New assistant professor to measure impact in machinery, culture

Mechanical engineering’s Tamy Guimaraes to explore enhanced instrumentation for machines and inspire, support underrepresented groups in engineering


By Erin Cassidy Hendrick

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — To further technology, such as 3D printers and gas turbines, engineers need to comprehend the complex inner workings of these machines on a deeper level.

“The more accurate the measurements, whether it is aerodynamics of a specific component or overall efficiency, the more we can understand these machines and how they’re behaving to make them better,” said Tamy Guimarães, a new assistant professor in the Penn State Department of Mechanical Engineering who joined the faculty in July.

In her new position, Guimarães strives to enable these advancements by developing enhanced measurement techniques and instrumentation. In her research, she plans to collaborate with faculty members across disciplines to find instrumentation solutions specifically for experimental aerodynamics and fluid dynamics.

Her dissertation, completed at Virginia Tech, focused on turbomachinery. By using laser-based diagnostics, she demonstrated that the behaviors of the machinery’s fluid mechanics could be observed and measured in a small-scale wind tunnel as a first step.

Funded by the National Institute of Aerospace, NASA Langley and the NASA Glenn Research Center, these findings showed how experiments could be conducted more cost-efficiently and allow for more design creativity without the burden of full-scale testing.

At Penn State, Guimarães hopes to continue to focus on applications of turbomachinery, as well as additive manufacturing, commonly referred to as 3D printing, in addition to exploring other avenues.

Hailing from Brazil, she completed a post-doctorate position at the Bundeswehr University Munich in Germany. She also spent time as a business development manager at Vectoflow, a startup in Munich that focuses on developing instrumentation for fluid flows using additive manufacturing.

She hopes to use these connections to bring both Brazilian and German students to Penn State and build a strong network of cross-cultural partnerships.

“Using these connections I’ve made over the years, I want to recruit more international students to collaborate with and to build bonds between universities,” Guimarães said.

In addition to the facilities and strengths in gas turbines and additive manufacturing, she was drawn to Penn State for its culture and faculty.

“The people and the potential for collaborations is what attracted me,” she said.

Guimarães also hopes to encourage women and other underrepresented groups to join and thrive within the field of engineering.

“You can’t be what you don’t see. Years ago, I didn’t think I could be a professor until I met a whole network of female professors who said, ‘No, you can do it,’” she said. “As an immigrant, a person who speaks English as a second language and a woman in STEM, it is important for students to see us succeed and to know they aren’t different from us. They can be us one day if they want to.”


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College of Engineering Media Relations

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Tamy Guimarães, assistant professor of mechanical engineering at Penn State, joined the faculty on July 1, 2021. IMAGE: PROVIDED