Sankhya Hirani

Title B.S. in Materials Science, Class of 2021


BS in Materials Science and Engineering
University of Urbana-Champaign, Class of 2021


Sankhya was born in California and is living in Champaign-Urbana for the last many years. She is currently working on her BS in Materials Science and Engineering at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Her interest in engineering grew after taking more chemistry, physics, and a holistic engineering class in high school, as well as going to some engineering summer camps. In her free time she loves dancing, choreographing and being outdoors.


Sankhya is working on a material characterization project for compliant materials. She is studying the properties of 3D-printed compliant materials that have the potential to be used in more than one of the lab’s robotic designs. The properties and behaviors of these materials are currently not well understood. Sankhya works on (i) identifying the properties of materials that are relevant to newly developed compliant materials; (ii) ways to test these properties; and (iii) creating a test method that is sustainable in carrying out the actual testing. She is currently working specifically with materials consisting of homogeneous mixtures of rubber and plastic in varying compositions.

With this project, Sankhya is exploring and learning about rubber and plastic materials as well as how to develop and conduct a material characterization process for new compliant materials. She has gained experience in conducting experimental measurements on different equipment and devices including a Scanning Electron Microscope and an Instron machine.

Prior to this project, Sankhya worked on the Click Beetle Project during the summer of 2018. She studied the materials in the exoskeleton of the click beetle to understand how they contribute to the observed back jump.