Diana Alonso

Mentor: Dr. Anil Rao
College of Engineering
"As graduation approaches, I grew conflicted with what career path to pursue in engineering-industry or research. I became deeply interested in my Biomechanics classes and wanted to apply my knowledge to a research project. My goal in pursing this opportunity is to learn from my mentor and my work while also gaining insight of dedicating a career to research and development."


Mechanical Engineering



Research Interests

  • Orthopedic Medicine
  • Applied Neuromechanics
  • Dynamics and Optimization

Academic Awards

  • Environmental Association of Miami Lakes Scholarship 2012
  • Florida Bright Futures Scholarship 2012
  • Dean's List 2014
  • University Scholars Program 2015-2016


  • Society of Women Engineers
  • Society of Hispanics Professional Engineers
  • CRU at UF


  • Alachua County Public Library
  • WaterStep

Hobbies and Interests

  • Swimming
  • Rock Climbing

Research Description

Application of Computational Optimal Control to Problems in Human Motion
Understanding how human walking motion can be optimized can make it possible to achieve a closer-to-normal walking motion for patients who have disabilities that prevent them from walking normally. This research focuses on improvement in modeling of gait motion with computational optimal control. This will be done by surveying current models used for gait motion in order to arrive at a computationally tractable improved model that can be used with optimization. The model will be incorporated and modified into the formulation of an optimal control problem and will then be solved numerically using optimal control software GPOPS-II.