Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering
Kirsten Todd started research with a part-time job to gain some experience and to have something to do over the summer. But she soon found it much more interesting than she first thought it would be.
She works with Sang-Kee Eah, Assistant Professor of Physics, whom she credits with good mentoring.
“Dr. Eah who took the time to answer my questions and sometimes to throw them back at me to figure out myself.”
Research wasn’t quite what she expected.
“There is a lot more waiting and mistakes and frustration than I thought at first,” she said. “My research requires me to wait for drops of liquid to evaporate before I can analyze the results. It took nearly the whole summer for us to get our first results. I have learned that research is a mixture of times of great excitement and also of times of long waiting.”
She’s been frustrated countless number of times when a drop of liquid refused to stay where it was needed. “But,” she explains, “But no matter how tiresome those drops of liquid can be, I think that the rewards of research far outstrip the frustrations and I am very glad to have had this opportunity. I never dreamed I would be able to have these opportunities as an undergraduate.”
But one of her favorite rewards is the chance to use specialized instruments. “I have had opportunities to see and even use some amazingly powerful microscopes to look at my projects. I get to see nanoparticles up close and use large neat instruments to observe some of their behavior.”
She also enjoys the creative aspect to research. “I have learned how to toss around thoughts and theories with fellow students in the lab and to be creative in implementing new designs for the experiments,” she said.