Postdoc Spotlight: Anand Kumar Mishra
~ October 3, 2022 ~
Anand Kumar Mishra is a postdoc in mechanical and aerospace engineering from Dishini, a small village in northern India. He holds degrees from Italian Institute of Technology, Genova, Italy, and Scuola Superiore Sant’Anna, Pisa, Italy, and his research at Cornell focuses on bioinspired soft robots.
What is your research area of emphasis?
I am a roboticist. I work on bioinspired soft robots. I enjoy looking at biological principles and translating them into new robotic solutions because nature is, I believe, the best source of learning and realizing something beautiful at par with the current technology in a sustainable manner.
At Cornell, I categorize my research focus into three categories: bioin, agricultural robots, and living robots. For example, one of the projects I am working on is developing a worm-like robot that can potentially communicate with plants one day. I wanted to mention CROPPS. It is a new center at Cornell funded by the National Science Foundation, which I am part of as a trainee. Here I work with transdisciplinary groups. The projects I am working on are next-generation technology for digital biology and agricultural science.
What have you gained by participating in the NextGen Professors Program?
I was part of the 2020-2021 cohort. I want to enter academia after my postdoc. One of the most important questions I have always had is about challenges after starting an academic position as a young faculty, and this is what makes the NextGen Professors Program unique. There were several occasions where we had an opportunity to hear from young faculty. For example, they talked about what their challenges are and how they navigate as an early-stage faculty, adjusting to new work culture, how to win the first grant, how to develop interdepartmental collaborations, maintain work-life balance, understand the role of diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI), and why it matters. I am glad I was part of it and thankful to every organizing team member.