: Classical, Feedforward, and Artificial Neural Networks

MS Thesis Abstract Fall 2000


9. Les Strickland

Robotic Assembly of Thin-Film Smart Structures

MS Thesis Abstract Spring 2000

8. Srinivasan Laxman

Aerospace Manufacturing in Confined Spaces: Manual and Automation Issues
Spring 2000

7. Kevin L. Conrad

A Generic In-Process Contact Calibration Methodology for Application to Industrial Robotics
Fall 1999

6. Glen Oliverglen

Automation of the Surface Finishing of RotorCraft Blades
Co-advised with Prof. Tom LawleyMS Thesis Abstract Spring 1999
5. Naresh, Rajanna

Investigation of VRTX Real-Time Digital PID Controller for a Modular Reconfigurable Robot
MS Thesis Abstract Fall 1998

4. Syed Faisal

A Virtual Prototyping Environment for Robot Design
MS Thesis Abstract Fall 1997

3. Bharath

A Virtual Prototyping Environment for Robot Design using a Genetic Algorithm
Summer 1996 - Co-advised with Prof. Kent Lawrence

2. Kranthi Rao

Development of a User Friendly Path Planning Interface for Planar Robots Using AutoCAD-12 as Front End
Spring 1996 - Co-advised with Prof. Kent Lawrence

1. Todd Sharpe

Modular Robot Joints and Quick Connect/Disconnect Design
Fall 1994 - Co-advised with Prof. Tom Lawley

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Masters of Engineering

MEME: Masters of Engineering in Mechanical Engineering
MEAE: Masters of Engineering in Aerospace Engineering
MEEE: Masters of Engineering in Electrical Engineering

