Martell Bell

"I can honestly say that returning to school was one of the best decisions I have ever made."

Hometown: Robbins, Ill.

Year: First-year master's student

Program: Mechanical Engineering

Mission Area: Advanced Manufacturing and Materials

Lab: Laser Materials Processing Lab

Advisor: Hongtao Ding, associate professor of mechanical engineering

What do you do at the University? 

I enjoy being involved in community outreach and educational programs. Last year I designed and hosted my first ever event, iGNITE: Engineering Success Conference. It was a success and hosted 55+ first-generation to go to college, high school students. My team and I have plans to host iGNITE again in Spring 2021 and establish it as our pilot program for our not-for-profit.

What do you work on and what do you enjoy most about your work? 

I work in the Laser Materials Processing Laboratory under Professor Hongtao Ding. My project involves nanosecond laser texturing applied to bearing surfaces in an effort to extend the life of the bearing and as a result improve the efficiency of the engine.

What are your goals for the future? What do you hope to be doing professionally in 10 years?

I hope to successfully defend my thesis and graduate with my master’s degree within two years. I am considering the possibility of continuing my education by enrolling in a PhD program in mechanical engineering.