MY STUDENTS

Bio-inspired Sustainable Systems Lab (BiSSL)

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If you have an interest in design & optimization of complex systems with goals to improving things like sustainability & resilience, all while using bio-inspired design take a look at some of our lab’s previous work and get in touch! We work on problems ranging from industrial resources networks, supply chains, cyber-physical networks, energy grids, food and water distribution systems. Prior MATLAB/R/Python experience is highly desirable and system optimization experience is helpful, but not required. While open projects are funding dependent, I’m always happy to talk to an interested student!

Motivated and hardworking undergraduate students are always welcome to contact me about research opportunities as well.

Learn more about our research group here…


BiSSL Students

PhD
Ahbeek Catterjee

PhD
Samuel Blair
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Undergrad
Jessica Ezemba

Undergrad
Yanneliz Nava

MS
Luis Rodriguez

Undergrad
Kristina Viro

MS
Andrew Foster


MS
Tejas Adsul

MS
Tyler Wilson

Undergrad
Angel Alex

MS
Garrett Hairston


Undergrad
Shelby Warrington


MS
Jewel Williams

Undergrad
Laura Homiller

PhD
Michael Adams


MS
Colton Brehm


PhD
Hadear Hassan

MS
Varun Panyam


Undergrad
Josh Jaynes



MS
Tirth Dave

PhD


MS



Undergrad


You?
Does bio-inspired system research sound interesting? Do you want to solve sustainability and resilience issues? Get in touch now!


Current BiSSL Students

Abheek Chatterjee

Ph.D. mechanical engineering student Abheek joined our group in Fall 2018 from NIT Warangal, where he spent 2 summers at Georgia Institute of Technology doing research under Dr. Tequila Harris. Abheek was awarded the J. Mike Walker 66′ Department of Mechanical Engineering Emil Buehler Aerodynamic Analog Fellowship Fall of 2019, a J. Mike Walker ’66 Department of Mechanical Engineering Graduate Summer Research Grant for Summer 2020, and a J. Mike Walker 66′ Department of Mechanical Engineering Graduate Student Fellowship Fall of 2020 & 2021. His IDETC-CIE conference paper in 2020 won Best Paper from the SEIKM program under the CIE division. He is also a 2021/2022 PF2ME fellow.

(2021) Chatterjee, A.; Malak, R.; Layton, A. “Ecology-inspired Resilient and Affordable System of Systems using Degree of System Order,” Systems Engineering, pp. 1-16. DOI: 10.1002/sys.21598.

(2021) Chatterjee, A.; Malak, R.; Layton, A. “Exploring System of Systems Resilience Versus Affordability Trade-Space Using a Bio-Inspired Metric,” Journal of Computing and Information Science in Engineering, 21(5), 1-13. DOI: 10.1115/1.4050288

(2021) Chatterjee, A.; Brehm, C.; Layton, A. “A Quantitative Benefits Evaluation of Ecologically-Inspired Nested Architectures for Industrial Networks,” Resources Conservation & Recycling, 167. DOI: 10.1016/j.resconrec.2021.105423

(2020) Chatterjee, A.; Layton, A. “Mimicking Nature for Resilient Resource and Infrastructure Network Design.” Reliability Engineering & System Safety. DOI: 10.1016/j.ress.2020.107142

Garrett Hairston

Masters Mechanical Engineering student Garrett joined our group in Fall 2019 as an undergraduate researcher. His interests center around methods to achieve “net-zero” within our society and the general advancement of renewable energy implementation. Garrett was awarded a J. Mike Walker ’66 Department of Mechanical Engineering Graduate Summer Research Grant for Summer 2021 and a J. Mike Walker ’66 Department of Mechanical Engineering Graduate Fellowships for Fall 2021.

Samuel Blair

Ph.D. mechanical engineering student Samuel joined our group in Fall 2020 after finishing his BS in mechanical engineering at A&M. As an undergraduate Samuel was a recipient of the James J. Cain ’51 Award for Outstanding Student Achievement in 2019 the mechanical engineering department. Samuel was awarded a J. Mike Walker ’66 Department of Mechanical Engineering Graduate Summer Research Grant for Summer 2021 and a J. Mike Walker ’66 Department of Mechanical Engineering Graduate Fellowships for Fall 2021.

Hadear Hassan

Ph.D. mechanical engineering student Hadear joined our group in Fall 2021 from Texas A&M Qatar Campus after graduating with a BS in mechanical engineering in May. Hadear was awarded the TAMUQ Fellowship Fall of 2021. Hadear’s research interest revolve around the assessment of sustainability and resilience of systems.

Luis Angel Rodriguez

MS student Luis Angel Rodriguez joined the BiSSL group Fall 2020. As a mechanical engineering undergraduate at A&M he participated in competitions such as G.M. Autodrive Challenge, SPE Drillbotics, & NASA Moon-to-Mars Challenge. He received the Billie G. Earnhart Memorial Scholarship for excellent academic progress and leadership during his undergrad and became a certified Aggie research scholar in 2018.

