ISD congratulates Dr. Tahira Reid, a 2010 Design Science alumna, on earning the 2017 Alumni Merit Award. 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.