Faculty & Staff
Dr. Samhita Rhodes, Program Chair
B.E., Electronics and Telecommunication Engineering, University of Pune, 1994
M.S., Biomedical Engineering, Marquette University, 1997
Ph.D., Biomedical Engineering, Marquette University, 2003
Postdoctoral Anesthesiology Research, Medical College of Wisconsin, 2007
Dr. Samhita Rhodes is the Chair of the Biomedical Engineering Committee at Grand Valley State University. In 2007, Dr. Rhodes received an NSF grant ($700,000) to establish the Master’s program in Biomedical Engineering at GVSU. Her current research interests are in the area of Biomedical Image Processing and Signal Processing. She collaborates with Dr. Anthony Chang at the Van Andel Institute to improved automated image processing techniques for the detection of tumors in small animal models. She is also working with neurosurgeons at Spectrum Health in the Epilepsy Monitoring Unit to accurately model the behavior of localization-related epilepsy, and extract information regarding network relationships between recording sites during ictal, pre-ictal, inter-ictal, and post-ictal periods. Dr. Rhodes maintains an active interest in using advanced signal processing techniques to study mechanisms affecting the initiation of cardiac dysthymias for which she was the recipient of an American Heart Association Scientist Development Grant from the National Center. Dr. Rhodes also holds a joint appointment as an Adjunct Research Faculty member at the Medical College of Wisconsin, where she collaborates in research with Dr. David Stowe.
Location: 253 John C. Kennedy Hall of Engineering
Phone: (616) 331-6267
Dr. Blake Ashby
B.S., Mechanical Engineering, Utah State University, 1998
M.S., Mechanical Engineering, Stanford University, 2000
Ph.D., Mechanical Engineering, Stanford University, 2004
Dr. Blake Ashby’s area of specialty is biomechanics. Prior to joining GVSU, he worked several years as a biomechanical engineer at Exponent Failure Analysis Associates in Phoenix, Arizona and at Woolley Engineering Research Corporation in Provo, Utah providing technical expertise in the areas of injury biomechanics, sports biomechanics, occupant kinematics, accident reconstruction, vehicle dynamics, component and systems testing, and computer simulation of human movements. Dr. Ashby has collaborated with the Occupational Therapy and Physical Therapy programs at GVSU on projects investigating work-related musculoskeletal disorders in sonographers and the limits of stability in sitting for children and adults. Other research projects include the biomechanics of human jumping and the effect of laminectomies on improving gait and balance.
Location: 251 John C. Kennedy Hall of Engineering
Phone: (616) 331-6753
Dr. John Farris
B.S., Mechanical Engineering, Lehigh University, 1987
M.S., Mechanical Engineering, Lehigh University, 1993
Ph.D., Mechanical Engineering, University of Rhode Island, 1998
Dr. John Farris focuses on medical device design. He works in an ongoing collaboration with the Lincoln Developmental Center, a Grand Rapids public school serving approximately 120 severely impaired students, and Mobility Opportunities Via Education/Experience (MOVE). Through this collaboration, they have developed the prototype for a lean-activated wheelchair that responds to the user’s upper-body deflection as it improves trunk strength. Full-time graduate students in GVSU’s Biomedical Engineering program are playing a key part in getting this wheelchair to production as they work with Dr. Farris to improve its design as they participate in translational research.
Location: 233 John C. Kennedy Hall of Engineering
Phone: (616) 331-7267
Dr. Yunju Lee
B.S., Mechanical Engineering, Pusan National University, 2002
M.S., Mechanical Engineering, Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST), 2004
Ph.D., Mechanical Engineering, University of Michigan – Ann Arbor, 2014
Dr. Yunju Lee's research focuses on identifying mechanisms of human movement, underlying risk factors for musculoskeletal injury and motor impairments, and designing biomedical robotic devices to assist in rehabilitation as clinical treatment. She graduated summa cum laude from Pusan National University with a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering and earned her M.S. with her master thesis on Surgical Robotics from KAIST. She worked as a Mechanical Design Engineer in South Korea and completed her Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering studying in areas of Biomechanics and Human Movements at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. She worked as a Post-Doctoral Fellow at Shirley Ryan Ability Lab, formerly the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago (RIC) and in the Department of Physical Therapy at University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC). She currently work as a joint appointment in the School of Engineering, Padnos College of Engineering and in the Department of Physical Therapy, College of Health Professions. She is co-directing the Biomechanics and Motor Performance Lab (BMPL) as directing and advising with research projects for both students and faculty in GVSU.
Biomechanics and Motor Performance Laboratory (BMPL) – www.gvsu.edu/biomechanicslab/
Location: 345 John C. Kennedy Hall of Engineering
Phone: (616) 331-6043
Dr. Wael A. Mokhtar
B.S. Department of Mechanical Engineering, Alexandria University, 1994
M.S. Department of Mechanical Engineering, Alexandria University, 2001
Ph.D. Department of Aerospace Engineering, Old Dominion University, 2006
Dr. Mokhtar’s research is in the areas of Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD). He worked in several experimental and numerical projects in cardiovascular system. He worked in developing biomedical training tools such as blood flow phantoms. His research in the area of Bio-Fluid Mechanics focuses on using CFD tools to simulation blood flow. He studied several cardiovascular diseases such as carotid artery stenosis.
Location: 136 John C. Kennedy Hall of Engineering
Phone: (616) 331-6015