Tyler Wilson

MS student Tyler Wilson joined the BiSSL group Fall 2020, after graduating from Texas A&M with a BS in mechanical engineering in May. Tyler’s research interests include applying ecological principles to improve the sustainability and resilience of supply chains, which he has hands on experience from undergraduate internships.

Angel Alex

Undergraduate Mechanical Engineering student Angel Alex joined the BiSSL lab group in Spring 2021. She enjoys learning about and contributing to sustainable engineering practices that invest in a mutually beneficial future for both consumers and industries. She is currently involved in assisting the research of Net-Zero Communities and the benefits of implicating their design with ecological network analysis.


BiSSL Alumni

Andrew Foster (May 2020 – August 2021)

MS in Energy (through the Texas A&M Energy Institute) student, Andrew joined the BiSSL group in Summer 2020. His research focuses on integrating design inspiration from biological food webs to the design of power grids. His interests include improving energy systems related to renewable and clean energy.

(under review) Foster, A.; Huang, H.; Homiller, L.; Rasoul; Davis, K.; Layton, A.”A Bio-Inspired Actor Importance Measure for Power Grid Resilience.”

Tejas Adsul (January 2020 – August 2021)

MS mechanical engineering student, Tejas joined the BiSSL group in Spring 2020. He graduated from the Indian Institute of Technology Bombay, Mumbai, India in August 2019, with a Major in Mechanical Engineering and a Minor in Physics. Tejas is applying his prior work in mathematical modeling and simulation of systems to our project on modeling innovation with Dr. Cynthia Hipwell from the INVENT Lab.

(under review) Adsul, T.; Nava, Y.; Puckett, R.; Hipwell, C.; Layton, A. “Ant-Inspired Innovation Research Strategies.”

Jessica Ezemba (August 2020 – May 2021)

Undergraduate student Jessica Ezemba joined the BiSSL group Spring 2021 to continue with research she started in MEEN 440 Honors – Bio-Inspired Engineering Design Fall 2020. Jessica’s research interests include brain injury prevention. She is researching biology draw inspiration from how brain injury is prevented or minimized in nature. She is a cohort of the national Grand Challenge Scholars Program focusing on solving the grand challenge of reverse engineering the brain. In this program, she has conducted research abroad in France and has presented her previous work at national competitions like the Women in Engineering (WE20) conference and regionally at Rice University.

Fall 2021 Jessica starts her Master’s of Innovation and Product Services degree at Carnegie Mellon University as a GEM scholar recipient.

(under review) Ezemba, J.; Layton, A. “Bio-Inspired Avenues for Advancing Brain Injury Prevention.”

Yanneliz Nava (May 2020 – December 2020)

Undergraduate mechanical engineering student Yanneliz joined our group for a summer research internship in 2020 to learn more about bio-inspired systems design and continued her research through the fall semester working on modeling innovation to learn from ant foraging strategies. She also works at the Public Policy Research Institute and is a Routh First-Generation Ambassador at Texas A&M. She graduated with her BS in Mechanical Engineering in December 2020.

Yanneliz is now a product engineer at Zencape and an ambassador for the Female Laboratory of Innovative Knowledge.

(under review) Adsul, T.; Nava, Y.; Puckett, R.; Hipwell, C.; Layton, A. “Ant-Inspired Innovation Research Strategies.”

Shelby Warrington (Aug. 2017 – July 2020)

Undergraduate mechanical engineering student and Clare Boothe Luce Scholar, Shelby joined our group in Fall 2017. Shelby co-authored a peer-reviewed ASME conference paper during her Junior year titled “Waste Reduction: A review of common options and alternatives.” Shelby was awarded the James J. Cain ’51 Award Fall 2019 by the department. Shelby graduated with her BS in Mechanical Engineering in May 2020 and stayed on through the summer to finish up some publications.

She starts Fall 2020 at Yale for a Masters of Environmental Management, specializing in Urban or Industrial Ecology.

(under review) Warrington, S.; Layton, A. “Ecosystem-Inspired Guidance for the Incorporation of Renewable Utilities in a Multi-Use Campus Network.”

Kristina Viro (May 2019 – May 2020)

Undergraduate mechanical engineering student Kristina Viro joined the group Summer 2019. She works with both BiSSL and the INVENT Lab, run by Dr. Cynthia Hipwell, on modeling innovation. Kristina was awarded the J. Mike Walker ’66 Impact Award fall 2019. Kristina graduated with her BS in Mechanical Engineering in May 2021.

Kristina is now a Research Assistant for Turbo Lab at Texas A&M University.

Josh Jaynes (September 2019 – May 2020)

Undergraduate mechanical engineering student Josh joined our group for the 2019/2020 academic year. His research interests centered around circular economy and waste-reduction efforts.

