Berk Gonenc is a Mechanical Engineering Ph.D. candidate at JHU. His research focuses on developing assistive methods for retinal microsurgery, which involves various high-risk treatments and ranks amongst the most challenging areas of surgical practice. By integrating fiber optic sensors with robotic assistants, he develops novel surgical instruments that enable more precise and safer operation during key surgical tasks, reduce surgeon effort, and provide better clinical outcomes. This has led to over 20 academic papers in top journals and conferences with 2 Best Paper Awards in 2014 and 2015, and a U.S. patent in 2016. He co-advised several fellow researchers and participated in the organization of several international conferences. Berk received the highest departmental award for his leadership in mentoring and teaching from Computer Science Department in 2013. He is a leading volunteer for the JHU Community Garden, has coordinated several international conferences, and is a member of the JHU Turkish Student Association.