Diverse Leaders Seminar Series

Time: Friday, April 14, 2023 - 3:00pm - 4:00pm
Type: Seminar Series
Presenter: Tahira Reid Smith
Room/Office: Room 211
Mason Lab
9 Hillhouse Avenue
New Haven, CT 06511
United States

Diverse Leaders Seminar Series

Establishing the Research in Engineering and Interdisciplinary Design (REID) Lab: A Decade of Creative Intersections of Mechanical Engineering, Interdisciplinary Design, and Diverse Perspectives

Tahira Reid Smith
Penn State University

April 14, 3-4 p.m.
Mason Lab, Room 221
9 Hillhouse Avenue
Reception with speaker to follow

The field of engineering, especially mechanical engineering, provides a great foundation for addressing a number of technical and social challenges. However, many within and around the field have a limited view of how a background in mechanical engineering can impact atypical and/or overlooked human-centered challenges. What, then, is the relevance of a mechanical engineering background in a dynamic and ever-changing world? Where do design and interdisciplinary methods fit into all of this? For more than ten years, the REID Lab has demonstrated answers to these questions through projects at the intersection of socially and culturally relevant engineering design, design insights through eye-tracking and sensors, and design thinking and problem-solving. The outcomes of each of these thrust areas have:

  1. made impacts in the automotive, hair care, and aeronautic industries,
  2. provided insights related to design and engineering education, and
  3. advanced the body of knowledge as it relates to trust in human-machine interactions with implications in robotics and the future of work.

This talk will showcase the projects that helped the REID Lab garner national and international recognition and significant media attention.

Tahira Reid Smith is a Professor of Mechanical Engineering and Engineering at the Pennsylvania State University, the inaugural Associate Department Head for Inclusive Research and Education, The Arthur L. Glenn Professor of Engineering Education, and the director of the REID Laboratory. She was also a visiting NASA Scholar from 2020-2021. Her research interests include quantifying and integrating human-centered considerations in the design process and human-machine systems. Her research program has received funding from the National Science Foundation, Air Force Office of Scientific Research, Procter & Gamble, General Motors, Ford Motor Company, and other sources. Prior to arriving at Purdue in 2012, she completed a postdoctoral position in the Mechanical Engineering Department at Iowa State University. Her projects that involved the intersection of diversity and mechanical engineering have been featured in media sources including National Geographic, NBC's Today Show, Essence Magazine, Reuters, National Public Radio and many others. A highly sought out role model for the younger generation, Dr. Reid Smith's story about her double dutch jump rope invention is featured in two children's books, was on the 2017 New York State English and Language Arts Common Core Exam administered to over 100,000 4th graders in the state of New York, and was recently featured in the Lemelson Center's Oral History Project and Game Changers Series. In 2010, she received her PhD from the University of Michigan in Design Science, with Mechanical Engineering and Psychology as her focus areas. Dr. Reid received both her BS and MS degrees in Mechanical Engineering from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI) in 2000 and 2004, respectively.