Fatemeh Rasouli


My name is Fatemeh Rasouli. I'm from Iran. I go to the University of South Florida where I am a PhD Mechanical Engineering candidate.

What sustainability, energy, and community issues are important to you?

As a researcher, my goal is to define different ways to empower disabled people to be active members of the society. I believe a society is sustainable when it provides the tool and environment to engage all the people of the community. I have been working on rehabilitation and biomechanical devices for the past two years as a research assistant at Rehabilitation Engineering and Electromechanical Design (REED) Lab at University of South Florida. In our research, we have been working on increasing the energy efficiency of walking for people with lower limb disabilities by altering gait dynamics through gait assistive devices.

What exciting projects/research are you working on now?

Right now, I am working on crutch gait. We are trying to improve the efficiency of walking for permanent or temporary crutch users by reducing energy expenditure of walking. Our Kinetic Crutch Tip (KCT) achieves this goal by altering gait dynamics.

What are your plans for the next five years?

I am planning to continue my research in rehabilitation field and get my PhD degree in two years. After that, I want to work as an engineer in companies related to my field to get a tangible experience and real understanding of biomechanics and rehabilitation devices. 

What made you want to apply to SISE?

I was eagerly looking for new opportunities that would show me the big picture on how to face sustainable development for neighborhood and living environment. Up to this point, I have done research on projects regarding empowering individual patients by working on energy-efficient prosthetics. The next step for me was seeing the overall view on how to (re)create a sustainable community so that the individual patients I am working with would become active members of the society.

What are you most looking forward to doing in Chicago?

I want to see the Chicago Bean. I am also going to eat as much as deep dish pizza that I can. ☺
I also want to catch a baseball game and buy a Chicago Cubs hat.

Do you like Cats? If not, are you willing to learn to like cats?

I love furry little animals that fit in your palms. Does that count?