Grad and Postdoc Networking Night

AGES is hosting a Fall Networking Event (co-hosted with GSS, GPC, and GBSA) and it is fast approaching on Wednesday, September 26, from 6-8 PM in the Simon Hall courtyard. We have invited successful researchers, professionals, and graduates from industry to network with us. Come ready to connect with reps from Bayer, Google, Boeing, the MO Botanical Gardens, Launch Code, Pfizer, and much more! There will be free food and drinks! Mark Smith from the WashU Career Center will come to speak at the event too. If you have any questions, please email us at ages@wustl.edu.

EECE students: Please note that this event happens after the EECE Career Fair earlier that day. Business professional and handing out resumes is recommended for the Career Fair, but keep in mind that the AGES Fall Networking event is strictly a networking event, so dress business casual and come to mingle with the invited company reps.

To help you get started in your conversations, we are compiling short bios of people who will be attending the event. And do remember that the networkers do not necessarily represent their companies, neither are they recruiters. So don’t handover your resumes or ask for jobs straight up. Instead, use this as an opportunity to get to know more about a company, work culture, responsibilities, and perks of different types of jobs and so on.

RSVP here to let us know you are coming! https://www.eventbrite.com/e/graduate-and-postdoc-student-networking-night-tickets-49834493311

Industry Attendees Snapshot:

Name: Dr. Janice L. Karty

Current Position: Senior Technical Fellow

Company: The Boeing Company

Areas of current research (or thesis topic): Electromagnetic Effects

What path did you take to get to your current position?: After obtaining a BS from Washington University in St. Louis and MS and PhD degrees from Rice University in Houston, Dr. Karty joined the McDonnell Douglas Astronautics Company (now Boeing) as a Research Scientist.  Dr. Karty started as an entry level researcher, developing state-of-the-art Computational Software for Electromagnetics analysis and has been active in American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) and Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE, Senior Member).

One piece of advice to graduate students:

Be curious; embrace learning opportunities.

 

Name: Shiv Shah

Current Position: Consultant

Company: Slalom

Areas of current research (or thesis topic): Today: Data governance, strategy, and analytics to transform and leverage data for business outcomes. Thesis: Evaluating the role of inflammation in rotator cuff tendinopathy.

What path did you take to get to your current position?: Worked at a biotech startup at the Cortex before transitioning to consulting.

One piece of advice to graduate students: Think about what your priorities are after graduate school regarding your career, life, location, family, friends, etc.

 

Name: Chi Zeng

Company: Google

Current position: Software Engineer

Areas of current research: I work within Google Brain. I build tools such as TensorBoard that enable researchers and engineers to gain insight into deep learning models.

What path did you take to get to your current position?: After graduating with a BA and MS in computer science at Harvard, I worked on Google Maps. A big part of my job involved analyzing metrics and creating visualizations that uncovered performance bottlenecks. After two years, I transferred to Brain, Google’s umbrella group for deep learning. Deep learning models are intelligent, but hard to interpret. Today, I use my data science skills to make sense of complex models.

One piece of advice to graduate students: Accumulate a portfolio of projects. For each project, consider what new knowledge you learned as well as new connections you made while pursuing it.

 

Name:  Ken Totten

Current Position:  General Manager

Company:  Object Computing, Inc. (OCI)

Areas of current research (or thesis topic):    Software Engineering, Machine Learning, IoT and IIoT

What path did you take to get to your current position?:    Started in U.S. Coast Guard (decision support systems for search and rescue), then the corporate world (telecommunications industry followed by financial trading), then consulting services

One piece of advice to graduate students: Carefully consider the value proposition of your first employer in terms of what you will learn and how it may serve as the primer for the rest of your career.

