← Back to News List

Meet John Motavalli

INDS Fall 2022 Graduate Highlight Series

B.S. INDS: Biomimetic Materials
Biology Minor

Degree Mentors:

  • Mercedes Burns, Biology
  • Maria Sanchez, Mechanical Engineering
  • Carrie Sauter, Individualized Study
Why did you choose to major in INDS?
I chose this major in INDS because the nature of biomimicry is interdisciplinary. Emulating the uniquely powerful and multifunctional properties found in living things onto other materials requires an understanding of engineering, biology, and everything in between. The INDS program allowed me to create a degree that covered these fields, allowing me to approximate an undergraduate degree in biomimicry, which does not currently exist anywhere in the country. 

What are your plans for after graduation, and how do you see using your INDS degree?
My plans after graduation are still being decided. There are several paths I am still choosing between. Aside from the goal of acquiring a biomimicry master's degree from ASU's biomimicry program (the most established in the country), my other options involve entering materials-related field and using what I have learned within my INDS degree to research and produce nature-based solutions. Regardless of which direction I decide to go in the end, I will be able to use what I have learned in the INDS program to further myself as a learner, a practitioner, and a person. I also already have some ideas for biomimetic products I would like to make, and this degree will help me create them.

I was a member of UMBC's Kinetic Sculpture team, featuring a drivable work of art (MC Hammerhead is the best, you can quote me on that), from Fall 2019 to the pre-covid part of Spring 2020. I was a contributor to the team's online URCAD presentation on the sculpture in 2020. 

For more information on John's INDS journey please click here:

Posted: October 31, 2022, 11:35 AM