Meet the Undergraduate: Malik Francis, School of Engineering

Malik Francis ’24 (ENG), has taken full benefit of the analysis {and professional} alternatives UConn has to supply from researching machine studying, to creating a sustainable vitality challenge for UConn Storrs, to interning for Raytheon Technologies.
Francis, a pc engineering main, has been doing analysis for the previous two years.
As a CAPS Research Apprentice, inside the Center for Access and Postsecondary Success, Francis was paired with Farhad Imani, Assistant Professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering, whose pursuits embody machine studying, high quality, and reliability enchancment with purposes in superior manufacturing.
The selective CAPS Research Apprenticeship Program pairs first-generation school college students in STEM majors with school researchers to realize first-hand analysis expertise and studying the foundations of educational writing, graduate college purposes, and in search of summer time internships.
“Renee Trueman of the CAPS Research workplace pairs you with a professor and also you’re in a position to get proper into the surroundings you requested,” Francis says. “You are in a position to select from a terrific assortment of professors on the UConn campus, finding out in a various spectrum of fields.”
Additive manufacturing is 3-D printing bodily objects with metals as an alternative of plastics, Francis explains. Francis labored with Imani to analysis and develop machine studying algorithms to detect defects in steel objects.
Francis was first launched to machine studying by way of a pal. His conversations together with his pal and later expertise with Imani confirmed Francis the potential of machine studying to handle real-world issues, additional solidifying his curiosity in pursuing machine studying engineering.
“It was a terrific match for me at the second, and I used to be wanting to be taught extra,” Francis says. “And, by way of working with Dr. Imani’s experience and keenness for pushing boundaries confirmed me how machine studying can remodel the future.”
Francis was additionally chosen as a 2022-23 CAPS Research Scholar, the place he gained invaluable hands-on expertise persevering with his challenge with Imani, mentorship, in addition to skilled growth and monetary and cultural literacy together with his CAPS Research cohort.
The CAPS Research workplace provides the Apprentice alternative in addition to CAPS Research Scholar and McNair Scholar. As a Scholar, mentorship and analysis steering proceed for all semesters till commencement alongside step-by-step help with graduate college purposes and funding to current at analysis conferences.
“I believe it was a terrific expertise contemplating all of the technical expertise you develop and with the ability to community with college students and professors inside your main,” Francis says.
Francis is now engaged on a challenge for the Clean Energy and Sustainability Innovation Program at UConn. Francis and his teammates developed a plan for UConn Storrs to combine gas cells with UConn’s co-generation plant to create a extra sustainable surroundings on the foremost campus. Fuel cells convert the vitality from a chemical response into electrical energy with decrease carbon emissions.
“We’re mainly attempting to combine gas cell applied sciences onto the UConn foremost campus, with a purpose to meet or exceed the rising vitality calls for whereas decreasing our carbon emissions,” Francis says.
Over the previous summer time, and into the fall semester, Francis has interned with Raytheon Technologies Collins Aerospace as an information science intern. Francis has helped develop machine studying algorithms to handle issues like plane upkeep with predictive analytics and machine studying strategies.
Francis, who’s initially from Jamaica, has additionally been a component of ScHOLA2RS House, a studying group for Black males. Being half of ScHOLA2RS House served as Francis’ introduction to analysis because it was by way of this studying group that he discovered about the packages provided by way of the CAPS Research workplace and utilized to be an Apprentice after which a Scholar.
“That was the foremost motive I even found analysis,” Francis says. “I really feel like with out them I wouldn’t have come this far.”
After commencement, Francis plans to work in business as a machine studying engineer, with a possible future persevering with his analysis in graduate college.
Francis says the alternatives to attach with corporations by way of UConn profession gala’s in addition to ScHOLA2RS House occasions have ready him to start out a profession after commencement.
“Through the analysis experiences and likewise the means to attach with totally different corporations in an expert setting, I really feel like UConn’s completed a terrific job,” Francis says. “I believe UConn gives you with a large amount of preparation for an business and analysis place. I really feel like that is the very best college for you, so long as you’re motivated and take benefit of alternatives.”
October is the Month of Discovery, when undergraduates are launched to the wealth of analysis and innovation alternatives at UConn. This month, get pleasure from profiles of excellent undergraduate researchers on UConn Today, attend a full slate of programming on campus and on-line, and register for Discovery Quest to launch your undergraduate expertise to new heights.
Follow UConn Research on Twitter & LinkedIn.

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