Nicholas Baird, Undergraduate Researcher

From the Office of Student Research:

Nicholas Baird is a senior at Kent State University majoring in Mechatronics Engineering. Baird initially struggled to decide on his major, explaining that he was “interested in a lot of different types of engineering.” In the end, Baird landed on Mechatronics Engineering because of the major’s unique blend of engineering concepts.

Nicholas Baird in a blue shirt, and glasses

Baird first became involved in undergraduate research through the Summer Undergraduate Research Experience (SURE) program after a professor brought the program to his attention. For SURE 2023, Baird was paired with Dr. Hossein Mirinejad, and Baird continued his research with Dr. Mirinejad through the Fall 2023 and Spring 2024 semesters. Dr. Mirinejad’s mentorship throughout Baird’s time as an undergraduate researcher was instrumental in guiding Baird’s progress. The expertise that Dr. Mirinejad provided clarified complex technical concepts and cultivated a deep understanding of practical applications in medical technology. Baird noted that Dr. Mirinejad’s continuous support and encouragement in both problem solving and innovation was crucial in navigating challenges and achieving project goals.

Together, Baird and Dr. Mirinejad worked on a hardware-in-the-loop (HIL) automated fluid resuscitation test bed. Baird explained that the platform is “designed to take different controllers for automated fluid resuscitation and test them for how effective they are, or how safe they are.”

The goal of Baird and Dr. Mirinejad’s research is to help improve automated fluid resuscitation systems. Improvements in automated fluid resuscitation systems would be beneficial to the FDA’s approval process by allowing testing without requiring a person to be hooked up to the machine. Although FDA approval will still require some human trials, Baird hopes that the research he’s done with Dr. Mirinejad will make human trials safer.

Throughout his time spent as an undergraduate researcher, Baird was appreciative of the opportunities to share and present his work. Baird also credits undergraduate research and the SURE program with leading him to receive the Ohio Space Grant Consortium Fellowship. The Ohio Space Grant Consortium Fellowship has given Baird the opportunity to complete his master’s degree at Kent State University with full tuition coverage and a sizable stipend. For his fellowship, Baird will be pivoting his research focus away from medical devices to optimal control for control arms.

When asked about his opinions on undergraduate research, Baird acknowledged that his time as an undergraduate researcher is what led him to a graduate program, and that undergraduate research “gives you a lot of opportunities to continue your education.” Beyond opportunities to continue his education, undergraduate research offered Baird the opportunity to build connections, and gave him a “confidence boost” through supportive feedback on his research.

Written by Lenore Kohl. Lenore is a junior majoring in English with a concentration in Professional Writing. She has served as a writing intern in the Research and Economic Development and will serve as a student resource in the University’s Writing Center beginning Fall 2024.

POSTED: Thursday, May 16, 2024 11:50 AM
Updated: Tuesday, May 21, 2024 12:54 PM