Graduate Student Spotlight: Pavel “Pasha” Koprov

All children are born innately curious about the world, but many abandon that quest for knowledge as they age. Others become engineers. 

Pavel “Pasha” Koprov started his engineering journey as that curious kid who would disassemble remote-controlled cars to see what made them work. He carried that drive for discovery with him into adulthood. “It was a no-brainer for me to go to engineering school, and I have never hesitated nor regretted the major I chose – Computer-Integrated Manufacturing,” Koprov explained.

When Koprov received his master’s degree and began to work in industry, his desire to learn and improve continued to burn within him. “I always hated inefficient and mundane work,” he recalled. “Industrial engineering enticed me with its goals that resemble my own views of how things should be. I realized that I am not a big fan of pure coding, calculating the resistance of materials or designing electrical circuits. Working over the systems and their efficiency is my interest and the direction of my current work – Smart manufacturing.”

Koprov had always dreamed of studying in the United States. So he began his search, looking for the highest-rated schools. While exploring his options, he stumbled on a university he had never heard of in a city he didn’t know existed. Luckily, the nearby Research Triangle Park (RTP) also piqued his interest, so he began researching the university further. “After I read about the RTP and searched through NC State’s website, I decided it would be a great place for me to return to school,” Koprov detailed. “Dr. Starly, Dr. Harrysson and Dr. Cohen drew my interest to Advanced Manufacturing after I read their articles. I knew that I would work under the direction of one of them long before arriving in North Carolina.”

At NC State, Koprov has focused on designing robots and automated systems that can perform dangerous jobs so that human workers won’t be at risk. “My dream job is to make robotics accessible and facilitate human life,” he confided. “There are so many jobs in which people should not be involved, and automation is a good fit.”

As for what he plans to do after graduation, that’s a tricky question. “You want to make god laugh?” he joked. “Tell him about your plans.” After the events of the last couple of years, Koprov understands that even the best plans can change. So until then, he will continue to stay curious and keep asking questions.