Antonia Zaferiou, Assistant Professor, Department of Biomedical Engineering, School of Engineering and Science
What is your main academic and research focus?
My research focuses on understanding and improving movement mechanics used during athletic and everyday maneuvers. Specifically, I am interested in how people accomplish the mechanical challenges imposed during whole-body rotations and in developing real-time sound/music biofeedback to facilitate movement skill acquisition.
Why did you choose to come to Stevens?
Entering my graduate studies, I wanted to be a professor in a student-centric engineering school because I love teaching and was inspired by my professors at The Cooper Union. A few hours after my dissertation defense, I was sitting by the ocean in Santa Monica with my family and I realized that a new major career goal was to have Ph.D. students graduate feeling the way I felt in that moment — prepared to be independent researchers and proud that their hard work had led to scientific discoveries worth sharing. Stevens is the perfect place for me to pursue my teaching, mentoring and research goals. This is primarily due to the institution’s dedication to support
What was your background prior to joining Stevens?
I earned my B.E. in mechanical engineering at The Cooper Union and my M.S. and Ph.D. in biomedical engineering at the University of Southern California. After my doctoral studies, I joined the Department of Mechanical Engineering at the University of Michigan as a postdoctoral fellow. Prior to joining Stevens in January 2019, I was an assistant professor and the director of a biomechanics lab in the Department of Orthopedic Surgery at Rush University Medical Center in Chicago. Throughout the years, I have also enjoyed being an educator and mentor in STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art and math) outreach activities.
What do you like about working at Stevens?
The best part of working at Stevens has been getting to know colleagues and students. Everyone I met has been articulate and excited about their careers and academic goals. Further, people are welcoming, easy to work with, helpful and friendly. In my short time here, I have met innumerable colleagues who are dedicated to supporting student and faculty development because they are true educators.
What is your favorite spot on campus?
Two months into working at Stevens, I find it difficult to decide between a particular conference room and my office. The same conference room that I was interviewed in is now home to the first class I am teaching at Stevens. Teaching my first group of engineering students in that room has made me realize that since that interview, I am now situated to achieve my long-standing goal to prepare the next generation of engineers to be resourceful problem-solvers. Importantly, the students are sitting around a U-shaped conference table which facilitates collaboration, peer-review and interactivity in general. My office has been a poignant place because in between bouts of quiet productivity, I have been enjoying interactions with students and colleagues while my grandfather’s electrical engineering degree from City College hangs in the background. As the degree catches my eye, I remember why I chose to pursue engineering and it encourages me to make decisions that honor his life. I anticipate that if this question is asked of me in the future, I will have more contenders for my favorite spot as I build my laboratory and see more of Stevens.