2024 Heberlein Travel Award Winners

Congratulations to Kimberly Gustafson and Jeremy Simmons, the 2024 Joachim and Yuko Heberlein Travel Grant Award winners! The award, created in honor of former ME Professor Joachim Heberlein, supports ME PhD students by providing funding to attend an international conference in their field. "The Heberlein Award provides a unique opportunity for students to engage with the international research community and explore a different culture, while broadening perspectives and building an international network to support their career development," said Director of Graduate Studies and ME Professor Peter Bruggeman. 

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"This will be my first opportunity to travel internationally to share my research, and I look forward to globally expanding my network of researchers working in the same interdisciplinary space between medicine and robotics." — Kimberly Gustafson 



Lab: Human/Machine Design Lab

Advisor: Professor William Durfee

Dissertation Title: "A Muscle-powered Exoskeleton for Mobile Standing Exercise Following a Spinal Cord Injury"

Travel: IEEE RAS EMBS 10th International Conference on Biomedical Robotics and Biomechatronics in Heidelberg, Germany in September 2024 

"The Heberlein Travel Award will enable Kimberly to present her PhD work at a major international conference. Her project has advanced to a stage where feedback from international experts will provide valuable guidance moving forward. The award also benefits the department and the University of Minnesota as Kimberly is an exemplary representative of the outstanding PhD students in our department and at the University and she will be an ambassador for both at the conference." — Professor Will Durfee

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"This grant will provide me with the means to travel abroad for the first time in my life. Attending the symposium will offer me the opportunity to receive feedback on my research and network with experts in my field from academia and industry. A significant number of the experts and leading companies in the field of fluid power and marine energy reside in Europe and I expect the ability to meet with experts will have a positive impact on my career." — Jeremy Simmons

Dissertation Title: Hydraulic Power Take-Off Architectures for Ocean Wave-Powered, Reverse Osmosis Desalination
Travel: PhD Symposium in Hudiksvall, Sweden, hosted by the Global Fluid Power Society in June 2024.

"The Heberlein Travel Grant will support Jeremy Simmons' travel to the Global Fluid Power Society (GFPS) PhD Symposium 2024 from June 17 to June 20, 2024, in Hudiksvall, Sweden.  This is the premier avenue in the world for sharing PhD research with the fluid power community. Jeremy will be presenting his work on modeling systems that use wave energy to create drinking water through reverse osmosis. His study compares the influence of selecting and sizing components in different hydraulic circuit architectures on the quantity of potable water created during a given set of sea conditions. This Symposium an excellent opportunity for networking and sharing Jeremy's major contribution to the fluid power community." — Professor Jim Van de Ven



Joachim and Yuko came separately from war torn and defeated Germany and Japan, but both found further education and opportunities in US. After their marriage in 1970 they raised 2 children, daughter Andrea and son Markus.  Andrea received her Ph. D. in neuroscience and now resides in Boston, and Markus after studying at Cornell Univ. and Illinois Institute of Tech. became an industrial designer, and now resides in Tokyo. Both are married and raising children. 

Our world will become only more global in the future. Since the Heberleins are most grateful for all the assistance and opportunities they received, helping the next generation by giving them opportunities to travel to different parts of the world is something they love to do. With this idea, Yuko announced the establishment of Joachim and Yuko Heberlein Scholarship Fund at Joachim’s retirement in March of 2013. 

Joachim passed away in February of 2014 after battling ALS for 2 years. But Yuko hopes that his accomplishments and dream will live on and benefit generations to follow. 

So our dear recipients, go and see the rest of the world as we did years ago! You will find that every country has its own traditions and ways of meeting challenges. But there is always something we can learn from each other. When you come back, tell me what you saw, what you learned, how this experience helped you to get closer to your goals, and what you could do to help others in the future. 

Bon voyage!!

Written by Yuko Heberlein

on Nov. 7, 2014