The Michigan Engineer News Center

Aerospace PhD Candidate Puneet Singh Wins Rackham Outstanding GSI Award

Puneet Singh, a Michigan Aerospace Engineering PhD Candidate, has won a Rackham Outstanding Graduate Student Instructor Award for his work as a GSI in AEROSP315: Aircraft and Spacecraft Structures.| Medium Read

Puneet has been a GSI three times, in 2015 for Prof. Peretz Friedmann, in 2018 for Prof. John Shaw, and in 2019 for Prof. Henry Sodano. He was nominated and recommended for the Rackham Outstanding GSI award by Prof. John Shaw, whom he credits for cultivating a creative and challenging learning environment that enabled him to excel as a GSI. 

EnlargePuneet Singh
IMAGE:  University of Michigan Aerospace Engineering PhD Candidate Puneet Singh

Puneet’s philosophy as a GSI is what truly sets him apart. He believes that one of the strongest traits an educator can possess is empathy. He acknowledges that the rigorous curriculum of an aerospace student can often be stressful, therefore it’s very important for teachers to demonstrate genuine encouragement and patience when breaking down complex problems. Going about office hours and class with such a disposition, Puneet says, is comforting to the student, especially before big exams and projects. When the student feels overwhelmed, it’s quite a relief to have a supportive voice nudging them towards the solution they’re looking for.

This summer, Puneet plans to defend his thesis on the Aeromechanics of Coaxial Rotor Helicopters. In the future, he hopes to further develop his research in rotorcraft aeroelasticity and flight mechanics, while continuing to teach and learn.

Congratulations Puneet, and keep up the great work!

Puneet Singh


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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