Brunno Carvalho Rocha
Brunno Rocha is a current doctorate student in chemical engineering who also completed his bachelor's degree in chemical engineering from Federal University of Paraiba in Brazil. His hometown is Joao Pessoa, Brazil.
1. Why did you choose UNH for your graduate program?
During the 2014/2015 academic year, I participated in an exchange visitor program sponsored by the Brazilian government that sent STEM undergraduates to universities all over the world. By complete chance, I was sent to UNH. The UNH campus and the sense of community fostered by the university immediately captured my heart. I also had the opportunity to work with my advisor (Dr. Harish Vashisth), an experience that introduced me to the amazing field of computational biophysics. Based on the amazing previous experience I had here, it was evident that UNH would be the best place to pursue my doctorate degree.
2. What is your Research Focus?
My research is focused on using computational modeling and simulations to study the self-assembly of colloidal particles. You can think of these particles as “microscopic Lego pieces” that can be linked to each other in different ways to form a wide variety of larger structures. My goal is to identify the optimal conditions that lead these particles to form different targeted structures that could be suitable for important biomedical applications.
3. What are you hoping to accomplish with this research? How will it potentially impact society or day-to-day life?
Colloidal particles can be used to produce highly porous structures that provide support for cell growth and ultimately accelerate the healing of damaged tissues, including broken bones. The use of computational simulations allows for a more efficient and cost-effective exploration of a wider variety of particle designs and system conditions, enabling the discovery of optimal conditions for producing these desired porous structures. This research could potentially impact society by improving the quality and availability of these tissue healing treatments.
4. What do you enjoy most about your experience at UNH?
I particularly enjoy the strong sense of community that UNH cultivates, which has been a highlight of my experience here. The university does a great job providing numerous opportunities for students to interact with each other and the wider community. For example, I have enjoyed participating in intramural sports which not only promote physical activity but also provide a great opportunity for meeting new people. Additionally, UNH offers a variety of events that cater to the diverse interests of its students.
5. What do you hope to do after your time at UNH?
Based on my background in computational modeling and simulations and my interest in research and development, I aspire to apply my expertise to address real-world challenges encountered by the bioengineering industry. I am eager to contribute to the development of innovative products that can make a positive impact on society, and I am particularly interested in working for a company that values the use of simulation techniques to gain a better understanding of complex biological systems, leading to the creation of more effective bioproducts.
6. What is your advice for someone on how to best prepare for a graduate program?
I highly recommend developing a weekly schedule that is balanced to accommodate both your research/studies and personal commitments. It is important to establish a routine of healthy habits even before joining your graduate program, including exercising regularly, eating healthy, and developing an appropriate sleep schedule. By prioritizing self-care activities, you will be better equipped to deal with the stressful moments that will surely arise during your graduate studies and prevent burnout.