Q&A with faculty mentor Konrad Rykaczewski

Posted on: October 19, 2022

Konrad Rykaczewski is an associate professor of mechanical engineering who serves as a faculty mentor in the FURI and MORE programs. His research focuses on developing soft thermal materials and systems in addition to studying human thermal exposure in extreme heat. He has been involved in FURI for more than eight years and the MORE program for the past several years. He encourages students interested in research to talk to many faculty members early on in their academic careers to learn about opportunities and get involved in this valuable experience.

What made you want to get involved as a FURI and MORE faculty mentor?

It is a nice program to encourage promising students to get involved in research.

What is your favorite part about seeing your students conduct research?

My favorite part is seeing them slowly grow as researchers and come up with their own ideas.

How have your student researchers had an effect on your research? 

The students involved in FURI and MORE projects often work with me on preliminary ideas that, if successful, are used to motivate larger funding.

What have you gained from being a mentor? How has the experience been rewarding for you?

A couple of the FURI students stayed on to pursue a master’s or doctoral degree in my group, which is great.

Why should other faculty members become FURI and MORE mentors?

It might help them recruit great students to work with for many years.