 

Name: Miguel Pineros

Current Position:  Senior R&D Engineer

Company: Lickenbrock Technologies INC

Areas of current research (or thesis topic): Image processing, Computer vision and Remote Sensing

What path did you take to get to your current position?:

After my PhD dissertation in Electrical Engineering (University of Arizona, 2009), I took a postdoctoral position in the department of Optical Sciences (University of Arizona, 2011). Next, I joined Schlumberger (world’s largest oilfield services company) in Texas until 2016, where I worked as a Senior Electrical Engineer. Since then, I work for Lickenbrock technologies, developing image processing algorithms for different industries.

One piece of advice to graduate students: to be flexible to work in academia and in industry.

Name:  Robert Hedges

Current Position:  Senior R&D Engineer

Company: Lickenbrock Technologies

Areas of Current Research (or Thesis Topic):  Computed tomography, High Performance computing, Hybrid Wavelet Packets (dissertation).

What path did you take to get to your current position?:

After finishing my PhD in Electrical Engineering, I worked as a Post-Doc for the Air Force Research Laboratory working in the field of non-stationary and time-frequency signal analysis.  After a few years I took a position of a start-up medical device company as a “Wavelet DSP Engineer”. I have also worked in the field of GPU computing as well as a Linux system architect.

One piece of advice for graduate students:  Learning how to teach yourself is potentially more important than becoming an expert in your field.  Fields of expertise are constantly changing and topics of interest will change over time, and being equipped with the skills to teach yourself will be vitally important.

 

Name: Dr. David Schuehler

Current Position: Distinguished Engineer

Company: Exegy Inc.

Areas of research (thesis topic): High performance computing, real-time computing, embedded software, device drivers/kernel programming, hardware acceleration, network protocols, (acceleration of algorithms in FPGA devices embedded in network switches)

Path to get to current position: Healthcare industry (medical records processing at a large research hospital), Defense industry (real-time hardware-in-the-loop missile simulation), Financial industry (time critical market data processing), Education (B/S Aero/Astro Engineering, M/S Computer Science, DSc Computer Engineering)

Advice to graduate students: Maintain a happy/positive attitude, accept any task, deliver more than is required, be thorough, help/assist/mentor others, take advantage of opportunities when they present themselves, don’t let setbacks prevent you from making forward progress, focus on setting & achieving goals.

 

 

Name:  Michael Hall

Current Position:  Hardware Engineer

Company:  VelociData, Inc.

Areas of current research (or thesis topic):

My thesis topic from 2015 is “Utilizing Magnetic Tunnel Junction Devices in Digital Systems”.

What path did you take to get to your current position?  I did an internship with VelociData, Inc. while I was a graduate student seeking my Ph.D. degree.  Several of my peers at Washington University became full-time employees of VelociData. When I graduated, I inquired with them for a full-time position.

One piece of advice to graduate students:

Internships are a good way to gain experience in industry and meet new people.  They may be a stepping stone leading to a full-time job in your career.

 

Name: Miklos Lengyel

Current Position: Research Engineer

Company: DuPont-MECS

Areas of current research (or thesis topic): Potassium-vanadium based sulfuric acid catalysts, SO2 scrubber technologies

What path did you take to get to your current position?: A brief post-doc and networking with industrial colleagues.

One piece of advice to graduate students: Talk to people at companies you would like to work at. Make sure, that what you hear from them sounds like the place you would want to work at.

 

 

Name: Chris Topp

Current Position: Assistant Member and Principal Investigator

Company: Donald Danforth Plant Science Center

Areas of current research (or thesis topic): Plant Phenomics

What path did you take to get to your current position?: traditional academic path

One piece of advice to graduate students: be consistent – show up every day and make some progress, no matter how small

 

Name:  Keith Duncan

 

Current Position:  Research Scientist in Topp Lab; Director of X-ray Imaging Facility

 

Company:  Donald Danforth Plant Science Center

 

Areas of current research:  Developing X-ray imaging methodologies to study all aspects of agricultural plant and cell biology.  As a Research Scientist in Dr. Chris Topp’s lab, we use our industrial scale X-ray Tomography (XRT) instrument to study root system architecture and biology, primarily of maize and sorghum.  In addition, we have the only 3D X-ray Microscope (XRM) in the world that is located at a plant science institute and dedicated entirely to the study of plant cell biology. We have collaborations with numerous Danforth Center scientists working on a variety of crops, and use the 3D XRM to visualize complicated plant structures in unprecedented resolution and detail.

