Michelle L. Oyen, PI


Michelle L. Oyen is a Reader in Bioengineering in the Mechanics and Materials Division and the Bioengineering research group in the Cambridge University Engineering Department. She holds a B.S. degree in Materials Science and Engineering and an M.S. Degree in Engineering Mechanics, both from Michigan State University and a Ph.D. degree in Biophysical Sciences and Medical Physics from the University of Minnesota. She joined Cambridge Engineering in 2006 following an appointment as Research Scientist at the University of Virginia Center for Applied Biomechanics.

Michelle’s PhD thesis can be found here.



Reader in Bioengineering, Cambridge University Engineering Dept.

Fellow and Director of Studies, Homerton College, Cambridge


  • Cambridge University, M.A., July, 2010.
  • University of Minnesota, Ph.D. in Biophysical Sciences and Medical Physics, June, 2005. (GPA 3.82/4.00) Dissertation title: “Ultrastructural Characterization of Time-Dependent, Inhomogeneous Materials and Tissues”.
  • Michigan State University, M. S. in Engineering Mechanics, December, 1998. (GPA 3.95/4.00)
  • Michigan State University, B. S. in Materials Science and Engineering, May, 1996. (GPA 3.95/4.00)
  • Osseo Senior High School, June, 1993



  • NRC Post-doctoral fellowship, 2006 (declined).
  • MRS Trophy Award for Best Proceedings Paper, 2005.
  • ASME-IMECE Bioengineering Division Student Paper Contest 2nd Place Award, 2004.
  • Society for Experimental Mechanics Student Paper Contest 3rd Place Award, 2001.
  • National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship, awarded Spring, 1996.
  • Society of Women Engineers Scholarship Awards, 1995 and 1996.
  • MSU College of Engineering Academic Achievement Awards, 1994, 1995, and 1996.


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Edited Volume

One Response

  1. Wilhelm Zimmerer
    Wilhelm Zimmerer at · Reply

    Dear Dr. Oyen,

    with great interest we read the article in „Spiegel Nr. 27 / 2.7.2016“ about your vision to build housing from bones and eggshells.

    In 1996, when I remember it right, I’ve had a conversation with the Head of Research and Development, Mr. Bruno Reisch, when I was CEO of maxit, the – then – worldwide leader of dry mortar, bricklaying mortar, rendering and plastering, flooring,and dry concrete, which was located in Merdingen near Freiburg in Southwestern Germany. I was annoyed because of a cement deliverer’s price monopole, from whom I bought 400.000 tons of cement each year.

    I told Mr. Reisch that we needed a new binding material to become independent from this cement deliverer. He answered „It’s impossible, Boss.“ I told him that nothing on Earth would be impossible. In my annoyance I became a little offensíve towards him: „A stupid hen produces an egg each day, and its shell hardens out between two or three days. Why can’t we do what the hen is doing?“ I initially gave him 100.000 deutschmark for researching this matter. I demanded that within three months I wanted to hear his thoughts about this. I was really enthralled about this subject. Within the three months, he also did research on ivory, bones, conches and corals.

    We found out that two scientists from Haifa, when i remember it right, researched this topic as well. They wanted to develop a substance resembling ivory for piano keys and such.

    It’s highly interesting what you’re proposing in the „Spiegel“-interview about living in buildings made from bones. I’m sure Mr. Reisch still has his research notes. I could provide you with contact data for Mr. Reisch.
    He’s still working at the same company which however belongs to St. Gobain these days.

    I’d be delighted to hear back from you.

    I wish you the best for your project and remain

    Sincerely Yours,

    Wilhelm Zimmerer

    Lithovoltaic S.a..r.l.
    120, rue des Romains
    L-8041 Strassen (Luxemburg)

    I’m in retirement, but still have connections to the dry mortar industry. I’m Honorary President of IWM, the association of mortar and insulation manufacturers.

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