Alex Pagano is a Ph.D. Candidate in Mechanical Engineering at the University of Illinois as well as an SCD Scholar with the Siebel Center for Design. He earned his undergraduate degree in Materials Science and Engineering at the University of Arizona and master’s degree in Mechanical Science and Engineering from the University of Illinois. Pagano’s research focus is on engineering design education, specifically exploring the development of engineering requirements. He is currently working on a project which uses natural language processing methods to explore how students reach a shared understanding of a design problem.
In his role with SCD, Pagano works in curriculum and program design and development. He has worked with the Grainger College of Engineering to create Human Centered Engineering Design learning experiences in the Mechanical Science and Engineering, Industrial & Enterprise Systems Engineering and Electrical and Computer Engineering programs, among others. Pagano’s work in education is motivated by the need to build stronger connections between theoretical engineering and the lived experiences of people who are impacted by engineered systems. Beyond the classroom, Pagano has also worked in adaptive materials and structures where he designed a robot which uses origami-inspired folding mechanisms made from sheets of paper to create crawling worm-like locomotion.