 

Path taken to current position:  After two years in a Master’s program in Plant Pathology, I was hired as a research scientist in 1990 by DuPont, working in an advanced microscopy and imaging lab studying plant cell biology.  When DuPont purchased Pioneer Hi-Bred in 1997, this work became primarily ag biotech cell biology. In 2016 when DuPont and Dow announced a planned merger, all Delaware-based scientific operations were eliminated, many facilities were closed, and I was laid off along with hundreds of other scientists.  With nothing available in Delaware, we moved to St. Louis in July 2016, since this is the largest and fastest growing region for plant science in the country. We had no jobs or interviews, we didn’t even know anyone here, we just took an educated gamble. With my unique combination of advanced plant biology imaging expertise and over 25 years’ experience, I interviewed with the Danforth Center within days of arriving in St. Louis, and was hired within hours of the interview.

 

Advice to graduate students:  Guidance and mentoring are crucial to your development and success.  Certainly you need your own self confidence and motivation, but having someone with experience and the genuine willingness to talk with you, answer your questions, and pose questions of their own will help you to use your talents in the best and possibly new ways.  In any interview situation, talk with the graduate students and post-docs and ask then about mentoring and guidance. They’re the ones on the front lines, they’ll have the most accurate and honest answers about mentoring and guidance in the lab (or company or organization).

 

Name: Alex Yang

Current Position: Sr. Research Engineer

Company: Bayer

Areas of current research (or thesis topic): Chemical Process Development

What path did you take to get to your current position?: Application through company website

One piece of advice to graduate students: Contribution to the team is equally important as personal achievement.

 

 

Name: Matthew Juergens

Current Position: Analytical Chemist

Company: Bayer Crop Science

Areas of current research (or thesis topic): Herbicide off target movement

What path did you take to get to your current position?

I started working in the biochemistry based lab of Professor Joeseph Jez at the Donald Danforth Plant Science Center as an undergraduate while studying at Webster university. I followed him to WUSTL for one year when he became a professor. After graduating, entered a PhD program for plant biology at Michigan State University. There I studied algae biofuel production in the lab of Yair Shachar-Hill, work that consisted of metabolomics, flux analysis, analytical chemistry, and photosynthetic spectroscopy. After graduating I took a 1.5year Post Doc at the Donald Danforth Plant Science Center studying algae metabolism related to biofuel production. This position gave me experience in LCMS/MS which(along with my plant background) helped in my application for Bayer. In the spring of 2018 I started working at Monsanto(Bayer) as an analytical chemist studying dicamba off target movement.

One piece of advice to graduate students:

Take as much coursework, experience opportunities, internships, and talk to as many people as you can so you can really find out what you like. Once you graduate, it’s hard to go back.

matthew.juergens@bayer.com

 

Name:Yiou Wang

Current Position: Data Scientist

Company: Bayer (former Monsanto)

Areas of current research (or thesis topic): Supply chain optimization, Pricing and revenue management, Design of computer experiments

What path did you take to get to your current position?:

Was a co-op with former Monsanto and decided to stay.

One piece of advice to graduate students:

Be passionate about what you do.

