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Tamy Guimarães

Tamy Guimarães, '18

Assistant Professor in Mechanical Engineering, Pennsylvania State University

Where I've been in my career and where I'm going... After finishing my PhD at VT, I moved to Germany for a 1-year postdoc at the Bundeswehr University Munich. I then worked for a German start up for 2 years and moved back to the US to work as an Assistant Professor at Penn State in July 2021. I am currently setting up my laboratory, where my research focus will be on instrumentation for fluid dynamics and aerodynamics experiments. 

Tamy Guimaraes

Fondest memories of AOE...

Even though I was in ME, my PhD advisor was in AOE and so were most of my friends from my research group. We loved hanging out in our offices at McBryde and talking about life and our research challenges. My favorite part, however, was to perform experimental work at the VT airport and get very distracted whenever an airplane was landing or taking off. 

Favorite Virginia Tech tradition...

VT game day!

Who inspired you to become an engineer?

My mom, who never went to college, but has a technical degree in electrical systems and has shown to me from early age what it is to be independent and strong.

Challenges you've had to overcome in aerospace engineering...

It is very intimidating to look around and not see many people who are similar to you on a daily basis, in classes, in conferences, in research... As an international student on top of being a woman, I also found it very challenging to overcome language barriers and make connections with people from a different culture than mine. 

Faculty member who had the biggest impact on you...

My PhD advisor, Dr. Todd Lowe.

"I wish I knew then"...

I can be successful in this field if I work hard enough and make the right connections. Networking and meeting people from everywhere is really important to build connections that can help you in several ways in the future. 

What you miss most about Virginia Tech...

I miss the sense of community that we had and the proximity to several outdoor adventure spots. Penn State is in many ways very similar to VT, so I am glad to keep living in a similar area.

How do you stay connected with fellow Hokies?

Getting together with friends from grad school every couple months. 

Current project that you're most excited about...

I am really excited about putting together my research lab at Penn State called the Guimarães Instrumentation, Measurements, and Advanced Sensing Lab (GIMAS Lab). The space is currently undergoing renovations and I will start building a new wind tunnel for instrument calibration and development. 

A woman who helped you get to where you are...

My grandmother.

Advice to current women studying in AOE...

Everyone is struggling and it is ok to ask for help. There are numerous resources and people who are more than willing to offer advice and support whenever you feel that you are the only one struggling. Impostor syndrome affects women at higher rates than men, and when there are not many people around us who look like us, it is hard to relate and that can make you feel lonely and inadequate. But remember that you are not alone!


Want to share your story?

Contact: Jama Green

External Relations Manager