Joseph Towles, Phd: (M3)

Joseph Towles Phd: (M3)Graduated magna cum laude from UMBC with a BS degree in Mechanical Engineering and I completed a PhD in the Dept. of Mechanical Engineering at Stanford University. Currently, I’m an Adjunct Professor in the Dept. of Biomedical Engineering at Northwestern University.

I grew up in a two-parent household and both were supportive.  My mother was tasked with ensuring that we (my sister and I) excelled in school.  Early on (K-6th grade), my mother was very strict with regard to completing homework.  It had to be done before any TV-watching.  She was inflexible on that point.  I would say that aspect of my mom’s parenting planted a seed.  It sprouted as my sister and I developed very good study habits that served us well for remainder of our middle and high school careers.  We were consistently in the top of our class.

When it came to overcoming challenges, Reading comprehension has always been a weakness of mine.  I sought out tutoring when needed (freshmen year in undergrad) and use various techniques for extracting information from reading material.  I don’t believe this represents overcoming in so much as recognizing the limitation and compensating.

I was attracted to the S.T.E.M. fields because, I had an aptitude for science and math that I recognized in high school.  My interest in engineering developed late in high school.  My interest in biomedical engineering developed early in undergrad.  Science and math were not my first love.  My earliest aspirations were to be an artist and take up any profession that involved speaking French.  I took up drawing in the elementary school and was dedicated (at least as dedicated a 10 year-old could be).  I drew my favorite singers (e.g., Prince), TV actors (e.g., Gary Coleman), and cars (Knight Industries Two-Thousand).   Speaking French became an interest when I first started learning it in middle school and realized I had a facility for it.

When it comes to my work ethic, I’m a hard-worker.  Don’t consider myself exceptionally bright but I like to be at the top, ALWAYS. Whenever there’s an opportunity to be the best, I try to rise to the occasion.

I’ve always had an aptitude for math and science and those courses interest me the most.   My motivation for pursing engineering resulted from a desire to pursue a discipline that blended both areas.  The Meyerhoff Program at UMBC put getting a PhD on the map for me.   It was serendipitous, at least in part, because I’ve always had a desire to teach. I later found out that I prefer to teach at the college level.

Some wisdom that I would like to share is that students should plan to work hard.  Plan to sacrifice.  Focus and discipline are key. Be prepared to be alone some times.  Be prepared for ridicule.  Learn to make friends with others whom you wouldn’t perhaps befriend under normal circumstances.   Plan to get an advance degree.  Plan for delayed gratification.

One area of my field that I’m always fascinated with is how the human body works. The potential to learn or discover something that could be impactful, that could change a life especially where a disability is concerned, is pretty exciting.

S.T.E.M. is constantly used in my daily life. Part of my work involves developing mathematical models to clarify possible mechanisms that give rise to an experimental observation or explore treatment inventions that could offset the effects of a nervous system injury.  I also teach

Best Advice

It’s not about you. Be excellent. Don’t sweat the small stuff. Oh, by the way, it’s all small stuff.

My Mentors and Why

Yes. Several. It’s about aligning myself with others who are where I’m headed. Learning from others is invaluable.

Quotes I Live By

1 Tim 4:7b: Train yourself to be godly. For physical training is some value, but godliness has value for all things, holding promise for both the present life and the life to come.

Invent One Thing

Work-related: the ability to test my ideas in an instant, time…

Book I'm reading

Outside reading primarily consists of Christian material. These days, I’m reading “Prodigal God: Recovering the Heart of the Christian Faith” (Timothy Keller) and “Disciplines of a Godly Man” (Kent Hughes). The former challenges current notions of what it means to follow God. The latter goes through different areas of man’s life (purity, marriage, fatherhood, ministry, etc.) and reviews what the Bible says about each. Both challenge my walk with God.

More about : Joseph Towles, Phd: (M3)

More about Dr. Joseph Towles Phd Research Professor, Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation at Northwestern University Research Scientist, Rehabilitation R&D Service at the Edward Hines Jr. VA Hospital Research Scientist, Sensory Motor Performance Program at that Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago Professional Interests Biomechanics and control of the hand following neurologic injury Simulation of surgical and rehabilitative treatments to improve hand function after injury Exploration of the integration of the mechanics of the musculoskeletal and nervous systems in the control of movement.

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