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Learn from the Early Career Faculty Webinar Series – Part I: The Application Process
Finding a permanent academic position is notoriously difficult and the process of getting one is generally shrouded in mystery. Providing reliable and independent resources for early career materials scientists is one of the goals of the MRS Early Career Professionals Subcommittee. Last year, our Subcommittee hosted webinars examining the application process from the perspective of search committees. However, search committees are often only familiar with their own institutional application processes.

In this new series, we will hear the perspective of recently appointed (last two years) early career faculty members, who will provide a different perspective on the process. The first webinar in this series will briefly outline the application process and will offer a discussion with young faculty about their experiences preparing and submitting applications. After our initial discussion, the floor will open for audience Q&A.

Arun Kumar Mannodi Kaanakkithodi, Purdue University
Jacob Olshansky, Amherst College
Wennie Wang, University of Chicago
Dibyajyoti Ghosh, Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi

Divakara SSM Uppu, Brigham and Women’s Hospital/Harvard Medical School

Don’t miss the other webinars in this series:

Learn from the Early Career Faculty Webinar Series – Part II: Interview Process
Tuesday, September 28 | 11:00 a.m. ET or OnDemand

Learn from the Early Career Faculty Webinar Series – Part III: The Offer and Next Steps
Tuesday, October 26, 2021 | 11:00 a.m. ET or OnDemand

Jul 27, 2021 11:00 AM in Eastern Time (US and Canada)

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Divarka SSM Uppu
Brigham and Women’s Hospital/Harvard Medical School
Divakara is a chemist turned bioengineer and currently, an early-career researcher at the Brigham and Women’s Hospital/Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA. Divakara got his Ph.D. in Chemistry from the Jawaharlal Nehru Centre for Advanced Scientific Research, Bangalore, India. He did his postdoctoral training with Prof. Paula Hammond (MIT) at the Singapore-MIT Alliance for Research and Technology, Singapore and a short stint at the Center for Soft and Living Matter, Institute for Basic Science, Ulsan, South Korea. His research interests lie in using chemistry to design and engineer soft bio- and nanomaterials for therapeutics and vaccines towards infectious diseases. He has developed antimicrobial polymers, and vaccine delivery strategies to skin using microneedles and polymer multilayers. His recent and current projects focus on developing bioengineered extracellular vesicles, a class of biological nanoparticles, from mammalian cells and bacteria towards functional materials.
Jacob Olshansky
Amherst College
Prof. Olshansky (he/him/his) received his Bachelor’s degree in Chemistry and Physics from Haverford College ('12) prior to moving to California to pursue his Ph.D. in Physical Chemistry at UC Berkeley. His dissertation research aimed to understand the mechanism of charge transfer from photoexcited quantum dots and was advised by Paul Alivisatos. He completed his postdoctoral studies at Northwestern University under the guidance of Michael Wasielewski. At Northwestern, he studied spin dynamics of photogenerated charges in synthetic DNA. He joined the Amherst College community in the summer of 2020, where he currently teaches introductory and physical chemistry courses and runs an active research group composed of undergraduate students.
Arun Kumar Mannodi Kaanakkithodi
Purdue University
Arun Mannodi Kanakkithodi is an assistant professor in Materials Engineering at Purdue university. He received his PhD in Materials Science and Engineering from the University of Connecticut in 2017 and worked as a postdoctoral researcher at the Center for Nanoscale Materials in Argonne National Laboratory from 2017 to 2020. His research involves using first principles computational modeling, machine learning, and materials informatics to drive the design of new materials for energy-relevant applications. He is a regular attendee and presenter at MRS spring and fall meetings, a member of the 2021 MRS AI Staging Committee, and a co-organizer of the data science and machine learning workshop series as part of the NSF-funded nanoHUB.org.
Dibyajyoti Ghosh
Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi
Dibyajyoti has finished his Ph.D. from JNCASR, Bangalore in 2016. During the Ph.D., he computationally studied electron, spin, and heat transport through molecular nano-junctions and in low-dimensional layered materials. He then moved to the University of Bath, UK as a Post-Doctoral Research Associate for 2 years to work on photovoltaic properties and ion dynamics in the new-generation optoelectronic materials. From November 2018 to July 2021, Dibyajyoti was a Research Associate at Los Alamos National Laboratory, USA. Recently, he has joined the Department of Materials Science and Engineering, Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi as an assistant professor. His current research explores the functional properties of materials to identify as well as design promising candidates for a wide variety of applications in energy harvesting, conversion, and storage.
Wennie Wang
University of Chicago
Wennie Wang is a computational materials scientist interested in using advanced simulations to understand and predict materials' properties for energy and next-generation computing technologies. She earned her Ph.D. in Materials from the University of California, Santa Barbara in 2018. Currently, she is a postdoctoral researcher at the Pritzker School of Molecular Engineering in the University of Chicago working on first-principles calculations of electronic and optical properties in oxides for water-splitting technologies. Beginning in January 2022, she will join the McKetta Department of Chemical Engineering in the University of Texas, Austin as an assistant professor. For more information, visit: http://www.wenniewang.com/