An educator and engineer who thinks critically to solve challenging problems to improve life for everyone.
Inventive | Pragmatic | Perceptive
Farzad Ahmadi believes everyone is an engineer when they think critically to solve challenging problems. When he was young, Ahmadi was always taking things apart to see how they worked. His interest grew into a love for civil and mechanical engineering, which he uses to find answers to important questions, like how can we build something new that would be useful for humans, especially those with disabilities? While earning a Ph.D. in Engineering Mechanics at Virginia Tech, he researched a novel way of preventing ice formation on surfaces by using more ice, and he discovered the jumping droplet phenomena, which can spread disease among plants.
What is the importance of teaching engineering?
Educating people is my number one concern. Even when I was doing research, my goal was not to just submit patents or publish papers and book chapters. I was trying to communicate with people and teach the next generation of engineers, because I think educating science is much more important that just doing the science. If I can tell a farmer about the mechanics of jumping droplet condensation, that could teach them a way to stop disease from spreading on crops. Communicating what you have learned from your experiments is the most exciting part of research.
What do you hope students will take away from your courses in Physics?
I hope that they take the problems that we discuss in class and try to think critically about them in their everyday life. That they will be curious to see how things work and try to model everything that they are curious about in order to find a novel solution to a problem.
How do you see Engineering growing, as a newer subject at McDaniel?
First, it is important to decide what kinds of engineering students would like to do, like mechanical, civil, computer science, or electrical; based on the feedback from my students so far, they are especially interested in mechanical and civil. The students in my Introduction to Physics and Introduction to Engineering courses are very interested in the subjects, and I have already had some undergraduate students reach out to me to say they are willing to do research experiments. With the right equipment, we can really build this field of study.