PhD Spotlight: Seyedeh Mahsa Sadeghian, PhD’22 – Mechanical Engineering
Mahsa Sadeghian completed her master’s degree and PhD in mechanical engineering conducting research in the Multiscale Mechanics and Musculoskeletal Mechanobiology Lab advised by Sandra Shefelbine, professor of mechanical and industrial engineering, jointly appointed in bioengineering. Her master’s thesis used computational modeling to explore the mechanics of growing bone, focusing on stresses in the growth plate, a thin layer of cartilage responsible for growing bone length.
In her doctoral research she expanded on this work, incorporating mechanobiology, the tissue response to mechanical loading. As bone grows, it changes shape and material properties due to ossification. These biological processes are influenced by the mechanical environment of the tissue. By modeling the effect of loading conditions on growth and ossification, Sadeghian explored pathologies of the hip, particularly the proximal femur. She modeled femoroacetabular impingement, a hip condition that forms in elite adolescent athletes and leads to arthritis. Her work helped to uncover possible causes of the abnormal bone growth. She also modeled hip dysplasia, the condition in which the femur develops outside of the acetabular socket, and the effects of harness treatment.
Sadeghian published two papers and has two more in preparation. She was also a teaching assistant for the Mechanics of Materials Lab, changing the labs each year so that students had more hands-on experiences. In 2019, she completely redesigned the labs to include even more hands-on demonstrations and new equipment, and revised them yet again as take-home lab kits to accommodate the pandemic.
Her dedication to teaching earned her numerous awards, including the Alfred J. Ferretti Excellence in Teaching Award and the John and Katharine Cipolla Merit Award from the Department of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering, as well as the College of Engineering Outstanding Graduate Teaching Award. Sadeghian hopes to apply her modeling skills to orthopedic device design in the future.