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More than a work experience: PhD student takes a bite out of AppleMay 28, 2019

Tahereh Majdi's research on engineering thermal devices leads to an experience unique to PhD students.

There are very few examples of programs that allow Engineering PhD students to gain work experiences in North America, but Tahereh Majdi has never been one for convention.
 
The PhD student in Engineering Physics has focused her research on engineering thermal conduction for application to thermal rectifiers and thermoelectric devices. 
 
"I've been fascinated with thermal sciences from my Master's degree," says Majdi. "There's so much waste heat that can be utilized. We're looking for a disruptive innovation that will change how we understand heat transfer and how we manipulate and control it."
 
Her research led her to a six-month work experience with Apple Inc. at its Cupertino, California headquarters, where she worked with a research and development team. She has an offer to join Apple at its headquarters as a research and development engineer this September, shortly after she defends her thesis.
 
Tara Majdi. 
 
"I knew that I wanted to do an internship before I even started my PhD," says Majdi. "It was one of the first things I talked to Dean Puri about, who's my supervisor. I said I'd like to do it at some point and we both agreed it would be suitable to do towards the end of my PhD when I wrapped up most of my research."
 
She says the most valuable takeaway is one that will stay with her no matter where else she goes. 
 
"You learn very quickly that nothing big can be done on your own," says Majdi. "Because of that, you have to collaborate. Having people skills and strong communication skills is just as important as your technical skills. You won't be able to get very far without those."