Dr. Kenji Shimada


Dr. Kenji Shimada is the Theodore Ahrens Professor in Engineering at Carnegie Mellon University. His primary appointment is in the Department of Mechanical Engineering, and he has courtesy appointments in the Robotics Institute, the Department of Biomedical Engineering, and the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering. He leads the Computational Engineering and Robotics Lab (CERLAB).

After receiving his B.S. and M.S. degrees from the University of Tokyo, Dr. Shimada joined IBM's Tokyo Research Laboratory and worked on research and development projects on shape modeling, robotics, computer graphics, and computational mechanics. He then received his Ph.D. from Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1993, after which he returned to IBM Research, commercialized BubbleMesh, which he invented in his Ph.D. thesis, and managed the Advanced Computer Graphics group. Dr. Shimada moved to the United States in 1996 to join the faculty of Carnegie Mellon University in the Department of Mechanical Engineering. In 2007, Dr. Shimada was selected to serve as the Theodore Ahrens Professor in Engineering. In addition to receiving research funding from US government agencies such as NSF, NASA, NIH, and Sandia National Labs, Dr. Shimada has received funding from and worked with various industry sectors including automotive, aerospace, shipbuilding, machinery, robotics, IT, CAD, CAE and medical. An inventor or co-inventor of over 20 patents, he has made successful technology transfers of his research outcomes and has founded and led multiple university start-ups.  For more, see Professor Shimada’s web page [Link].


Betticlare Shimada


Betticlare Shimada is not an engineer but got a healthy dose of engineering when she was a program manager at Bose Corporation. She coordinated the activities of the team of engineers designing audio systems for Acura cars and oversaw the product from design to production.

She and Kenji met during their Boston days, married soon after, and have lived in Pittsburgh since 1996 where they have raised their two children. The Engineering Workshop was a joint inspiration and came from their realization that, despite the focus on STEM, today’s high school students still have little exposure to engineering or opportunity to explore the field.

Betticlare has degrees in East Asian Studies from Princeton University (AB) and Stanford University (MA).

Meet The TAs

2019 TAs


Shuoqi “Socky” Chen

I'm a first-year master’s student at CMU Robotics Institute (RI). I am from Wuhan, China. Before coming to Carnegie Mellon, I studied Engineering Sciences at Dartmouth College with a focus on Computer-Aided Design and control systems. At RI, my research interests lie in motion planning for hyper-redundant robots and modular robot design. I practiced digital art and music vigorously, and I love to incorporate inspirations from various forms of art into machine designs. When I am free, I like to mountain bike at Frick Park or bring out my guitar to jam with friends. I look forward to working with you this summer! Here is my website:


Christina Chi

I'm a rising junior pursuing a major in Electrical and Computer Engineering and a minor in Game Design. Within my major, my interests are software and digital systems. Outside, I also enjoy psychology, art, and design. As president of ANVIL, Carnegie Mellon’s maker education and advocacy club, I'm passionate about spreading knowledge of everything fabrication and makerspace-related to all in the CMU community. My hometown is in Bergen County, New Jersey, and in my free time I enjoy singing with the D Flat Singers Choir and C Sharp Concert Groups, finding good snacks in Oakland, and nurturing my succulent garden.


Samuel Hassel

I am just completing my master’s degree in Mechanical Engineering at Carnegie Mellon where I also received my bachelor's degree in Mech E. Although I’m originally from Miami, I consider Pittsburgh and CMU to be like a second home to me. While at CMU, I was a buggy mechanic for SPIRIT Racing Systems for the better part of my time as an undergrad. I am also an avid film lover and have taken several courses in the art of filmmaking and acting. I hope to work for a company where I can think creatively to solve problems and bring new and unique experiences to others in the process. In my spare time I enjoy cooking and watching shows, movies, and HEAT basketball games (usually just on my laptop). My biggest passion is exploring the intersection of technology and entertainment and is often reflected throughout my projects--some of which you can check out here: 


Anne Noonan

Hi! I’m from Chicago, IL, and I graduate from Carnegie Mellon in May 2019 with a primary major in Chemical Engineering and an additional major in Biomedical Engineering. I’ve done research at CMU in a faster method of identifying miRNA biomarkers for cancer. Over two summers, I worked in Biodefense & Energy Technologies at Sandia National Laboratories in Albuquerque, NM where I researched 3D cellular matrix imaging with traditional ballistic imaging methods and nanoparticle drug delivery mechanisms. Last summer, I worked in industry researching the Japanese formulation of Febreze Fabric Refresher as a Product Designer in Cincinnati, OH. In July, I will start working fulltime in Strategy & Operations Consulting for Deloitte in Pittsburgh, PA. For fun, I love to compete in case competitions, hike, lift weights, and explore new restaurants and foods.


Elisha Raeker-Jordan

I am pursuing a Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering, working in the Computational Engineering and Robotics Lab under Dr. Kenji Shimada. I am a graduate of Bucknell University and have just completed my M.S. degree in Biomedical Engineering at CMU. I’m working on devices that help residency students at Allegheny General Hospital train to be better surgeons. I enjoy what I study because I can see the impact our work makes in the lives of everyday people. When I’m not working in the lab you can find me hiking, playing video games, or engineering projects around my apartment. Don’t hesitate to ask questions or make mistakes; you can’t learn everything on your own.


