Meet Austin McCandless

Tell me a little about yourself!

My name is Austin McCandless. I just completed my third semester in Dr. Huang’s research group. I am in the MAE department. In my free time (the free time that I do have, anyway), I enjoy going camping and hiking. My career goals are still not entirely clear at the moment, but as I have garnered more teaching experience, I think that I’m leaning in that direction. I would like to teach on some level.

What primary instrument(s) are you using for your research and what do you like about it?

The instruments I am primarily using for my research are the FIB/SEM and the Nano-CT. The capabilities of the FIB/SEM are fantastic, and although it takes some time to learn how to use it correctly, it’s worthwhile to know. The Nano-CT, on the other hand, is very easy to use, and the results that can be obtained from it are of a very high quality (at least as far as I have gathered).

What have you been researching and how is it impacting the community? 

I am researching/studying the connective tissue between tendon and bone (also known as the enthesis or tendon-to-bone insertion region). The long-term goal of my work is to develop a three-dimensional, mathematical model of the tissue. This tissue is commonly injured via falls, sporting accidents, and other avenues, but the tissue does not heal properly. Having a sound, three-dimensional mathematical model of this tissue is important to assist in the repair, reconstruction, and/or regrowth of this tissue.

What have you learned from your experience at AIF?

From my experience at the AIF, I’ve learned a lot more about the research capabilities that we have here at the university. And of course, I’ve learned how to use various pieces of equipment, as well as how to interpret the outputs associated with them.

tendon-to-bone connective tissue (obtained using the Nano-CT)

Best thing about AIF in 5 words or less?

Helps me make research progress

Is there a staff member at AIF that has helped you?

Roberto. No doubt. He has been very helpful in helping me use the FIB/SEM.