Stuttgart - The Postdoctoral Fellowship granted by the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC) of Canada is awarded annually with the aim to provide support to a core of the most promising Canadian researchers at a pivotal time in their careers. With this program, Canada’s federal funding agency for university-based research and student training in natural sciences and engineering also aims to secure a supply of highly qualified Canadians with leading-edge scientific and research skills for local industry, government and universities.
The NSERC encourages award holders to broaden their research experience by gaining exposure to different research environments and conducting their research abroad. “I am very happy to win this fellowship as it gives me great flexibility in choosing the location of my research”, says Dr. Hamed Shahsavan. “I have been following publications by Metin Sitti's research team since my master's studies. The trajectory of my Ph.D. and Postdoc research perfectly matched his team’s research topics and direction. Eventually, even though I had other offers from other institutes such as Harvard University, I chose the MPI-IS because of the strong team, state-of-the-art facilities and great logistic support we receive here to conduct our research. This is truly rare!”
“Hamed had significant research achievements related to biomimetic smart materials during his Ph.D. study and he has been a great new member in our group’s Advanced Materials subgroup“, Metin Sitti says, Director of the Physical Intelligence Department at the MPI-IS. “I expect him having significant scientific contributions on using liquid crystal elastomers and other smart materials and structures for new small-scale soft robots and shape-programmable soft material systems, in close collaboration with his other teammates.”
Shahsavan´s research focuses on the development of new liquid crystal elastomers (LCEs) as smart materials. So called Advanced Materials is one of the pillars of research being conducted in the Physical Intelligence Department, which is led by Dr. Metin Sitti. Shahsavan aims to app ly such stimuli-responsive smart materials for the development of new generation of mobile robots at different scales. “The ultimate objective of my two-year-research stay here in Stuttgart is to employ our resulted smart structures in emerging biomedical technologies”, he says.
When receiving the NSERC Postdoc fellowship, Dr. Hamed Shahsavan ranked 6th nationwide within applicants in the committee of Chemical, Biomedical and Materials Science Engineering. He was recognized with the ‘‘Outstanding Achievement in Graduate Studies at the Doctoral level at University of Waterloo’’ in 2017 and received the Early Stage Career Award from the International Liquid Crystal Elastomer Conference in Erice, Italy in 2015. His research interests include biomimetics, smart materials and surfaces, miniature devices, liquid crystal elastomers, bio-inspired modification of polymeric surfaces, contact mechanics (adhesion, friction, and wetting), and interfacial phenomena.
Shahsavan obtained his Ph.D. and Masters Degree in Chemical Engineering (Nanotechnology) from the University of Waterloo, Canada. He was a visiting scholar from 2015 to 2017 in the Liquid Crystal Institute at Kent State University in Ohio in the US. The title of his thesis was "Liquid Crystal Networks for Smart Biomimetic Micro/Nano Structured Adhesives".