Mechanical Engineering


Ayda Afshar announced as Maryam Mirzakhani Persia Scholarship winner

19 May 2022

UCL Mechanical Engineering PhD student Ayda Afshar has won the Maryam Mirzakhani Persia Scholarship for Women.

Ayda Afshar

Ayda Afshar, a Doctoral researcher at UCL Mechanical Engineering has been recognised for her academic excellence with a Maryam Mirzakhani Persia Scholarship, awarded to her this month. Ayda is the fifth recipient of the prize, which was established in remembrance of the first woman to win the Fields Medal in mathematics, Dr Maryam Mirzakhani, and aims to provide empowerment to women of Iranian descent studying STEM subjects.

A previous winner of the UCL Doctoral Mechanical Engineering conference competition and International Materials Reviews Honorarium Award, Ayda has undertaken a range of multidisciplinary research during her time at the Edirisinghe Biomaterials Processing Laboratory, including collaborating with universities in the USA and Turkey. She has also worked as a community health volunteer and taught as a postgraduate teaching assistant.

Her current research involves producing multifunctional polymeric and binary fibers for use in various biomedical applications, including wound healing and bone tissue regeneration. Most recently, she has been featured in the International Materials Reviews Journal for her paper Binary Polymer Systems for Biomedical Applications.

On winning the scholarship, Ayda said:

"Receiving the prestigious Persia Mirzakhani Scholarship for Women in STEM 2022 has been an incredibly humbling experience that I will cherish for the rest of my career. I would like to express my sincere gratitude to the Persia Educational Foundation for encouraging and providing a platform to shed light on young women in STEM. I am honoured to be a representative of that, and I hope to empower many more women to take an interest in a STEM subject. I would also like to take this opportunity to thank my PhD supervisor, Professor Edirisinghe for his unwavering support and guidance in encouraging me to become a successful Doctoral researcher."