32. Divya Shah
MEME, Spring 2016
divyashah Design and Prototype of a Finger Pressure Sensor


31. Apoorv Patwardhan
MEME, Spring 2016

Biaxial Tissue Testing Device Design

30. Pradeep Mohan
MEME, Fall 2015

Additive manufacturing robotic fixture

29. Khaled Suleiman
MEME, Summer 2015

Pressure sensing mechanical finger

28. Vishal Sarode
MEME, Spring 2015


Mechatronics: LabVIEW based 3D Microscope Control

Retrofitting of a 4-axis microscope and interface with LabVIEW for user control

27. Kshitija Suryavanshi
MEME, Spring 2015


Characterization and Control of the Inkjet Module for 3D Printing

26. Reggie Watt
MEME, Fall 2013


Modeling and Analysis of a Thermoelectric Cooler for Localized Application

25. Adil Ahmed Riaz
MEME, Fall 2013

IntestineBot: Conceptual Design and Preliminary Analysis of an Intestine Robot

24. Musab Bari
MEAE, Summer 2014


Investigation of LabVIEW- sbRIO for a MagLev Device for Teaching and Research

23. Katrina Wagner, MEAE Spring 2013
Improvements of a Robotic Haptics Simulator

22. Ben Witherspoon, MEME Summer 2012
On the Interface of FALCON Force Feedback Joystick with 3-DOF Robot

21. Amit Thanekar, MEEE, Spring 2012
Obstacle Avoidance of a Mesorolling Robot

20. David Wilhite, MEME Summer 2011
Performance Comparison of Closed Form Expressions for Tetrahedral Finite Elements

19. Nathan Evans, MEME Spring 2010
Design of a Modular Multifunction Laparoscopic Tool

18. Vijay Sarathy, MEME Spring 2010
Design and Analysis of an Underactuated Robotic Finger

17. Rachel Hamilton, MEAE Summer 2009
Preliminary Six-Legged Robot Kinematics

16. Stephanie Autrey, MEME Spring 2008
Two Photon Polymerization Code Improvement and Evaluation

15. Rachmat Sofian, MEME Summer 2006
Viscoelastic Modeling of PMMA Flow for Hot Embossing Microfabrication

14. Gianfranco Rios, MEME Spring 2006
Mechanical Design and Construction of a Multifunction Laparoscopic Tool

13. Ketankumar Patel, MEME Spring 2006
Design and Analysis of a Piezo Microgripper

12. Xin Xie, MEME Spring 2006
Design of a Lens Exchange Mechanism for Femtosecond Laser Micromachining System

11. Michael Gandy, MEME Summer 2004
CAD/CAM for Practicing Design Engineers

10. Detchai Weoprasert, MEME Summer 2004
Rotary Inverted Pendulum Analysis and Real Time Control

9. Radu Jitariu,  MEME Fall 2003
Fuzzy Logic Control of an Inverted Pendulum System

8. Santipon Phluthura, MEME Fall 2003
Analysis and Demonstration of the Quanser Educational Modules

7. Sarun Nilprapa, MEME Fall 2003
Design and Construction of a Heating Experiment

6. Maneerat Suthampitak, MEME Fall 2003
Construction and Data Acquisition Environment for a Heating Experiment

5. Kyle Wilkes, MEME Summer 2002
Micro-Electro-Mechanical-Systems (MEMS) with Applications in the Medical Industry

4. Hong Lee, MEME Summer 2002
Analysis and Design of an SMA Clamp

3. Bryan Simmons, MEME Fall 2001
Kalman Filter Based Controller for a Maglev Device – Analysis and Real-Time Implementation

2. Stephen Robert Van Schenck, MEME Spring 2001
An Application of Neural Networks to Mobile Robotics:
Direction Control, Obstacle Avoidance and Associative Learning

1. Brad McCreight, MEME Fall 2000
A Magnetic Levitation Device: An Engineering Education Testbed (abstract info)

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Undergraduates Supervised in the MARS lab
Capstone Senior Projects and Other Students

A total of 67 students in 16 capstone design projects have been supervised up to the end of spring 2016.
A total of 3 iEngage students in 3 different projects have been supervised up to the end of summer 2016.
A total of 1 McNair Scholars student has been supervised up to the end of summer 2016.

Saul Gutierrez
McNair Scholars Program


Summer 2016 Research Topic: Machine Learning for an artificial hand
Saul was mentored by Chris and Dr. Shiakolas through the McNair Scholar Program at UTArlington.
Saul's presentation and paper won the McNair Scholars award through the Friends of the Library, an indication of his hard work.

Fayruz Quazi
I Engage

Summer 2015 Research Topic: Modeling of Dental Implants for Finite Element Analysis.
Fayruz was mentored by Hasan through the I-Engage mentoring program of the graduate school.
More information on iEngage at UTA (

Kersasp Ceswani
I Engage

Summer 2015 Research Topic: Characterization of a 3D Printing process through DOE.
Kersasp was mentored by Prashanth through the I-Engage mentoring program of the graduate school.
More information on iEngage at UTA (

Mohammed AliakbarI Engage

Summer 2014 Research Topic: Finite Element Analysis of Human Corneal Graft using ANSYS.
Mohammed was mentored by Salman through the I-Engage mentoring program of the graduate school.
More information on iEngage at UTA (

Harris Enotiades (inactive)

Primary Research Area: Robotics for Training and Rehabilitation
Computer Aided Design Tools and Additive Manufacturing
Senior Design Project: Design of an Upper Arm Prosthesis (Spring - Summer 2013)

  • Harris is currently employed at Gardner Denver (Fall 2015). He participates in lab activities time permitting.
    His input is always welcomed!
  • Harris officially completed his BS in ME degree in Spring 2014. Congratulations and wishes for continued success!


16. (4 students)
Eddie, Samantha, Britton and Aaron

Spring 2016 and Summer 2016
ME Students working on their senior design project.

Research and design an imporved performance mechanical thumb
Congratulations for successful completion of your capstone project!

15. (6 students)
Erin Smith

Orvil Thapa
Samer Malaabi
Santosh Gurung
Humaidhee Sanoon
Oluwafemi Shotunde

Fall 2014 and Spring 2015
ME Students working on their senior design project.

Research and design a “smart” robotic gripper for irregular object handling
Congratulations for successful completion of your capstone project!

14. (5 students)
Neha Gada
Asvin Peiris
Mohammed Aliakbar
Segio Gutierrez
Husain Lohawala

Spring 2014 and Summer 2104
ME Students who worked on their senior design project.

Design, development, demonstration of dispensing head(s) for bio-printing applications.
Congratulations for successful completion of your capstone project!

