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Ricky Pimentel is a first-year doctoral student in biomedical engineering, a joint department of UNC-Chapel Hill and N.C. State University. Previously, he earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Colorado State University. He also worked at Children’s Hospital Colorado as a research coordinator to help improve walking ability in children with movement difficulties. He is passionate about being active by interacting with nature – mostly via mountain biking, hiking and skiing.


What made you choose UNC-Chapel Hill when deciding on a program/place to study?

I chose UNC and N.C. State due to their commitment to impactful research: the strong alliance with clinical research at UNC and the well-respected engineering expertise at N.C. State.

Tell us about your research.

While working with the Applied Biomechanics Laboratory at UNC, I hope to focus my research on adapting musculoskeletal models for age-related changes in muscle and tendon function. I hope that this research can predict declines in walking ability so that we can help people age gracefully and stay active throughout their lifetime.

How have you built community as a graduate student at Carolina?

As a graduate student at Carolina, I have built my community by getting involved with Diversity and Student Success and Initiative for Minority Excellence programs, volunteering with the ReCYCLEry (a local bike co-op), enjoying the beautiful nature all over North Carolina, and spending quality time with other students and people in our community.

What are you hoping to accomplish with your Carolina degree?

While working towards my Carolina degree, I hope to uphold the culture of impactful research through my work, to thoroughly enjoy my time at UNC by living each day to its fullest, and to help the people around me accomplish their goals and enjoy the time we have together.

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