Prior to joining Plaksha, Rucha Joshi, Ph.D. was an Assistant Professor in the Department of Biomedical Engineering at the University of California, Davis, focusing on engineering education research and instructional innovation in biomedical engineering. Before joining UC Davis in 2018, she was a postdoctoral fellow in the Weldon School of Biomedical Engineering, Purdue University, working on multiple educational projects in enhancing teaching, learning, outreach, and diversity of engineers. Rucha’s current research focuses on approaching challenges in teaching engineering through the lens of design thinking.
Previously, Rucha contributed to instructional innovation in biomedical engineering at Purdue and worked on an National Science Foundation funded grant for studying the professional formation of engineers and enhancing diversity and inclusion within Purdue. She has been involved in educational entrepreneurship projects and making engineering accessible to underrepresented high school students in India and in the United States.
Rucha received a BS in biotechnology engineering from Shivaji University, India, in 2009, and MS in biomedical engineering from Vanderbilt University in 2011, where she worked on creating smart microspheres responsive to temperature, pH, and Reactive Oxygen Species (ROS) for therapeutic drug delivery applications. Rucha received her PhD in biomedical engineering from Purdue University in 2016, where she created designer collagen biografts for soft tissue biograft and drug delivery applications with Prof. Sherry Voytik-Harbin. Rucha has received several scholarships and awards for thought leadership, entrepreneurship, and community engagement, including the Ross Fellowship for outstanding PhD applicants, and the Burton D. Morgan Fellowship for entrepreneurial students at Purdue. She was honored by Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam, the late president of India, for her invention of “low calorie biscuits from banana peel pulp” and for her STEM popularization efforts. Rucha authored a book in Marathi, Bhartiya Balvaidnyanik achi Garudzep, summarizing her life experiences in inspiring Indian students towards STEM pursuits, which won a literary award from the State Government of Maharashtra in 2008.