Sarah Mailhiot’s Milestone Achievement at Montana State University

The College of Engineering at Montana State University in Bozeman offers Ph.D. programs in civil engineering, chemical engineering, environmental engineering and mechanical and industrial engineering. Until now no woman had ever earned a Ph.D. in mechanical engineering at the university, while women had earned doctorates in the other three disciplines.

Sarah Mailhiot is the first woman to earn a Ph.D. in mechanical engineering at Montana State. A native of Oak Forest, Illinois, Dr. Mailhiot was the first person in her family to go to college. She earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees in biomedical engineering at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, New York. She came to Montana in 2013 and completed her doctorate in four years. She received a fellowship through the university’s molecular biosciences program that allowed her to work across multiple academic departments and research centers.

Dr. Mailhiot’s doctoral research involved finding better ways to diagnose osteoarthritis using magnetic resonance imaging. She is now studying and conducting research in Sweden as a Whitaker Postdoctoral Scholar on using MRI to study small changes in the brain that could improve diagnosis of diseases such as schizophrenia.

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