Richard Regueiro, associate professor of civil, environmental and architectural engineering, is one of four University of Colorado Boulder faculty and staff who received Fulbright Scholar grants to pursue research, teaching and training abroad during the 2014-15 academic year.
Regueiro, who will be at the University of Oxford until late December, is conducting research on computational mechanics of the eye. The work involves creating computer models and conducting simulations to study how a prosthetic inserted into the inner lens of the eye during cataract surgery, for example, works mechanically with the rest of the eye and restores vision. The research also could extend to treatment of trauma from foreign bodies penetrating the eye.
The Fulbright has enabled him to work with Dr. Harvey Burd of Oxford’s Department of Engineering Science, whose specialty of research is ocular lens tissue mechanics.
“He studies how it can be used to better understand diseases of the lens, such as presbyopia, and also their treatments, such as designing prosthetic accommodating intraocular lenses (IOLs) inserted during cataract surgery,” Regueiro said. “By collaborating with Dr. Burd, I hope to come away with a mathematical formulation of a large deformation poromechanical multiscale finite element model of the ocular lens capsule (the structural membrane supporting the ocular lens in your eye).”
While his research is keeping him busy, Regueiro said he is also enjoying the unique cultural aspects of life at Oxford. He said one of the things that has struck him most is how their college structure “naturally weaves interdisciplinary thinking into the everyday activities of students and faculty.” His experiences as a visiting fellow in Brasenose College, one of the 38 colleges that make up the university, are inspiring him to seek out more interdisciplinary connections when he returns.
“Within a one-month stretch, I've interacted with socially and academically a more diverse group of faculty than I've interacted with at CU-Boulder over nine years, and perhaps my whole lifetime!” he said. “In this respect, although with more effort (the main hurdle), I hope to meet more faculty and students from a wider range of disciplines at CU-Boulder when I return.”
The arrival of U.K. autumn weather left Regueiro missing some aspects of life in Boulder.
“I miss the openness of Boulder, being able to look up at the Flatirons and Front Range,” he said. “And having more than a few minutes of sunshine per day.”
The Fulbright program, which is sponsored by the U.S. State Department and chooses participants based on academic merit and leadership potential, operates in more than 155 countries. Roughly 800 U.S. scholars and 800 international visiting scholars receive awards each year.
Five CU-Boulder students were offered Fulbright Student grants this past spring to pursue teaching, research and graduate studies abroad during the 2014-15 academic year. For more information about the winning students visit http://www.colorado.edu/news/releases/2014/05/01/five-cu-boulder-students-offered-fulbright-awards-2014-15.