Michael Beck

I will be graduating with a Master's degree in Robotic Systems Development this May. I earned a Bachelor's in Electrical Engineering and another Bachelor's in Mechanical Engineering at the University of Portland before attending CMU. At CMU I worked with and managed a team of students who participated in the Amazon Robotics Challenge at RoboCup last summer in Japan, which is a competition focused on developing solutions for autonomous warehouse management. My current academic interests lay in prototyping novel robotic systems at the startup level. After graduating I am considering working within a startup company or moving into an educational position to share my experiences and knowledge in engineering. My hobbies include camping and wakeboarding, as well as reading science fiction and fantasy novels.


Ismael Mercier

I am an Electrical and Computer Engineering sophomore with specific interests in embedded systems hardware. I have worked at the Makerspace and am more than happy to help you do and find whatever you need. My favorite projects are of course those that involve electronics hardware. I am originally from Cuba but now call Miami home. My non-technical hobbies/interests include the ocean and spearfishing. I love nerding out about colonizing Mars and am currently working on a NASA sponsored project that could one day actually go to Mars. I look forward to getting to help you with your projects and I hope I can contribute to your great experience this summer.


Elisha Raeker-Jordan

I am currently an M.S. student in Biomedical Engineering working in the Computational Engineering and Robotics Lab under Dr. Kenji Shimada. I’m working on devices that help residency students at Allegheny General Hospital train to be better surgeons. I enjoy what I study because I can see the impact our work makes in the lives of everyday people. When I’m not working in the lab you can find me hiking, playing video games, or engineering projects around my apartment. Don’t hesitate to ask questions or make mistakes; you can’t learn everything on your own.

2018 TAs


Cameron Selby

I am a senior Mechanical Engineering student born and raised in Pittsburgh. I am interested in robot actuation, with a focus on strategies for rapid responses to the environment and unique locomotion methods. At CMU I have worked on everything from rocket launch pads to robotic sea urchins and injury-preventing ankle braces. I intend to pursue a Ph.D. in robotics after I finish my Master’s degree in the fall. On campus I am a member of the robotics club and was also the vice president of the ice hockey team. Outside of class I enjoy playing and watching all types of sports, and I hope one day to combine my interests and sports and robotics to develop advanced training aids and safety devices.


 Mercy Soong

I am a graduating senior with a double major in Chemical Engineering and Biomedical Engineering with plans of pursuing a Master’s degree in Biomedical Engineering. My current project is developing an inexpensive wiper system for a laparoscope to reduce surgery time and the chance of contamination during surgery. Because of this project, I found out I like to 3D print and make prototypes. My interests are in the pharmaceutical field since I like to help those in need even if I was given a small role. During my free time, I love karaoking and dancing as well as catching up on various late night talk shows. I look forward to meeting you guys and hope we will have a fun week!

2017 TAs


Deepshikha Acharya

I am currently a first year Master’s student in the Department of Biomedical Engineering at CMU. I earned my Bachelor’s degree in Engineering in Instrumentation and Control Engineering at Delhi University, India. My current research focus is on medical device customisation. I am working at CMU’s CERLAB in collaboration with Allegheny General Hospital to devise a method to customise BiPAP/CPAP masks for ALS and Sleep Apnea patients. I love to draw and design, explore places and cuisines, and read fantasies.


Penelope Ackerman

I'm a graduating senior studying Materials Science and Engineering with a minor in Media Design. I am interested in developing polymeric and composite materials for use in product design. I wish to bring creativity and user-focused research methods to engineering processes. I am passionate about exploring sustainability through both material design and environmental education. On campus, I am a leader of Carnegie Mellon Solar Racing, a student-run team that designs, fabricates, and races a solar-powered boat. In my free time, I enjoy long runs, and I am currently training for the Seattle half-marathon on June 18! You can check out some of my recent design work at


Ignacio Cardova

I’m a Mechanical Engineer originally from Chile and currently pursuing my Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering at Carnegie Mellon University with an expected completion date of May 2018 .  I’ve always enjoyed the challenge of making something out of nothing, and engineering has provided a great outlet for that energy.   My focus is in product development using computational tools.Throughout both my studies and my professional career I have combined creativity and engineering principles to create/design functional and unique products.


Robert Rudolph

I recently graduated from CMU Electrical Engineering, with a focus on Physical Computing (a few installations at CMU!). I’ve worked on subway cars, moon rovers, mapping drones, and food trucks.  My passion is making things that people can experience and interact with -- mostly physical objects and tangible interfaces. I build furniture sometimes, and fix up my car when I have the money. I have a soft spot for clocks, fountains, and wireless charging. Two of my favorite projects were the lights in the library stairwell and a life-size game of Battleship. I also made wizard chess once upon a time.


Jamei Wang

Hello! My name is Jamei (pronounced just like Jamie), and I’m a senior (soon to be super senior) double majoring in Chemical Engineering and Biomedical Engineering while minoring in Computer Science. Over the past year, I’ve worked in CERLAB on the MedPhantom project, which aims to use rapid prototyping techniques such as 3D printing, laser cutting, and casting/molding to produce surgical training models of various anatomical features. When I’m not losing sleep over school work, I enjoy a variety of creative activities, such as digital illustration, song and dance covers, and cosplaying. I also spend a lot of time sleeping, playing video games, and learning Japanese so I can understand my favorite dance groups’ tweets without relying on a translator.

The CMU Engineering Workshop will not be offered in 2022.