Mechanical Engineering Grad Uses Space to Help Find Cures for Brain Disorders

Imagine hunting for cures to brain disorders — in space.

Embry-Riddle student Malik Moville holding a model of the human brain in his right hand
Embry-Riddle alumnus Malik Moville ('21) earned his B.S. in Mechanical Engineering and is now an engineer at Space Tango. (Photo: Embry-Riddle)

Mechanical Engineering graduate Malik Moville (’21) was part of a team that launched one of the first brain organoid investigations to the International Space Station while he worked on an extended internship at Space Tango, a company using microgravity for research and innovation.

The organoids served as 3-D brain models for researchers exploring the biology behind neurological diseases, and Moville has continued working on the project in his latest role as a full-time mechanical engineer at Space Tango.

“From the start of the project to the actual launch, I was thrilled to be part of it,” said Moville, who helped design and engineer a habitat to keep the organoids alive in space.

What can you do with a Mechanical Engineering degree?

Malik is designing and building enabling technologies to autonomously facilitate microgravity investigations in life and physical sciences.

“I just finished working on two projects. One was with the non-profit organization Higher Orbits [run by Embry-Riddle alum Michelle Lucas] and their focus was on algae [in zero gravity] and I had to house the algae to see how they will grow and react utilizing a sensor inside of a bag. It launched on Northrop Grumman Commercial Resupply Service Mission-17.”

“I also did another project with the University of Kentucky, which was focused on demonstrating automated attitude control systems. And this was also a historic mission with Space Tango. This is our very first CubeLab to be operated outside a TangoLabs locker facility and the investigation took place in the aisle of the International Space Station.”

How do you get a Mechanical Engineering job?

How did Malik end up with such an awesome job? Hard work was one reason, and the kind of internships and connections provided by Embry-Riddle were another.

“Embry-Riddle helped me land this role through the Eagle alumni network and friends. Michelle Lucas (’00) and Danielle Rosales (’18) introduced me to Space Tango. Embry-Riddle allowed me to gather all my engineering knowledge, project management and leadership skills and, most importantly, allowed me to specialize in Biomedical Systems.”

What are the best places to visit on the Embry-Riddle campus?

Malik is grateful to Embry-Riddle for helping him launch such a stellar career, and he shared his Top 5 favorite places on campus:

The Hub: “That was my home away from home. Today it's the Center of Diversity and Inclusion, but it will always be known to us as the Hub.”

The West Lawn: “It was just the nice intermission between you getting to class or you getting to your dorm. The Florida weather can never be beat.”

Dean of Students Office: “One of my great secret areas. I had the pleasure of actually getting to know [the deans] and always having that close relationship.”

Dr. Nancy Lawrence’s Office: “Good old doc. I was the president of the Organization of Black Aerospace Professionals, and she was the advisor. She had a lot of different connections in the aerospace field."

Negar Afshar’s Office: “The epicenter for all clubs on campus. She had a very pivotal role in helping us form the Black Students Association.”

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