Colton Brehm (August 2018 – May 2020)

MS mechanical engineering student, Colton joined our group in Spring 2018 as an undergraduate research student. Colton was awarded the J. Mike Walker 66′ Department of Mechanical Engineering Graduate Excellence Fellowship Spring of 2019. Colton also won a graduate travel award to present his first authored paper at the 2019 CIRP Life Cycle Engineering conference at Purdue University, where his paper was a finalist for the Leo Best Paper award. Colton graduated in May 2020 with his MS (thesis titled “Improving the Environmental and Economic Outcomes of Industrial Networks using Nestedness to Design Resource Distribution Infrastructure“).

He now works at SAIC in their Mission Support division doing Probabilistic Risk Assessment.

(2021) Chatterjee, A.; Brehm, C.; Layton, A. “A Quantitative Benefits Evaluation of Ecologically-Inspired Nested Architectures for Industrial Networks,” Resources Conservation & Recycling, 167. DOI: 10.1016/j.resconrec.2021.105423

(2020) Brehm, C.; Layton, A. “Nestedness in Eco-Industrial Networks: Exploring Linkage Distribution to Promote Sustainable Industrial Growth.” Journal of Industrial Ecology, 1-14. DOI: 10.1111/jiec.13057

Laura Homiller (January 2020 – May 2020)

Undergraduate mechanical engineering student Laura joined our group for Spring 2020, getting MEEN 491H research credit working in our group. Although she was only with us for one semester, she made strides in applying novel inspiration from the study of biological food webs to the design and analysis of power grids.

Laura is doing a internship with Mathworks before continuing on to graduate school for her PhD at UT Austin in Mechanical Engineering.

(under review) Foster, A.; Huang, H.; Homiller, L.; Rasoul; Davis, K.; Layton, A.”A Bio-Inspired Actor Importance Measure for Power Grid Resilience.”

Tirth Dave (January 2018 – December 2019)

MS mechanical engineering student Tirth joined our group in Spring 2018 from Gujarat Technological University. While Tirth is completing his Masters at A&M he also had the opportunity to work as an intern at Volvo. Tirth won 1st place for graduate student engineering presentations in the Spring 2019 Texas A&M Student Research Week for his presentation titled: “Sustainable Water Networks Design: A Bio-inspired Approach.” Tirth won a graduate travel award to present his first authored paper at the 2019 CIRP Life Cycle Engineering conference at Purdue University. Tirth was awarded the J. Mike Walker 66′ Department of Mechanical Engineering Graduate Student Fellowship Fall of 2019. Tirth graduated December 2019 with his MS (thesis “Designing Robust Water Distribution Systems using Ecology as an Inspiration“).

He now works at Johnson & Johnson in their Medical Robotics division, their current project is a surgical robotic platform where Tirth uses his interdisciplinary skills daily as they have to collaborate with multiple types of engineers as well as surgeons.

(2020) Dave, T.; Layton, A. “Designing Ecologically-Inspired Robustness into a Water Distribution Network.” Journal of Cleaner Production, 254(1): 120057. DOI: 10.1016/j.jclepro.2020.120057

Varuneswara Reddy Panyam (Sept. 2017 – Dec. 2019)

MS mechanical engineering student Varun joined our group in Fall 2017 from Shiv Nadar University. April 2019, Varun became an Associate Fellow in the Center for the Integration of Research, Teaching, and Learning (CIRTL) Academy for Future Faculty (AFF). Varun was awarded the J. Mike Walker 66′ Department of Mechanical Engineering Graduate Fellowship Spring of 2019. Varun graduated December 2019 with his MS thesis titled “Bio-inspired design for robust power systems.”

He now works at Gate Scientific.

(2019) Panyam, V.; Huang, H.; Davis, K.; Layton, A. “Bio-Inspired Design for Resilient Power Networks.” Applied Energy, 251. DOI: 10.1016/j.apenergy.2019.113349

(2019) Panyam, V.; Layton, A. “A quantitative engineering study of ecosystem robustness using thermodynamic power cycles as case studies.” PLOS ONE, 14(12), p. e0226993. DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0226993 [open access online]

(under review) Huang, H.; Mao, A.; Panyam, V.; Layton, A.; Davis, K. “An Ecological Robustness-Oriented Approach for Power System Network Expansion.”

Jewel Williams (May 2018 – Aug. 2019)

MS mechanical engineering student, Jewel joined our group in Summer 2018. Jewel won a graduate travel award to present her first authored paper at the 2019 ASME Manufacturing Science and Engineering Conference at Penn State Erie. She graduated with her MS (her thesis was titled “Opportunities of Applying System Analysis to the US Waste Management System: Bio-Inspired Solutions for a More Circular Economy”) in August 2019.

She joined Meggitt Aerospace as one of their 15 graduate engineers selected for their prestigious leadership program.

(2021) Ali, A,; Layton, A.; Kio, P.; Williams, J. “Matrix Trays: From Waste to Opportunities,” Journal of Cleaner Production, 300: 126813. DOI: 10.1016/j.jclepro.2021.126813

(under review) He, W.; Creasy, T.; Layton, A.; Borges, A.; Williams, J. “Resistance to Opportunities of Plastic Recycling.”