2019 Scholarship Winner Feature – Steve Voinier

STLE Section Awards Scholarship to University of Delaware Doctoral Student

L to R: Scholarship Committee Member Thomas O’Brien, Scholarship Awardee Steven Voinier, Professor David Burris, and Scholarship Committee Member Salvatore Rea

The Philadelphia Section of the STLE is pleased to award a scholarship to Steven Voinier, a doctoral student in Mechanical Engineering at the University of Delaware.

Steven’s research is directed towards understanding the link between physical activity and the many aspects of personal health it seems to affect.  Steven’s personal connection to movement as a CrossFit Coach motivates him to draw the links between activity and cartilage hydration, lubrication, and thickness.  During his first year as a doctoral student some of the new test development that Steven came up with has extended the load range of UD’s tribological testing capabilities to the physiological realm. Thanks to Steven, the test lab at UD can now effectively study cartilage mechanics, tribology, and solute transport at pressures from less than 1 kPa to more than 50 MPa; 0.5-5 MPa is the typical range in the knee.

Steven has already proven himself to be a skilled and independent experimentalist. Ultimately, his doctoral proposal will explore how intermittent daily activity cycles of varying loads and patterns affect the health of cells within healthy and damaged cartilage.  Beyond the UD tribology group, which specializes in cartilage mechanics, he formed a collaborative relationship with the Price group, which specializes in cartilage biology and imaging.  Steven has already led multi-student projects within this team.