2020 Renwick Scholarship Bios

The Glenn and Deborah Renwick Engineering Scholarship is awarded to outstanding master’s students who demonstrate a strong background in academics and research. Below features bios from the 2020 Renwick Engineering Scholarship awardees. 

Samuel Oyeleye Renwick Scholar Picture
Samuel Oyeleye, Biomedical Engineering


Samuel Oyeleye is from Lagos, Nigeria and completed his undergraduate degree in Mechanical Engineering from Tarleton State University, Stephenville, Texas in May 2020. In the Human Neuromechanics Lab here at UF, Samuel works with Dr Erika Pliner (A Post-doctoral researcher)to investigate the efficacy of intermittent sensory perturbations on balance training, especially amongst older adults.

He plans to apply the valuable skills he has learned to better understand the biomechanics of the human body and make contributions to the overall human health improvement.

Faculty Mentor: Daniel Ferris

Kari Ross, Biomedical Engineering


Kari Ross earned her Bachelors degree in Materials Science Engineering at the University of Florida and is staying as a Double Gator earning her Masters in Biomedical Engineering. Her goal is to change the world for the better, by combining her background in Materials Science and biomaterials with the education she is getting through her Master’s program and research. She is currently working on a research project focused on the fabrication and characterization of DNA-Collagen hydrogels. She hopes to one day be part of the research or development of life-saving medical devices and treatments. Her goal this year is to learn new skills, develop professionally, and publish a paper on her unique findings. 

Faculty Mentor: Josephine Allen

Labdhi Shah, Chemical Engineering


Labdhi Shah has received her Bachelor’s degree in Chemical Engineering from Faculty of Technology and Engineering, Maharaja Sayajirao University of Baroda. She has prior experience as a process engineer at Reliance Industries Limited, where she worked in plant operations of Nitrogen- Oxygen Separation and Ethane Cryogenic Storage plants. Currently, Labdhi is pursuing Master’s degree in Chemical Engineering from University of Florida. She is passionate about carrying out research in the field of Nanotechnology.

Faculty Mentor: Ryan Need

Neha Sharma, Computer and Information Science and Engineering


Neha Sharma received her Bachelor’s degree in Computer Science with a minor in Sociology from the University of Florida. Her fields of interest are digital health, education technology, and human-centered design. As a Master’s student studying Computer Science, she hopes to deepen her knowledge in the subject with the long term goal of becoming an educator for young aspiring engineers. Following graduation, she plans to start her career as a Global Consumer Technology Analyst at Citi.

Faculty Mentor: Sharon Chu

Vanessa Huapaya, Electrical and Computer Engineering


Vanessa Huapaya was born and raised in Pembroke Pines, Florida. She earned her undergraduate degree in Electrical Engineering at the University of Florida. While at UF, she participated in research related to the field of photonics and plasmonics as well as being involved with organizations such as IEEE and Eta Kappa Nu (HKN). During her summers, she interned with two companies. Both gave her insight and valuable technical experience in Industry and outside of it. She is now working towards a Master’s degree in Electrical Engineering, where she plans to gain further experience, knowledge, and connections in the areas of photonics and plasmonics.

Faculty Mentors: Yk Yoon and Henry Zmuda

Leonie Barkakati, Engineering School of Sustainable Infrastructure & Environment


Leonie Barkakati grew up in Tampa, Florida. She got her bachelor’s degree from the University of Florida in Family, Youth, and Community Sciences. She has developed curriculums in STEM fields for middle and high school students. Leonie was a National Science Foundation scholar in the 2019-2020 school year. As a master’s student at the University of Florida, she is interested in studying sustainable transportation solutions.

Faculty Mentor: Xilei Zhao

Camden Maddalone, Industrial and Systems Engineering


Camden Maddalone is from Harvard, Massachusetts. He is working on a master’s degree in Industrial and Systems Engineering. Cam earned two bachelor’s degrees in Mathematics focused on Operations Research and Actuarial Science with minors in business from The University of Findlay in Ohio. He also played NCAA Division II baseball during his three years at The University of Findlay. Cam has worked as an intern for Fortifyedge. Primarily, he assisted in the development of GPS tracking algorithms. At The University of Florida, Cam plans to conduct research focused on optimization and data analytics.

Faculty Mentor: Aleksandr Kazachkov

Camille Hernandez, Materials Science and Engineering


Camille Hernandez is from Pembroke Pines, Florida, and graduated from the University of Florida with a Bachelor’s in Materials Science and Engineering, a certification in Metallurgical Engineering, and a minor in Educational Studies. During her time as an undergraduate, she was involved in research with the Manuel Design and Prototyping Lab where she explored high-temperature, low-density aluminum alloy systems for automotive applications with strong guidance from the Ph. D students in the lab. Her undergraduate work inspired her to take on higher learning, as she is now pursuing a Master’s degree in Materials Science and Engineering and is currently investigating low-cost aluminum alloy development for her thesis.

Faculty Mentors: Michele Manuel

Kathryn Trimm, Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering


Kathryn Trimm received her Bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from Louisiana Tech University. While there she performed research in CubeSats, and small-scale energy transport. She is currently pursuing her master’s in mechanical engineering focusing in energy transport.

Faculty Mentor: Johnathan Scheffe

Ratnakaram Sravanti, Computer and Information Science and Engineering


Ratnakaram Sravanti is from India and completed her undergraduate degree in Computer Science and Engineering from Jawaharlal Nehru Technological University Hyderabad. During her undergraduate course, she was actively involved in projects related to different fields of computer science including machine and deep learning. Along with a strong academic background, she has gained experience through an industry internship working at ADP, Hyderabad.  She is currently pursuing a Master’s in Computer science at the University of Florida and hopes to gain more knowledge in the field of machine learning. 


Faculty Mentor: Patrick Traynor

Venkata Sai Gireesh, Electrical and Computer Engineering


Venkata Sai Gireesh is from India and he received his Bachelor’s degree in Electrical and Electronics Engineering from Amrita School of Engineering in 2018. He actively participated and stand as a winner in national-level team competitions like National Solar Vehicle Challenge (NSVC-2016), AICTE-ECI CHAATRA VISHWAKARMA AWARD, and a Co-Author to the paper on ‘Side Stick Control of Vehicles for Physically Challenged People’ published at 2018 3rd IEEE International Conference on Recent Trends in Electronics, Information & Communication Technology (RTEICT). He has prior work experience as a Software Engineer at RNTBCI, Renault-Nissan Joint venture. Over his work tenure, he gained proficiency in using different software tools and technologies.  Gireesh is currently pursuing a Master’s in Electrical and Computer Engineering at the University of Florida where he plans to dive deep into the emerging fields of IoT with machine learning and Embedded systems.

Faculty Mentor: Sandip Ray

Krishnaprasad Kalivelampatti Arumugam, Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering


Krishnaprasad K.A. is from Tamilnadu, India, and completed his Bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering from the National Institute of Technology, Tiruchirapalli. Following the completion of his undergraduate studies, he spent a year working as a Research Assistant in the Microfluidics lab at IIT Kharagpur, India. He is currently pursuing his graduate degree in Mechanical Engineering at the University of Florida, specializing in Thermal Sciences and Fluid Dynamics.


Faculty Mentors: Malisa Sarntinoranont