Degree: PhD in Physical Chemistry
Advisor: Professor George Nancollas
Thesis Title: “The Nucleation and Growth of Calcium Containing Biominerals on Biologically Relevant Surfaces”
Describe the timeline of your professional life since graduation from UB.
I was a post-doctoral fellow in the Materials Sciences Department at PNNL from October 1990 – September 1992, and became a research scientist in September 1992. In 1994, I was an invited researcher in the Mechanics of Heterogeneous Solids Group at the Max Planck Society in Dresden, Germany. I was promoted to senior research scientist at PNNL in 1995, and to staff scientist in 1999. In late 1999, I became the technical group leader of the Materials Synthesis and Modification Group. In 2000, I was named Associate Director of the Environmental Molecular Sciences Laboratory at PNNL, and in 2005 was named the EMSL Director. In 2015, I became the Associate Laboratory Director of the Earth and Biological Sciences Directorate at PNNL.
Describe your position and your responsibilities (i.e. What do you do?).
As the Associate Laboratory Director for the Earth and Biological Sciences Directorate, I set the vision and strategy for PNNL’s research in support of the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Biological and Environmental Research and National Institutes of Health. The EBSD organization is comprised of more than 530 staff.
What in your experience at UB prepared you the most for your career?
Learning how to conduct a research program, write technical papers and give technical presentations. Also, the requirement to teach for two semesters taught me how to present chemistry in different ways so that students could learn the concepts.
Can you offer a few words of advice for current UB students?
My advice is to not underestimate the soft skills of communication (speaking and writing). Also, because science is becoming so multidisciplinary, it is important to learn to communicate and collaborate across science domains. Finally, never underestimate the power of networking.