Airplanes and flight have always fascinated Tanvir Mahmud Saurav. Growing up near Shahjalal International Airport in Dhaka, the capital of Bangladesh, the sight and roar of jet airplanes were impossible to ignore.

Now, after completing his BS in mechanical engineering, the President’s Scholar and member of the Temple University Honors Program intends to pursue a PhD in mechanical engineering at Temple University. His ultimate goal: to teach at a university while conducting aerospace research.

What’s mechanical engineering got to do with flight? Everything, says Saurav, noting that fluid mechanics dictates how air flowing around a plane’s wing provides necessary lift. But while he recently has been researching fluid mechanics with Assistant Professor of Instruction Anthony Ferrar, during his four years in the College of Engineering, Saurav explored much more.

During the summer of 2016, as an undergraduate research assistant, he worked with Assistant Professor Haijun Liu to investigate how owls utilize acoustics to locate their prey. For more than two years, he also worked with Professor Harsh Deep Chopra to further Chopra’s recent groundbreaking discovery of a new class of expandable, "non-Joulian” magnets that defy a long-held understanding of magnetostriction.

Saurav was the lead author of a related 2017 paper that appeared in Physical Review B. “It was a great experience to work on a project that broke a 174-year-old law,” he says.

Last fall he also served as an undergraduate teaching assistant in an introduction to engineering class, and for more than two years he has worked with the university’s Information Technical Services office helping students and staff resolve hardware and software computer issues. “When I first arrived at Temple, due to cultural differences I wouldn’t talk or socialize with someone I didn’t know,” he says. “The job really taught me how to speak with people and open up more.”  

Summing up his Temple experience, Saurav says, “I’m living 10,000 miles away from my home, but Temple has really welcomed me. I could always speak with my professors if I had a problem, whether it was academic or personal.  And the Presidential Scholarship, the opportunity to study and my research opportunities have all helped me grow as a person and confirm what I want to do in the future.”