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Visiting Assistant Professor of Engineering
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Ph.D., University of Massachusetts Amherst
Rachel Koh joined the Smith faculty as a lecturer in 2019 after earning a doctorate from the University of Massachusetts Amherst in 2017 and teaching at Lafayette College in Easton, PA, for two years. Their research focuses on sustainable materials using two approaches: (1) development and characterization of bio-based composite materials, and (2) development of advanced computational methods to enable the use of bio-based materials in engineering design.
Koh’s graduate work on wind turbine materials and design was part of an interdisciplinary program that examined the engineering, environmental, wildlife and political aspects of wind energy development. In their dissertation, they used a combined experimental and computational approach to describe best practices for modeling laminated wood and flax, with the goal of expanding the use of renewable materials in the composites industry.
Koh is fascinated by the ways social and political factors drive technologies. In their teaching, they strive to illuminate those connections where they see them and encourage students to seek connections between what they are learning in the engineering classroom and what they know from elsewhere.