Status: Master’s student
Hometown: Bilaspur, India
Department: Mechanical Engineering
Master’s student Devyani Kalvit specializes in control engineering within her broader mechanical engineering degree at the University of Michigan, and explores this uncommon field of study through her research in rehabilitative robotics. Her research works to improve Ankle Foot Orthosis (AFO) devices, which currently don’t fit the gait and body type of every human who needs AFO support to walk. To execute this project, she closely studied human anatomy and gait characteristics, and now is working on an efficient experimental method to design AFOs that ensure an enhanced user performance.
After earning an undergraduate degree in mechanical engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi, Devyani began working at Shell as a project services engineer. She interacted with the safety control valves team, and hence became interested in the specialized field. She ultimately chose to pursue her master’s degree here, because she valued U-M’s access to vast resources and cutting-edge technology for both faculty and students.
Outside of her own studies, Devyani teaches Linear Systems Theory to graduate students as a GSI. She serves as social media chair for U-M’s graduate chapter of the Society of Women Engineers (GradSWE), as a member of the Mechanical Engineering Graduate Council, and as the Master’s representative of the mechanical engineering department for the College of Engineering Graduate Student Advisory Committee.
As an art, design and photography enthusiast, she documents her travels through photography each time she explores a new area of the world. She works as an editor for a book series in India, and has contributed stories to a short story collection whose proceeds go entirely to charity. She is highly interested in poetry, and would like to publish her own book after she completes her master’s degree.
Devyani appreciates engineering because it allows her to delve into how things around us are made.
She says, “It lets you get into the process and unpack it. And understanding those simplistic processes can help people build bigger things, like automated cars or aircraft.”
She suggests prospective engineers go slow and achieve a lot; as someone with both industry experience and an upcoming master’s degree, she believes in the value of being open to different opportunities and ways to cultivate engineering skills.