PhD candidate Andreea Stoica has received the 2021 Annual Student Award from the Association of Women Faculty. The award recognizes women students who excel academically,  show leadership potential, and are involved in research, teaching, or a service project that benefits women and gender minorities. 

Stoica is a graduate student in the Mechanical Engineering and Materials Science Department at WashU and is co-advised by Mark Meacham, assistant professor of mechanical engineering and materials science, and Arpita Bose, associate professor of biology. Her research combines electrochemistry, microfabrication, and acoustofluidics to develop acoustofluidic bioelectrochemical cell platforms as new measurement techniques that will allow for better understanding of extracellular electron uptake in microbes at the microscale.

"Microfluidic tools and, more generally, the miniaturization of tools and measurement systems allow us to study natural phenomena at the micro and/or nanoscale and thus have a better understanding of these phenomena. That is where my interest comes in as an engineering PhD student, where I want to engineer and help create these tools for scientists. Specifically, the acoustofluidic bioelectrochemical platforms I am developing for my PhD project will be/are used to study extracellular electron uptake (EEU) in microbes. EEU can have potential applications in microbial electrosynthesis and bioremediation," explained Stoica.

toica is an international student from Romania and completed her undergraduate studies in Mechanical Engineering at WashU. She received her BS in Mechanical Engineering in 2016. Her undergraduate research experiences and the mentorship and support she received from faculty and other students, combined with the collaborative spirit of the WashU community, convinced her to remain at WashU to pursue her PhD. 

"I’ve known Andreea since I taught her as an undergrad my first year at WashU. Early on, I recognized her academic potential and also her kindness as someone who wanted to help others through her engineering education. I was thrilled when she joined my lab. I am proud of her growth as a researcher working on a highly interdisciplinary project with Prof. Bose, especially due to the project’s previously unfamiliar biological topic. This award is a wonderful recognition of her achievements," said Meacham, who studies microfluidics, micro-electromechanical systems, and associated transport phenomena.

“When I met Andreea, she struck me as a scholar. Over the past few years, my admiration for Andreea has grown. She is not only a scholar; she is an excellent experimentalist. She will make tremendous discoveries and inventions. This award celebrates her incredible potential,” added Bose. 

Bose, whose lab in the Department of Biology studies microbial metabolisms and their influence in biogeochemical cycling, nominated Stoica. 

“This award was such an amazing surprise, and it is a statement of the supportive community at WashU. I am grateful for Dr. Bose’s mentorship as I navigate my research career,” said Stoica. 

The Association of Women Faculty Board selects up to six recipients from among the schools on the Danforth Campus. Each winner receives a cash award and commemorative certificate during a virtual reception held on April 29. 

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