Undergraduate Research Program

Isaiah Cuadras

Isaiah SmilingMajor: Aeronautics & Astronautics
Mentor: Jinkyu Yang, Aeronautics & Astronautics

Contact: iac3@uw.edu

Current research project: Optimizing Millifluidic Devices to Reduce Shear Stresses on Coral Propogates


Isaiah is a senior undergraduate student in the department of Aeronautics & Astronautics. He does research using fluid dynamics in the context of coral reefs. He is also passionate about increasing accessibility to STEM fields in underrepresented communities. He tries to contribute towards this as an ambassador for the Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation (LSAMP), a program that seeks to increase the retention and participation of underrepresented minorities in STEM fields.


Translate your work so that we can all understand its importance
I use engineering techniques to contribute towards coral reef restoration efforts. In particular, I use fluid dynamics to assist in the making of devices that are used to study coral reefs.


When, how, and why did you get involved in undergraduate research?
I got involved near the end of my sophomore year on a study abroad research program in oceanography. I was not satisfied with the kind of work that was available in student organizations, I wanted more autonomy over my work. I heard about this program through LSAMP and have since switched my intended career trajectory from aerospace engineering to oceanography.


What advice would you give a student who is considering getting involved in undergraduate research?
Be open to the different kinds of topics that are available to you and make the effort to learn about these topics before you contact professors you are interested in working with. Doing research is a commitment, so having some idea of what you are getting yourself into by reading papers based on the work available is a good idea. If you don’t know where to start reading, ask a professor for guidance! Just because they may not end up being your research mentor does not mean they can’t give you resources to learn about the topic. Professors get really excited when someone else is interested in their research, so they are usually very willing to help!