Fluid Power Student Profile: Mazharul Islam

We’ve written before about the Center for Compact and Efficient Fluid Power (CCEFP)—the network of fluid power research laboratories, academic faculty, graduate and undergraduate students at seven universities—that is making a difference when it comes to preparing a better-educated workforce for the fluid power industry. The CCEFP has created a 500% increase in the number of fluid power focused advanced degrees awarded in the United States, with almost half of its graduates going on to work in the fluid power industry.

Mazharul Islam is PhD student active in fluid power research at one of the CCEFP schools—University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. When asked to provide a summary of his background and experiences in the CCEFP, this is what he said:

I am currently a doctoral candidate in Mechanical Science and Engineering Department at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, working under the supervision of Prof. E. T. Hsiao-Wecksler in the Human Dynamics & Controls Laboratory. I finished my Masters at Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering from Oklahoma State University in 2011. Prior to that, I finished my bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering from Bangladesh University of Engineering & Technology (BUET) from 2008. In my PhD program, I am now working on developing the control system for pneumatically powered human assistive robotic device. After finishing my PhD, my plan is to join Intel Co. in April 2016.


Under the supervision of Professor Hsiao-Wecksler, I am currently working on developing the control system for CCEFP’s Testbed 6 Pneumatically Powered Ankle-Foot Orthosis (PPAFO). We are using a pneumatically powered system to assist an individual with lower limb impairment. People with neuromuscular injuries who have impairment of the ankle joint can feel constrained during walking (patients who have had a stroke, or currently have multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s disease, etc.). We are exploring whether the advantage of power-to-weight ratio still holds for a smaller system (10-15 W), and we are using PPAFO as our system.


I like to engage in sports;  soccer, ping-pong, badminton, and tennis are my favorites. I used to play computer games a lot before my graduate studies. I like to travel as well. Programming is one of my hobbies, and I participate in online programming contests. I also enjoy solving puzzles and riddles.

He can be reached at islam6@illinois.edu.

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