James F. Jakobsen Award Winner Spotlights, 2011

Congratulations to the 2011 Conference Winners!

At the 13th Annual James F. Jakobsen Conference, the following University of Iowa Graduate and Professional Students won awards for their graduate work. Please browse their profiles and get to know winners a little better.

Amir Barakati

Amir Barakati
Home Country: 
What are some of your interests outside of school?: 
I enjoy playing tennis, soccer, and also reading.
Who is your most significant mentor?: 
Prof. Olesya I. Zhupanska; My advisor has helped me evolve from being a good student into being a good researcher.
What is your favorite Iowa City/Coralville Restaurant?: 
Iowa River Power Restaurant
Are there any challenges you have faced as a graduate student at Iowa?: 
The cultural differences and of course the harsh weather!
Previous Degrees Earned
Previous Degree [1]: 
M. S.
Degree [1] Area of Study: 
Aerospace Engineering
Degree [1] Institution Name: 
Sharif University of Technology (SUT)
Previous Degree [2]: 
B. Sc.
Degree [2] Area of Study: 
Aerospace Engineering
Degree [2] Institution Name: 
Amirkabir University of Technology (Tehran Polytechnic)
Mechanical Engineering
What degree are you currently seeking?: 
Ph. D.
Area of Specialty: 
Mechanic of Composite Materials
Brief thesis project description: 
My project focuses on multifunctional materials and the electro-magneto-mechanical coupling in composites. The work investigates the possibility of increasing the impact resistance of anisotropic plates by the application of electromagnetic loads.
Who is your Thesis Advisor?: 
Prof. Olesya I. Zhupanska
Why did you decide to go to graduate school?: 
I believe a higher degree in Engineering would vastly deepen my knowledge and skills. It would hopefully fulfill the high level of interest and enthusiasm which I had developed for the area since I started my high school studies.
Why did you choose The University of Iowa for your graduate studies?: 
After searching many well-known universities all around the world, I have found The University of Iowa as a world class university to be reputable for its research facilities. Furthermore, the research project proposed to me was very close to my fields of interest.
What are your long term goals beyond your graduate degree at Iowa?: 
I will be looking for an academic position at a university.
How has your experience at Iowa allowed you to achieve your goals?: 
The experience at Iowa has allowed me to develop various aspects of my social and academic life. This will definitely help me to achieve the goals that I have set for myself.
Significant Honors and Achievements
Significant Honors [1]: 
2011, GSS Travel Grant
Significant Honors [2]: 
2010, Sharada Devi Planjery Memorial Award
What year did you win an award at the Jakobsen Conference?: 
What do you enjoy most about the Conference?: 
It was a well-organized conference. Moreover, the variety of topics was interesting.