Director of Magnet Science and Technology
Bird received his bachelor’s degree with high honors in mechanics in 1988 from Michigan State University, after spending part of his junior year at the Rheinische-Westphaelische Technische Hochschule in Aachen, Germany, studying boundary integral methods in solid mechanics with Prof. Dr. Ulrich Heisse. He received his M.S. and Ph.D. in mechanical engineering in 1989 and 1992, respectively, from Stanford University where he held a National Science Foundation graduate research fellowship. His thesis research was analytic work on the interaction of circular inhomogeneities in harmonic and biharmonic problems with Charles Steele.
Bird then joined the National MagLab as head of the resistive magnet program and led the development of the Florida-Bitter magnet technology and numerous world-record resistive magnets at the MagLab as well as a few magnets in Europe and Asia. By 2000 he was also leading magnet development projects using superconducting and pulsed field technology.
In 2006 Bird became director of the MagLab’s Magnet Science and Technology division and the principal investigator on resistive/superconducting hybrid magnet projects, which produced the highest fields worldwide for neutron scattering (Helmholtz Zentrum Berlin) and for condensed matter nuclear magnetic resonance (the MagLab's 36-tesla Series Connected Hybrid).
Photo credit: Stephen Bilenky