Sheena Patel is on a mission…

to revolutionize magnetic data storage systems

Sheena Patel '14Goldwater Scholar Sheena Patel ’14 works in the magnetism research group with physics Professors James Eckert and Patricia Sparks. Patel investigates the properties of thin-film magnetic multi-layer, structures used in magnetic device technology, such as hard drives and position sensors. Her goal is to help identify the underlying physics of new magnetic device technologies.

“Professors Eckert and Sparks have given me the opportunity to work on projects I find interesting. I’m learning not only about these magnetic materials, but also about how to be a research scientist,” Patel said.

She traveled with Eckert and Sparks to present her research at the 19th International Conference on Magnetism in South Korea. The only undergraduate in attendance, Patel caught the attention of physicists prominent in the area of magnetic device technology.

“It was intimidating and exciting, but to have prominent physicists interested in my project shows that this research is meaningful,” she said.

The rapidly expanding field of magnetic device technology research addresses questions ranging from fundamental physics to the economics of bringing novel devices to market. Patel’s research could help to inform the development of new, more efficient magnetic devices.

Strategic Vision Theme II: Experiential and Interdisciplinary Learning