Networking Event

The Annual AGES Graduate Engineering Networking Event is fast approaching on Thursday, March 22 from 6 – 8 PM in the Whitaker Hall Atrium. We have invited successful researchers and graduates from industry to network with us. Come ready to connect with some of the best and brightest! Dean Aaron Bobick will come to speak.

Industry Attendees Snapshot:

Name: Ben Filas

Current Position: Medical Science Liaison

Company: Sobi

Areas of current research (or thesis topic): Translational biomechanics

What path did you take to get to your current position?: Postdoctoral research at the medical school to develop clinical acumen. Consulting with the BALSA Group to gain client-facing and teamwork experience.

One piece of advice to graduate students: The most important thing I learned in transitioning from academia to industry was to stay confident during the job search process. Avoid negative energy and statistics and focus on how your unique background will be an asset to an organization – opportunities will follow.

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: Drew Miller

Current position:  Site Leader and Department Head

Areas of current research:  n/a – my profession focus is Systems Engineering as it applies to large-scale US Government challenges

What path did I take?  I have a Bachelor’s in Aerospace Engineering, an MBA in International Management, and experience in the military and commercial spaces.

One piece of advice to graduate students:  Be a problem solver, not a problem studier!

 

Name: Shiv Shah

Current Position: Consultant (Information Management and Analytics)

Company: Slalom

Thesis Topic: Evaluating the role of inflammation in rotator cuff tendinopathy

What path: I led Product Development for a local start-up before transitioning to consulting at Slalom.

Advice: Be honest with yourself about what career and lifestyle you want to pursue.

 

Name: Jianxin Guo

Current Position: Sr. Principal Scientist

Company: Pfizer

Areas of current research (or thesis topic): Biosimilars and vaccine development

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

One piece of advice to graduate students: Embrace the changes and be flexible.

 

Name: Anthony L Young

Current Position: Group leader and project leader in Biotherapeutics Pharmaceutical Sciences Pharmaceutical Research and Development

Company: Pfizer

Areas of current research (or thesis topic): Biosimilar and Gene Therapy Development

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

One piece of advice to graduate students: No one knows the detail of paths that they will take.  Very few know the final destination. It’s most important to know how to handle the divergence in the path you will encounter.

 

Name: Parag Kolhe

Current Position:

Company:

Areas of current research (or thesis topic):

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

One piece of advice to graduate students:

 

Name: Alex Rubin

Current Position: Senior Technical Fellow

Company: Boeing

Areas of current research (or thesis topic): Composite Materials and Structures

What path did you take to get to your current position?: Increased level of responsibility in several Technical Leadership positions over 30 years

One piece of advice to graduate students: Understand your technology and keep current and informed on most recent developments in your field

 

Name: Timothy Luchini                 

Current Position: Sr. Materials and Process Engineer

Company: The Boeing Company           

Areas of current research (or thesis topic): Composite Materials

What path did you take to get to your current position?: Currently, as a Senior Materials, Process, and Physics engineer in the Boeing Research and Technology (BR&T) organization, this has been built on 10 years of experience in the field of composite and non-metallic materials processing development and implementation. While at the Boeing Company, a variety of programs in the field of composite materials, advanced manufacturing processes, materials characterization, development and evaluation has built that experience. Projects leading technology development for Boeing through internal and contracted research and development with organizations like the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency are the most recent result of this experience. Along the way, over 15 publications in the area of non-metallic materials and 4 patents documented the path.

In my current position, I am responsible for development of the key technologies necessary for implementation of cost and weight efficient thermoset composite materials and manufacturing processes for Commercial and Defense products. The educational pathway resulted in a Mechanical Engineering Ph.D. with an emphasis on Composite Materials processing from Michigan State University, a Master’s Degree in with an emphasis in Ceramic Materials from The University of Toledo, and an Undergraduate Mechanical Engineering Degree from the South Dakota School of Mines. Along with the engineering role I am currently serving as adjunct faculty at Washington University and UMSL teaching computer aided design and engineering design courses.

One piece of advice to graduate students: Read Richard W. Hamming “You and your research” (a stroke of genius: striving for greatness in all you do)

Name: Andrew Cary

Current Position: Technical Fellow, CFD

Company: The Boeing Company

Areas of current research (or thesis topic): Computational Fluif Dynamics, application and development

What path did you take to get to your current position?: Joined industry during completion of my PhD dissertation and have worked in the same group since with increasing opportunities and responsibilities.

One piece of advice to graduate students: Keep a broad perspective and talk to people outside your field.

