Profile: Lakeisha Williams
As a young child, Lakiesha Claude Williams wanted to be a physician.
It made sense, because she liked helping people and enjoyed science.
But her plans to work as a medical doctor changed during her senior year of high school, when a teacher introduced her to the world of mathematics.
Now a biomedical engineer, researcher and assistant professor at Mississippi State, Williams has blended her nurturing side that led to wanting to study medicine with the analytical, inquisitive part of her. Through biomedical engineering, she looks for ways to protect people from serious injuries and even death.
Asked about biomedical engineers, Williams seemed to describe herself.
"They're making a difference, nurturing, problem-solving and enhancing the lives of other people," she said.
As director of the interdisciplinary human body simulation research group in the university's Bagley college of Engineering, Williams and others have presented their research at a NATO conference in Canada and many other professional meetings. Using high-performance computer modeling and simulations, her research mimics what happens to soldiers' legs when vehicles they're in run over improvised explosive devices and other explosive materials. Her research also includes working to improve football helmets to better prevent concussions and other injuries.
From body armor to football, Williams said she always looks for a challenge. She also enjoys working with students to help them learn more about engineering and ways it can help change the world. She's a good example of what she teaches them.
"Instead of looking at problems, I encourage them to look for solutions," she said.
Next week … Meg Jackson !