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Student Spotlight - Abisola Kusimo

Abisola KusimoAbisola Kusimo

Senior, Mechanical Engineer

Minor(s) Rhetoric Communication, Engineering Leadership Development, and Technology Entrepreneurship


  • College Park Scholars: International Studies
  • Clark School of Engineering Ambassador, Minority Liaison
  • Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation, Participant
  • WIE Research Fellow (3 years)
  • Hinman Campus Entrepreneurship Opportunities, Participant
  • Ronald E. McNair Baccalaureate Program, Participant
  • NSBE Region II Executive Board, Zone Coordinator
  • TEDxUMaryland 2014 Co-Founder and Organizer
  • Igor Sikorsky Scholarship Program, Participant
  • Study Abroad and Alternative Break Experiences (United Arab Emirates, Qatar, France, Spain, Haiti and Nigeria)

Nigeria & Haiti: My travels this Winter 2014 to Nigeria and Haiti further fueled my desire to make a difference in this world! The trip to Nigeria was for personal reasons (visiting family etc.) although I was still able to make a connection with a local schoolteacher explaining my interest in promoting engineering to her students. The Alternative Break trip to Haiti was Community Development based and a cultural exchange between the University of Maryland and the Pre-Professional students of Gaza in the rural town of Desarmes, Haiti. We were able to learn the beautiful language of Creole and teach students beginner, intermediate and advanced levels of English to prepare them for future job opportunities in foreign relations. Upon my return, I realized how important it was for more students to get global experiences in regions of the world that are often overlooked. I’m now in the process of helping to expand Alternative Breaks into more countries that also need their voices heard! (The picture above was taken in Port-Au-Prince at the top of our hike on Kenscoff Mountain, “Haiti” in Creole translates to “Mountains”).

Recent Achievements

  • Dean’s List Fall 2013
  • Featured student in Clark School Video: Building Better Engineers
  • Student speaker for the Engineering Scholarship Luncheon Fall 2012 and Sikorsky Scholarship Luncheon Fall 2012
  • Clark School of Engineering Ambassador: Top Ambassador Prize SP 13
  • Co-Authored research paper with Dr. Sandborn in Spring 2012
  • Semi-Finalist in ASME International Undergraduate Research Competition


Summer 2012 & Summer 2013: I worked as a Preliminary Design Intern and Airframe Design Engineering Intern at Sikorsky Aircraft Corporation respectively. This summer, I even had a chance to travel to Coatesville, PA with two members of my team to conduct my independent research on a summer-long project for my design group! The picture to the left is me in an actual S-76D Helicopter, the very same helicopter that I had worked on all summer!

I’ve participated in WIE Research Fellows for the past 3 years, continuing my research with Dr. Miao Yu and one of her graduate students Hyungdae Bae in Micro Electro Mechanical Systems. Concurrently, I also did research with Dr. Peter Sandborn on Skills Obsolescence as a case study for a large chemical manufacturer. Dr. Sandborn and I published a paper in Spring 2012 and Dr. Yu and I are in the final stages of drafting a paper for an older project involving a lab on a chip system using a laser induced optical fiber.

Career Goals/Ambitions

My dreams are certainly boundless but a few of the major pit stops I want to take are: attaining the Masters, MBA, and PhD degrees. After obtaining my doctorate, taking time to teach as a professor, using my research to start my own business, finding time to travel the world and working with developing nations in aspects such as affordable and effective waste reduction, recycling, and clean water technologies. Of course, all the while I will still be pursuing my passion for spoken word poetry and persuasive speaking (wherever it may take me)!

Favourite Aspect of Being an Engineer in the Clark School

The faculty, staff and students here in the Clark School cannot be compared to those at any other institution. Forming relationships with these people has proven to be the greatest decision I ever made. Between the helpful pre-professional organizations, the fun social activities, and the tremendous encouragement and support, I’m certain that no other school could have possibly been a better fit for me!