L to R: Mohammad, Sergio, Neha, Asvin, Husain

13. (5 students)
Jacob Oberg
Andrew Dierdorf
Ryan Moody
Toby Anderson
Russell Collins

Fall 2013 and Spring 2014
ME Students who worked on their senior design project.
Design and development of a new generation of rapid prototyping printer.

The ME second semester senior group sponsored by the MARS lab participated and won one of the eight places in the ASAIO Second Annual Student Design Competition to be held on June 19th during the ASAIO 60th Annual Conference, June 18 – 21, 2014 in Washington, DC ( based on their capstone project Multi-Polymeric 3D Print Head for Use in Bioprosthetic Research. The conference program can be found at (scroll down to page 9 second column). (
Note: 48 national-international teams were invited to submit their proposals for the competition in early spring 2014 and 8 submissions were selected as winners. Congratulations to the MAE - UTA for being invited to present their research at this international conference!
Job well done !

12. (4 students)
Daniel Lain
Timothy Edmonson
Shawn Simonson
Jesse Bowles

Fall 2013 and Spring 2014
CSE Students who worked on their senior design project on the 3D BioPrinter.
Design and development of driving software for a new generation of rapid prototyping printer.

L to R: Timothy, Daniel, Jesse, Shawn


Samavia Javed
Rameeza Muneeb
Munazza Fatima
Quratulain Masood

Fall 2013 and Spring 2014
Undergraduate International Collaboration with the University of Engineering and Technology in Lahore, Pakistan under the supervision of Dr. Rizwan.
Analysis and design of a mechanical finger with active force feedback capability
Congratulations for successful completion of your project!

11. (4 students) Harris Enotiades, Brenna Burris, Keilon Lathan, Andrew Watkins - MAE Spring 2013 - Summer 2013
Design and Construction of an Upper Limb Prosthesis Arm

10. (5 students) Letia Blanco, Chris Grace, Chris Alberts, Kyle Gofrey, Andrew Patin
(co-supervised with Prof. Pranesh Aswath) - MAE Fall 2010 - Spring 2011

Controlled Release Drug Delivery System for Treatment of Burns
Note: This group won the 2011 ASM Materials Foundation Undergraduate Design Competition

9. (3 students) Richard Margolin, Joshua Jach, and Jonathan Nichols -MAE Spring 2010 - Summer 2010
Design, Analysis, Construction of a 3 DOF Robotic Leg using a Single Motor for Actuation

8. (6 students) Elizabeth McClellen, Nancy Prathoumvanh, Eduardo Banda. Joseph LaCour, Melissa Phothisane,
Shih Teng - MAE Spring 2008 - Summer 2008
Actuated Robotic Hand: Single Finger Design and Analysis

7. (4 students) Ashu Balimba, Gabriela Guzman, Vladimir Sosa, and Garrett Wright - MAE Summer 2008 - Spring 2008
A Polymeric Coronary Stent Testing Ddevice

6. (3 students) Brian Amond, Derek Cannon, and Rahman Yousef - MAE Spring 2001 - Summer 2001
On the Development of a Tripod Walking Robot

5. (3 students) Amy Smaistrla, Bryan Baron, and Brent Scott  - MAE Spring 1999 - Summer 1999

Development of an Electromagnetic Levitation Controls Experiment (more info)

4. (4 students) Jason McPeak, Jessica Weir, Gregory Pasienski, and William Mann - MAE Fall 1998 - Spring 1999
Three Finger End Effector: Development of a Force Sensing Three Fingered End Effector for
Robotic Applications
(more info)

3. (4 students) Randall Saunders, Patrick R. Brown, Stephen Duncan, and Nathan C. Leigh - MAE Fall 1998 - Spring 1997
Six Degree of Freedom Robotic Device with Force Feedback: Hardware Development of an
One-Degree of Freedom Pneumatic Force Feedback Joystick for Robotic Teleoperation

2. (4 students) Alfredo Valadez, Matthew Schmitz, Jeff Dublin, and Radu Jitariu - MAE Spring 1997 - Summer 1997
Robotic Drill End Effector

1. (3 students) Jack Murphy, Nick Burtea, and John Havens - MAE Fall 1996 - Spring 1997
Design of a Quick Connect Disconnect Coupler for Modular Robots

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Copyright © MARS Lab
Mechanical & Aerospace Engineering Department
College of Engineering
The University of Texas at Arlington