 

Name: Eden Tesfu

Current Position: Discovery Analytics Lead

Company: Bayer Crop Science

Areas of current research (or thesis topic): Small Molecule Analytics to support research and development for modern agriculture with an emphasis on sustainable crop protection development

What path did you take to get to your current position? Ph.D. in Chemistry from WUSTL, Post doctorial Research at Pfizer, Research Scientist (EAG Laboratory and Monsanto), Lab Manager (EAG) Global Lab Interface, Pesticide Product Compliance Lead

One piece of advice to graduate students:  Your fist job does not have to be your dream job as long as it is the right stepping stone to it.

eden.tesfu@bayer.com

Name: Pu Wei

Current Position: Analytical Chemist

Company: Bayer Crop Science

Areas of current research (or thesis topic): analytical chemistry (mass spectrometry, liquid chromatography, etc.)

What path did you take to get to your current position? Interviews with Monsanto (referred by a Monsanto employee).

One piece of advice to graduate students: networking and your resumes are very important!

pu.wei@bayer.com

Name: Xiaoyu (Grace) Liu

Current Position: Research Scientist

Company: Bayer Crop Science

Areas of current research (or thesis topic): Molecular biology

What path did you take to get to your current position? Passion, preparation and luck.

One piece of advice to graduate students: Don’t be afraid.

xiaoyu.liu1@bayer.com

Name: Hadi Shams

Current Position: Senior Formulation Scientist

Company: Bayer Crop Science

Areas of current research (or thesis topic): Formulation

What path did you take to get to your current position? PhD Chemical Engineering

One piece of advice to graduate students: Hard work eventually pays off.

hadi.shamsijazeyi@bayer.com

Name: Dafeng Zhou

Current Position: Project and Budget Manager

Company: Bayer Crop Science

Areas of current research (or thesis topic): Regulatory Science

What path did you take to get to your current position? research scientist-lab manager-operation/facility manager-project/budget manager

One piece of advice to graduate students: be open, be persistent.

dafeng.zhou@bayer.com

Name: Alex Yang

Current Position: Sr. Research Engineer

Company: Bayer Crop Science

Areas of current research (or thesis topic): Chemical Process Development

What path did you take to get to your current position? Application through company website

One piece of advice to graduate students: Contribution to the team is equally important as personal achievement.

alex.yang@bayer.com

Name: Jian Xu

Current Position: Sr. Research Chemical Engineer

Company: Bayer Crop Science

Areas of current research (or thesis topic): New Process Development

What path did you take to get to your current position? After I obtained my Ph.D in Chemical Engineering, I joined a startup company in Chicagoland and worked there for 8 years for biofuel synthesis development. In February 2016, I joined Monsanto and stayed at this position for new process development and scale up.

One piece of advice to graduate students: Be open minded and think more about what you can do and bring to your future work than what you have done.

jian.xu@bayer.com

Name: Jilei Liu

Current Position: Catalyst Scientist       

Company: Bayer Crop Science

Areas of current research (or thesis topic): Chemical Process Optimization and Development

What path did you take to get to your current position?

I have been in the graduate school studying Chemical Engineering with my thesis topic on heterogeneous catalysis before I joined Bayer. Now I am a research scientist in Bayer’s production technology organization. My thesis research involved a lot of hands-on work in different areas and collaboration with people. I think this experience was essential for me to be competitive in the job market.

One piece of advice to graduate students: It is helpful to spend some time networking with the people in the real world.

jilei.liu@bayer.com

Name: Douglas S. Malkin

Current Position: Analytical Chemist, Associate Science Fellow

Company: Bayer Crop Science

Areas of current research (or thesis topic): Formulation and Delivery Product Enablement

What path did you take to get to your current position? I obtained my PhD in analytical chemistry. Fresh out of school I worked at Abbott Laboratories in Chicagoland area where I was involved as part of a team developing novel pharmaceuticals. After 3.5 years at Abbott I chose to move to Monsanto/Bayer Crop Sciences where I started in a role leading the analytical effort on developing a synthetic process for making Dicamba. In my current role, I act as an analytical lead on the development of next generation products for foliar and seed treatment formulations.

One piece of advice to graduate students: It is extremely important that you align your passions with any role that you choose to take post graduate school. You own your career and are the CEO of you!

douglas.malkin@bayer.com