Micaela Wolcott

Class of 2023
Major: Mechanical Engineering
Minor: Bioengineering
Hometown: Sykesville, MD
High School: Century High School

What Made You Decide to Attend UMD?

I decided to attend UMD because everyone here was so welcoming and made me feel appreciated. What stood out to me most when making my college decision was UMD’s outreach events which showed me how much UMD cares about its students and how happy students are here. Through opportunities, like the Women in Engineering summer camps, I was able to see all the unique and incredible facilities and resources UMD has to offer. The variety of well-respected engineering programs also provided me with the opportunity to study everything I was interested in.

Best Experience with a Class or Project

In ENME489L: Bio-Inspired Robotics, I had the opportunity to design and construct a robot that mimicked the gait of a four-legged animal. I really enjoyed working with my team to analyze gaits, model the robot in CAD, 3D print the parts, and program the limb trajectories to match the gait of a Komodo dragon.

Favorite Class In Major

ENME489L: Bio-Inspired Robotics; BIOE404: Biomechanics

Favorite Class Out of Major

EDHD310: The Neuroscience of Learning and Development

Student Organizations/Extracurricular Activities

Gemstone Honors College – Team BCIPRO 
UMD Women’s Club Soccer 
Maryland Equestrian Club 
Accessible Prosthetic Initiative 
Flexus Living and Learning Program 
Women in Engineering Peer Mentor 
Intramural Sports

Favorite On-Campus Event

Maryland Day is my favorite event on campus because I love getting to share so many things on campus with families, prospective students, businesses, and residents from the surrounding area. I particularly enjoy the events on the campus farm which celebrate Ag Day. Helping put on the Ag Day Horse Show through Maryland Equestrian Club is exciting, and Maryland Dairy ice cream made from cows raised on campus is featured near the farm.

Favorite Research or Study Abroad Experiences

My favorite research experience is studying Brain-Computer Interface (BCI) based Prosthetics. My research team, BCIPRO, is developing a non-invasive upper-limb prosthetic device controlled by a machine learning assisted BCI that utilizes an EEG to acquire brain signal data. The frequencies and patterns in the data can be analyzed through this process to interpret and convey intended movements to a prosthetic device.

Cool Engineering Experience

Interning with the National Institute of Standards and Technology Center for Neutron Research (NCNR), which designs instruments that enable neutron-based experiments, was a very cool experience. My work focused on designing pressure vessels for material failure experiments with a goal of optimizing neutron window thickness to reduce neutron scattering while holding vacuum. I was also able to model radiation shielding and other instruments in Creo, learn how to use laser tracker systems, and prepare final drawings that were utilized to manufacture parts that I designed. Experiments in many fields, such as materials science and biology, are conducted at the NCNR including some for Alzheimer’s research.