Tahira Reid Smith appointed a Visiting NASA Scholar

Associate professor Tahira Reid Smith has been appointed a Visiting NASA Scholar during the Fall 2020 semester.

It's part of an agency-wide project called the Convergent Aeronautics Solution (CAS) Project which operates as part of NASA's Aeronautics Research Mission Directorate. NASA is seeking to expand its capabilities in the areas of engineering, design, and business innovation, and is collaborating with visiting scholars to explore different ways to develop these capabilities so that NASA can continue to provide transformative improvements in aeronautics.  Past projects have included several concepts to enable electrically-powered aircraft, and technologies that improve the operations, communications, and capabilities of autonomous aerial vehicles.

Reid Smith’s research focuses on quantifying and integrating human-centered considerations in engineering and the design process, which is much needed in the aeronautics industry.  "My expertise is using interdisciplinary methods to address human-centered engineering design challenges," said Reid Smith, "and understanding how practicing engineers can improve their effectiveness and approaches to solving complex engineering problems. These efforts promote innovation and the identification and pursuit of novel ideas."  Some of her previous projects have included understanding how designers' contextual experience effects ideation, examining how designer's mental states during ideation affect design outcomes, and developing a compassionate design framework to assist designers.

As most of NASA’s workforce is working remotely to help slow the spread of COVID-19, Reid Smith is tied in virtually with her new NASA team that includes four NASA centers. Reid Smith is excited for the opportunity to be a part of the NASA mission.  "It was such an honor that they sought me out," she said, "and I look forward to working with some of the great people at NASA to solve some real-world engineering challenges."


Writer: Jared Pike, jaredpike@purdue.edu, 765-496-0374

Source: Tahira Reid Smith, tahira@purdue.edu