Student Spotlight: Luis Gomez – An expert in computational electromagnetics and teaching

The goal of Gomez’s research is to alleviate the communications blackout that sometimes occurs when vehicles are traveling through the earth’s atmosphere.

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Luis Gomez
PhD Candidate
Specialty: Computational Electromagnetics
Advisor: Prof. Eric Michielssen
Honors: NSF Graduate Research Fellowship
Leadership: Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers 

At Michigan, Luis Gomez has been able to combine his love for research with his love for teaching. As an undergraduate student at the University of Florida, Luis tutored his peers in subjects such as calculus, polynomials, and signals & systems. As a PhD candidate at Michigan, researching transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) and computational electromagnetics under Prof. Eric Michielssen, he has balanced his research with teaching even though an NSF Graduate Research Fellowship and a Rackham Merit Fellowship fund his research. He taught a section of EECS 314 this past year – and was so good, he received an Outstanding GSI Award from the division of Electrical and Computer Engineering.

The initial focus of Luis’s research was the development of a headpiece that will greatly improve the efficacy of noninvasive TMS. One specific application is the treatment of depression, but it will also enable expanded neuroscientific research of all kinds. [read more]

Currently, he has been developing numerical tools for analyzing and modeling the electromagnetic interference that occurs when communicating between ground stations and satellites in space. The goal of this research is to alleviate the communications blackout that occurs in certain circumstances when vehicles are traveling through the earth’s atmosphere.

Luis appreciates that his advisor allows intellectual exploration: “Eric gives me a lot of freedom,” said Luis. “I can come to him with ideas and he will encourage me to try them out and see what happens. That freedom to explore is valuable in research.”

When asked what he likes about Michigan, Luis said, “I really like the fact that U-M has so many excellent departments. You can take classes in other departments and know you’re getting good training. Also, many professors in other departments have open door policies so you can go and meet with them to discuss interdisciplinary ideas.”

In his free time, Luis enjoys a variety of activities. He attends at least one yoga class per day at the nationally renowned Center for Yoga, and has taken a variety of open dance classes at U-M. During the winter Luis likes to attend U-M dance performances and sporting events. However, summer is Luis’s favorite time of year because of the many festivals Ann Arbor hosts, like the Ann Arbor Summer Festival and the Ann Arbor Art Fair. “I think Ann Arbor is probably one of the best cities to live in as a graduate student,” Luis said.

After graduation, Luis plans to pursue a faculty position that will allow him a balance of teaching and research.

Advice for Students

Work on your communication skills. Being able to convey information about your research is just as important as the research itself.

Get involved in a community. Luis helped found, and was very active in the graduate chapter of the Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers, which organizes social and professional development activities.