Current Students


SHANE WITSELL, Electrical Engineering
IMSD Mentor: Samuel Kassegne, Ph.D.

Shane Witsell, BEP Scholar, by Engineering building

Shane Witsell is a Electrical Engineering major and began the IMSD program in August 2015. He is currently working in Dr. Sam Kessegne’s Micro Electromechanical Systems Laboratory (MEMS) in the Department of Mechanical Engineering investigating the detection of various electro-chemical interactions in both the brain and spinal cord . Specifically, Shane is working on  the design, fabrication, and testing of multi site Brain-Computer Interface (BCI) devices used for the detection and stimulation of the central nervous system specifically 5Ht detection in the spinal cord. Shane is also specialized in the lithography fabrication and coventorware design methods of these chips as well as the electrochemical and electrophysiological detection uses of said devices.

In the past, Shane has worked on a wide range of projects in various disciplines of neuroscience and electrical engineering. As the Vice President of The San Diego State Student Chapter of The Institute of Electronic and Electrical Engineers Shane has been involved in various projects such as: The formation of Aztec Aeronautical Integrated Robotics (AIR), Director Assistant for the first bi-anual hackathon. Shane is also the Vice President of The San Diego State University Student Chapter of The Engineers Without Borders, where under the leadership of Donovan Giger he is an ongoing member of the humanitarian projects working in Nicaragua, Agua Fira, and Mesa Grande. Shane strides to further his curiosity regarding the electrical interactions and uses of the both the micro and macroscopic worlds with his innovative approach to engineering, science, and technology.
BRIANNA MANS, Mechanical Engineering
IMSD Mentor: Parag Katira, Ph.D.


Brianna is working the lab of Parag Katira, Ph.D. as a Mechanical Engineering student. She began working in Dr. Katira’s lab as a pre-IMSD student in May 2016. The main focus of his lab is mathematical modeling biological systems. Brianna’s work focuses on spatial and temporal control of motor protein activity and testing the precision that these motors have to move at a certain rate. Matlab is used to model the motor proteins and this simulation is used to predict different outcomes of the proteins if different conditions exist in the system. She tested the spacing of myosin heads and how this affected the velocity and displacement of the proteins. Brianna is taking her experience from research and the IMSD program to try to obtain a Ph.D. is Bioengineering. She has a passion for figuring out how biological systems work the way they do and for solving problems using mathematical modeling.