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Steven Hererra 



Steven Herrera is currently a 4th year Ph.D. student in the Materials Science and Engineering Program at the University of California, Riverside. Prior to his enrollment into the graduate program, Steven received his B.S. in Chemical and Environmental Engineering, with a concentration in Nanotechnology from UCR in 2012. During his undergraduate career, he participated as a visiting undergraduate researcher at the Mingchi Institute of Technology, Taiwan studying the mechanical and electrical properties of flexible solar cell materials.

Working in Dr. Kisailus's lab, Steven was a coauthor on a publication in the journal Science for work on the stomatopod dactyl club. He then participated in IOM3's Young Persons World Lecture Competition where he secured a spot in the finals in Hong Kong. Inspired by the work of David Kisailus, Steven found interest in the natural structures studied in the field of biomimetics.


Steven's research focus follows on biomimetics in the hard magnetic teeth of a marine mollusk known as Cryptochiton stelleri. The teeth of this animal provide a blueprint of hard ceramic material under environmentally friendly conditions. Learning from this animal, researchers at UCR hope to understand the vital relationship between form and function, leading to advances in the abrasion resistant qualities of materials used for tooling and hard coatings, while minimizing weight and enhancing toughness.
Steven's goal is to take lessons from nature, and apply them to engineering materials to enhance the quality of life around the word. He hopes to encourage the next generation of students to pursue careers in science, technology, engineering, and math. He also enjoys meeting people from around the world and listening to the stories that show the perseverance and triumph of the human spirit.


2017 Graduate Research and Dissertation Year Fellowship
Awarded for demonstrated excellence in research and engagement.