The Michigan Engineer News Center

Donald Richardson: Leading a career with impact

Donald Richardson, doctoral candidate in industrial and operations engineering, has found his passion in helping others. | Short Read
EnlargePortrait of Donald Richardson.
IMAGE:  Portrait of Donald Richardson. Photo: Joseph Xu, Michigan Engineering Communications & Marketing

Status: PhD candidate

Hometown: Bowie, MD

Department: Industrial and Operations Engineering

Donald Richardson, PhD candidate in industrial and operations engineering, has found his passion in helping others. He has his hands full doing research at the University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Center, and collaborates with the center to improve the timeliness of drug preparation for chemotherapy patients and reduce staff workload. He eventually wants to work in the healthcare industry and lead a career with positive impact.

Donald received his bachelor of science in mathematics at the University of Maryland Baltimore County, and was involved with the National Society of Black Engineers as an undergraduate, volunteering to serve food at sports events and helping grade school students compete in the First Lego League Competition. He participated in the Meyerhoff Scholars program at Maryland, where he was exposed to research opportunities and mentorship programs for younger students. With the program’s support and mentorship, he realized he wanted to pursue graduate studies in applied mathematics.

He participated in the Summer Research Opportunities Program (SROP) at Michigan and worked on operations research projects in aviation and healthcare, witnessing the importance of collaboration between operations researchers and healthcare professionals in improving patient safety. He said, “My SROP experience, having a personable advisor who welcomed me back to the group, and witnessing the amazing community in Ann Arbor lead to my decision to come to UM. I knew with the resources in my department and access to multiple healthcare facilities that this would be a great place to pursue my research in healthcare engineering.”

Portrait of Donald Richardson.
Portrait of Elizabeth Fisher


Elizabeth Fisher
Marketing Communications Specialist

Industrial & Operations Engineering

(734) 764-5657

1883 IOE

The electrons absorb laser light and set up “momentum combs” (the hills) spanning the energy valleys within the material (the red line). When the electrons have an energy allowed by the quantum mechanical structure of the material—and also touch the edge of the valley—they emit light. This is why some teeth of the combs are bright and some are dark. By measuring the emitted light and precisely locating its source, the research mapped out the energy valleys in a 2D crystal of tungsten diselenide. Credit: Markus Borsch, Quantum Science Theory Lab, University of Michigan.

Mapping quantum structures with light to unlock their capabilities

Rather than installing new “2D” semiconductors in devices to see what they can do, this new method puts them through their paces with lasers and light detectors. | Medium Read