Former MAE undergraduate Buse Aktas on how making brooms is like robot engineering

Buse Aktas

Harvard University Grad student profile: Buse Aktas

Ph.D. candidate blurs the lines between craftsmanship and engineering

By Adam Zewe

January 2, 2019

While Buse Aktas found it difficult to leave Turkey, Aktas enrolled at Princeton University and majored in mechanical engineering. She pursued a minor in visual arts, but became so disillusioned while studying engineering theory that she planned on being a full-time artist.

At Princeton, Aktas got her first taste of research in a microfluidics lab, but chose a more “people-oriented” project for her thesis. She developed a device to help individuals with physical and mental disabilities build objects on an assembly line at an Easter Seals workshop.