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Loyola Graduates of Mechanical Engineering Pursuing Doctoral Work

Two 2019 graduates of the Engineering program at Loyola University Maryland, Meghan Reynolds and Patrick Bradley, are now pursuing doctoral degrees at Duke University. Meghan studied mechanical and materials engineering at Loyola. She is now in the third year of her doctoral studies in the Biomedical Engineering department at Duke. Her research project is in the field of mechanobiology and mechanotransduction. Meghan is researching ways to better understand the mechanosensitivity of the cell’s plasma membrane. She writes of how her experience at Loyola prepared her for graduate studies:

“During my time at Loyola I was fortunate enough to partake in the Hauber Summer Research Fellowship. Under the mentorship of Dr. Rob Bailey, I was able to explore what a research career looked like and began to develop the skills needed to succeed in this field. I found that investigating a novel question and diving deep into a specific problem was something I was interested in pursuing further. Luckily, I was able to continue this project the following year and my enthusiasm for research continued to grow. These experiences, along with the invaluable mentorship from the Loyola engineering professors, guided me towards pursuing a PhD.”

Patrick studied mechanical engineering at Loyola. He is now in his second year of a Ph.D. program in the Mechanical Engineering and Materials Science department at Duke, specializing in Orthopaedic Biomechanics. He explains how his time at Loyola helped prepare and motivate him for further studies:

“My interest in graduate school first peaked during my junior year at Loyola when I started working on a research project with an engineering professor. Through this project, and talking to many of the engineering professors, my interest grew, and I ultimately decided to pursue a PhD. Although my current research is very different from what I worked on for my research project at Loyola, my path towards graduate school started with that initial project. The engineering knowledge I gained at Loyola laid the framework for tackling more niche engineering topics in graduate school. In addition to my engineering education, I also appreciate the emphasis that Loyola put on writing and presenting, which are key components of graduate school.”

Dr. Robert Bailey, Professor of Mechanical Engineering, supervised both Meghan and Patrick in their undergraduate research. He states,

“Over my 16 years at Loyola, I have had the privilege of working with many gifted undergraduates, and Meghan Reynolds and Patrick Bradley are among our very best. Because we don’t offer graduate degrees in engineering, Loyola faculty members rely on talented undergraduate students to assist with our research. This is rewarding for us, but more importantly, it gives the students a chance to participate in engineering research first-hand and to decide whether they might want to seek an advanced degree. I was delighted when Meghan and (one year later) Patrick chose to pursue their Ph.D.’s at Duke University because they both have so much to offer to both our profession and our world.”

Dr. Robert Pond, the past chair of the Engineering Department, writes:

“Megan and Patrick exemplify our Loyola engineering students who engage and study beyond their course work. Their interest in making the world better in service of humankind is critically needed and we are proud to have been a part of their Jesuit education.”

With its small faculty-to-student ratio, there are ample opportunities for students to pursue research as undergraduates in Loyola’s engineering program. These opportunities are under the direct supervision of a faculty member and range from taking an independent research study course during the semester to obtaining a Hauber Research Fellowship during the summer. More information about research opportunities for students in the Loyola engineering department can be found here.

Meghan Reynolds

Meghan performing DNA purification in a research laboratory at Duke University

Patrick Bradley

Patrick sitting in front of the Duke University Chapel



Summer research with the Hauber Fellowship program allows undergraduates to spend 10 weeks each summer working on an independent project under the guidance of Loyola faculty.