The Michigan Engineer News Center

Katie Reichl: Making airplanes safer

Doctoral student Katie Reichl is working to make the safest and most efficient aircraft by reducing vibration issues.| Short Read
IMAGE:  Portrait of Katie Reichl. Photo: Joseph Xu, Michigan Engineering Communications & Marketing

Status: Doctoral student

Department: Aerospace Engineering

Hometown: Minneapolis, MN

Doctoral student Katie Reichl is working to reduce aircraft vibration issues by embedding lightweight suppression systems into aircraft structures. Currently, most aircraft structures are designed before vibration suppression systems are implemented, but aircraft commonly experience issues from factors like turbulence and engine rotation. Katie hopes her experimental research will influence vibration suppression to be taken into account earlier on in the aircraft design process, to ultimately make the safest and most efficient aircraft.

Katie grew up knowing she wanted to pursue an engineering path; coming from a family of engineers, she was excited about the field early-on and discussed engineering concepts regularly with her parents. She earned her undergraduate degree in engineering mechanics and astronautics at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and came to the University of Michigan because she was impressed by the facilities, resources, community and general support available to graduate students.

She devotes time after class to co-direct the graduate component of the Society of Women Engineers (GradSWE). GradSWE organizes roughly five activities per month, to over 300 members, that creatively engage female engineers with the College of Engineering community. The organization hosts networking events between female students and faculty, a workshop series, professional development sessions, general social events and outreach activities for elementary school students to get them excited about engineering. She also acts as secretary for the American Society for Engineering Education (ASEE), and facilitates workshops for undergraduate students to provide training for software they’re expected to use for engineering classes.

In her early career, Katie hopes to continue working with undergraduate students as a faculty member for a university and having a research program. Katie is active in her church’s activities, and she and her husband enjoy spending their free time outdoors, walking in the Arb, kayaking down the Huron River, hiking and cross-country skiing.

Portrait of Kim Johnson


Kimberly Johnson
Communications Manager

Aerospace Engineering

(734) 647-4701

3054 FXB

The outside of the Ford Robotics building

U-Michigan, Ford open world-class robotics complex

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