The Beauty of Mechanical Engineering

Event Date: March 30, 2018
Collaborators: Dr. Tahira Reid and the Research in Engineering and Interdisciplinary Design (REID) Lab



  • Jaesik Hahn (REID/MTEC Lab)
  • Tikyna Dandridge (REID Lab)
  • Priya Seshadri (REID Lab)


Goals & Target Applications:

Professor Tahira Reid and the Research in Engineering and Interdisciplinary Design (REID) Lab use interdisciplinary methods to investigate challenging problems that impact: (1) End-users of products and systems and (2) Designers of products and systems. Her projects on Socially and Culturally Relevant Engineering Design (SaCRED) specifically seek to understand social constructs of individuals and groups and how these elements may inform design processes or the actual design of a system.

Although the hair care industry is a multi-billion dollar industry, there still remains a dearth in the available technologies and research methods to answer one simple question:

What temperature and frequency of use will lead to permanent structural damage (i.e. heat damage) to curly hair? 

The MTEC lab and the REID lab are developing an interdisciplinary approach to integrating customer needs, design methodology, and thermal sciences for application to the hair care industry. We are developing a predictive model and an experimental test-bed for collecting data on thermal transport and heat induced damage in hair. 

Flow diagram of addressing the gap in the ecological consistency between scientific research and customer needs


Prototype of automated flat ironing device

Prototype of the automated flat ironing device integrated with the infrared microscope.

Selected Related Publications:

Temperature profiles of a loosely packed bundle (left) and a densely packed bundle (right).

Temperature profiles of a loosely packed bundle (left) and a densely packed bundle (right).




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