 

Name: Jeff Gamble, PhD

Current Position: Co-Founder & CTO

Company: Dynamic Surgical

Areas of current research (or thesis topic): (thesis topic) Developed an in vitro assay to characterize the functional networks formed by stem cell derived neurons for the purpose of improving stem cell transplantation therapies for spinal cord injury

What path did you take to get to your current position?: During grad school, I participated in Sling Health as a project leader, worked part-time in product development for a VC-backed medical device startup,participated in a Harvard Business Review journal club, and also was two-year fellow in the InSITE Fellowship program. On my way out of grad school, I was presented with an opportunity to work my our current CEO, who was an otolaryngology resident at the time, on a problem specific to otolaryngology. By that time, I had built up a network of mentors who then helped me decide whether it was an opportunity I should pursue. As we’ve built our company, we’ve surrounded ourselves with advisors, mentors, and employees who help us with both day-to-day decisions and long-term strategy.

One piece of advice to graduate students: If a career path is truly interesting to you, come up with a plan to build up your skills, competencies, and credentials at that particular thing.

 

Name: Sean Larkin

Current Position: Manager of Research and Development

Company: Lickenbrock Technologies, INC

Areas of current research: computed tomography, non-destructive evaluation of additively manufactured objects, parallel computing

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

After receiving my Bachelor’s degree I began working in industry at Lickenbrock Technologies.  I began as an intern and then shortly after was hired as a research and development engineer. I worked on a number of projects and gained a lot of research experience during that time, which lead to a promotion to a senior level engineering position.  During growth of Lickenbrock I was promoted to a management position, while still remaining involved as a hands-on engineer.

One piece of advice to graduate students:

For those interested in research, pursue collaborations with others in academia and industry.  This can lead to great opportunities to learn and also open up many chances for employment.

 

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:  Ken Totten

Current Position: General Manager

Company: Object Computing, Inc. (OCI)

Areas of current research (or thesis topic):  OCI focus is Internet of Things, Edge Computing, Image/Vision Classification Systems using Machine Learning, Analytics enablement through software engineering, and blockchain.

What path did you take to get to your current position: USCG Search and Rescue Decision Support Systems, Corporate positions at MCI Telecommunications, NASDAQ, and Consulting at Anheuser Busch, Computer Science Corporation, and Object Computing, Inc.

One piece of advice to graduate students: Know where your joy comes from and understand what you are naturally good at and have a strong aptitude for (hard and soft skills).  Second piece of advice: enlist mentors through your professional journey.

 

Name: Haitao Zhang

Current Position: Biological production team lead & Associated science fellow

Company: Monsanto

Areas of current research (or thesis topic): Biological production

What path did you take to get to your current position?: I was contacted by Monsanto HR for this position

One piece of advice to graduate students: Be proactive networking and seeking opportunities through various of channels

haitao.zhang@monsanto.com

 

Name: Dr. Janice L. Karty

Current Position: Senior Technical Fellow with Boeing Defense, Space and Security (BDS)

Company: The Boeing Company

Areas of current research (or thesis topic):

Dr. Karty’s research is associated with Electromagnetic Environmental Effects (E3) and Lightning.

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

Dr. Karty was recently selected to be a Senior Technical Fellow at The Boeing Company.  Dr. Karty joined McDonnell Douglas Astronautics Company, MDAC (now Boeing) in 1985 as a Research Scientist after graduating from Washington University in St. Louis with an Engineering degree in 1978 and from Rice University in Houston, Texas with MS and PhD degrees in 1981 and 1983.  She started as an entry level researcher, developing Computational Software providing state-of-the-art Electromagnetic analysis. Janice is actively involved in AIAA, and IEEE (Senior Member). Janice was selected to be an Associate Technical Fellow in 2001, followed by her selection as Technical Fellow five years later.

One piece of advice to graduate students:

Be curious and enthusiastic in all your endeavors; always cherish the opportunity to learn.

 

Name: Pu Wei

Current Position: Analytical Chemist

Company: Monsanto

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@monsanto.com

 

Name: Jian Xu

Current Position: Sr. Research Chemical Engineer

Company: Monsanto Company

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@monsanto.com

 

Name: Mangesh Bore

Current Position: Chemical Engineer-Team Lead

Company: Monsanto Company

Areas of current research (or thesis topic): Process Scale-up and Manufacturing Support

What path did you take to get to your current position? Two Startups and Three Large Companies

One piece of advice to graduate students: Travel and venture out of comfort zone

mangesh.bore@monsanto.com

 

Name: Bruno de Kort

Current Position: Technology Specialist (Process engineer)

Company: Monsanto

Areas of current research (or thesis topic): N/A I’m a design engineer

What path did you take to get to your current position? I worked as a support engineer in Manufacturing, designed and operated a pilot plant facility, moved abroad to take this position.

One piece of advice to graduate students: Don’t lose track of the fact that in industry, your research will be used by design engineers and manufacturing facilities. Understanding their needs will help you focus your efforts.

bruno.de.kort@monsanto.com

 

Name: Douglas S. Malkin

Current Position: Analytical Chemist & Associated science fellow

Company: Monsanto

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 where I started in a role leading the analytical effort on developing a synthetic process for making Dicamba. Recently, I have moved into a role where 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.s.malkin@monsanto.com

 

Name: Peizhen Yang

Current Position: BioDirect Production Team Lead & Associated science fellow

Company: Monsanto

Areas of current research (or thesis topic):  Research and development of next generation green chemistry for crop protection, pest control and bee health

What path did you take to get to your current position?  Initially as a contractor and then interviews with Monsanto.

