The Michigan Engineer News Center

2017 ISD alumni award recipient

ISD congratulates Dr. Tahira Reid, a 2010 Design Science alumna, on earning the 2017 Alumni Merit Award.| Short Read
EnlargeDr. Reid & her advisor
IMAGE:  Dr. Reid is congratulated after her presentation by former advisor Dr. Panos Papalambros.

On October 27th, Dr. Reid visited the University of Michigan campus to deliver a lecture as part of the Design Science Seminar Series. Dr. Reid’s talk, “Dare to Be Different: Building a Research Program in Mechanical Engineering with a Design Science Education,” explored how her foundation in Design Science prepared her for success in the engineering world.

An assistant professor at Purdue University’s School of Mechanical Engineering, Dr. Reid spends her time in the lab “study[ing] and address[ing] interesting, human-centered problems that matter.” Dr. Reid is comfortable taking on unique challenges that other engineers may overlook.

Recently, she has focused on a unique, human-centered problem by working at the intersection of her personal hair-styling experience and her professional engineering work. Dr. Reid has been developing a research-based solution to a problem that affects millions of women: how to heat-style curly hair without causing permanent damage.

Typically, hair styling is not synonymous with mechanical engineering; however, Dr. Reid sees no reason to keep her work within the expected parameters. As she explained it, “the wild ideas are welcome” in her lab. With her talent and willingness to explore real-world problems, Dr. Reid is successfully daring to be different.

Dr. Reid & her advisor
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