Yakira Mirabito headshotBerkeley graduate students are known for their exceptional accomplishments after completing their degrees. However, our graduate students are also engaged in exciting activities throughout the year, all while pursuing their academic goals. In preparation for the fall semester, we asked some of our students about their experiences beyond the campus.

One of the students who shared their research experience was Yakira Mirabito, a graduate student pursuing a Ph.D. in engineering. After finishing her undergraduate education at Northwestern University, Yakira Mirabito chose to come to the west coast for graduate school at Berkeley.

I chose Berkeley for lots of reasons, most prominently a great program and an active design community that spans multiple disciplines.

Yakira Mirabito headshot
Yakira MirabitoPh.D. student, Engineering

Mirabito’s research, “Design Strategies that Work: How Engineers Use Sequential Decision Making to Improve Design Performance in Concept Selection” explores how engineers make their design decisions and understanding why they make those decisions. 

Yakira Mirabito presenting research at a conferenceShe describes, “In design, lots of concepts are brainstormed as possible solutions to a problem, then engineers need to select concepts to prototype. Engineers might explore the design space randomly or rather strategically. This particular paper focuses on a few strategies engineers use and their impact on design performance.” 

Yakira’s research has taken her many places, most recently to St. Louis, MO and abroad to Scotland, where she participated in her first in-person conference. After the exciting experience of networking with colleagues and presenting her research in person, Yakira is recharging and looking ahead to her future goals. She plans to continue her research as well as pursue a postdoctoral position or an assistant professor position after she graduates in 2024.