One piece of advice to graduate students: Communication skills are important in both industry and academia!

peizhen.yang@monsanto.com

 

Name: Yanfeng Jiang

Current Position: Sr. Research Chemist

Company: Monsanto

Areas of current research (or thesis topic): Phosphorus related

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

One piece of advice to graduate students: Know what you want

yanfeng.jiang@monsanto.com

 

Name: Patricia Morris

Current Position: Research Scientist

Company: Monsanto Company

Areas of current research (or thesis topic): Microbial fermentation of heterologous proteins and nucleic acids.

What path did you take to get to your current position? OTJ training, specialty classes, association with manufacturing division.

One piece of advice to graduate students: Be open to opportunities outside of your field.

patricia.j.morris@monsanto.com

 

Name: Yiou Wang

Current Position: Data Scientist

Company: Monsanto

Areas of current research (or thesis topic): Operations research and supply chain optimization

What path did you take to get to your current position?: Started from Monsanto Co-op

One piece of advice to graduate students: Be passionate about the work you are on!

 

Name:  Dafeng Zhou

Current Position: Project and budget manager, Regulatory Sciences

Company: Monsanto

Areas of current research (or thesis topic): Managing the deliveries and budget for Biotech and Chemistry Products/Projects among RegSci teams.

What path did you take to get to your current position? From research scientist to group lead and lab manager to Operation leads in Biotech and moved to RegSci to manage projects and budgets.

One piece of advice to graduate students: Do your best whatever and whenever you do.

dafeng.zhou@monsanto.com

Name:                           James W. Taylor

Current Position:            Senior Research Engineer

Company:                     Monsanto

Areas of current research (or thesis topic):

        Production of RNA for use as a pesticide; Degrading pesticides in an environmentally-friendly manner;  Modeling reaction rates of the chemistry used in glyphosate (RoundUp) production; Thesis: Direct measurement and analysis of cyclohexadienyl oxidation.

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

A long and circuitous one.

One piece of advice to graduate students:

Be humble and give credit where it is due.  Don’t give up, especially near the end. No one gets credit for doing 90% of a thesis.

james.w.taylor@monsanto.com

Name:  Suvandhya Rao

Current Position: Agile Coach

Company: Monsanto

Areas of current research (or thesis topic): Culture of Autonomy and Experimentation/Team Dynamics

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

One piece of advice to graduate students: People centric/Customer centric mindset is essential for success.

suvandhya.rao@monsanto.com

Name: Nathan Carter

Current Position: Analytical Chemist

Company: Monsanto

Areas of current research (or thesis topic): My current areas of research at Monsanto involve the use of various analytical techniques in collaboration with process chemists to advance catalyst development projects; measure trace metal and other impurities in benchtop, pilot-scale, and manufacturing process streams; and utilize electron microscopy to characterize active ingredients, product formulations, and impurities relevant to advancing chemical and biological products in development, as well as maintaining the quality of commercial products, in Monsanto’s crop protection portfolio.

What path did you take to get to your current position? I earned a B.S. in Chemical Engineering from Missouri S&T in 2010 and a Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering from Purdue in 2015. My doctoral research centered on the development of novel, thin-film solar cell technologies and device fabrication processes. This work required, among other skills, a great deal of material and device characterization. Moreover, I held a role as the manager of an optoelectronic characterization facility for the duration of my graduate school tenure. My current group at Monsanto recognized a need for a broader set of analytical skills outside the realm of typical analytical chemistry techniques, and I was offered a position in the group to participate on teams developing new products and product-enabling technologies throughout the product development life cycle – discovery, development, and manufacturing.

One piece of advice for graduating students: Don’t be afraid to apply for positions that interest you but seem to be outside your area of expertise. If a job sounds like something you would enjoy and would offer the opportunity to learn a new field, let the employer decide whether or not they think you’re qualified for the position; don’t make that decision for them.

nathaniel.j.carter@monsanto.com

 

Name: Alex Yang

Current Position: Sr. Research Engineer

Company: Monsanto

Areas of current research (or thesis topic): Chemical process modeling and pilot studies

What path did you take to get to your current position? I learned process modeling at my first job and later learned how to demonstrate the processes designed on computer using pilot experiments.

One piece of advice to graduate students: It is equally important to get to know the people.

 

Name: Mingya Huang

Current Position: Biologicals Delivery Platform lead

Company: Monsanto

Areas of current research (or thesis topic): Microbial stabilization and formulation technology development to enable microbial application in agriculture

What path did you take to get to your current position?: Personal passion and guidance from mentors

One piece of advice to graduate students: Keep learning and be passionate about what you do