Skip to main content
GEMS 2023
December 15, 2023

Student Org Spotlight: Graduate Engineering Mechanics Society (GEMS)

Written By: Caitlin Scott



From the Industrial Revolution of the 18th century to contemporary breakthroughs in automobiles, robotics, and space travel, scientific research in the field of engineering mechanics has transformed society. UW-Madison has been a driving force in this transformation owing to extensive research in mechanics, producing innovators and leaders in both industry and academia. The Graduate Engineering Mechanics Society (GEMS), a student group comprised of enthusiastic mechanicians and future leaders, is dedicated to fostering a collaborative and supportive environment among graduate students conducting research in various mechanics fields, such as solid mechanics, fluid mechanics, dynamics, robotics, material science, and biomechanics.

Thank you to Abhishek Gupta, GEMS president and graduate student in the Thevamaran lab for contributing to this spotlight.

What are GEMS’ activities and events?

Initiated as a weekly seminar series presented by graduate students for an audience consisting exclusively of fellow graduate students, GEMS has evolved into a registered student organization affiliated with the Department of Mechanical Engineering. Beyond hosting regular seminars, GEMS actively arranges social events in collaboration with ME-GSAC and is in the process of planning a three-minute-thesis (3MT) competition for the upcoming semester, specifically tailored for graduate students engaged in engineering mechanics-related fields.

What are the goals and fundamental principles of GEMS?

Founded in 2020 during the COVID lockdown, GEMS was established by former engineering mechanics graduate students who identified a lack of research communication among graduate students working in various research labs. GEMS seminars serve as a platform for students to step out of their labs, present their research work to fellow graduate students, receive valuable feedback, and potentially initiate collaborations. These seminars provide a low-stakes environment for graduate students to practice their conference presentations, qualifying exams, preliminary exams, and thesis defenses prior to the actual event. Designed with diversity and inclusivity as core principles, GEMS welcomes students at all levels of study, regardless of gender, nationality, disability, race, age, or socioeconomic status.

One of the weekly GEMS seminars on Nov-13-2023 (Fall 2023 GEMS seminar series)

What’s next for GEMS?

We are thrilled with the success of the current semester in terms of graduate student participation in seminars and social events. Looking ahead to the next semester, we hope for even more enthusiastic engagement in seminars, social events, and the 3MT competition.

We extend our sincere thanks to the Department of Mechanical Engineering for their continued financial support and encouragement. Additionally, we are actively seeking new members to join GEMS and contribute to its mission. If you are interested in becoming a part of GEMS, please fill out this form: or contact us via email at Stay updated on seminar schedules through our website:

Featured image: Thanksgiving social event in collaboration with ME-GSAC on Nov-29-2023. Provided by Abhishek Gupta.