Professional Development Series

The Singh Center for Nanotechnology offers a monthly professional development seminar series as a resource for graduate students and postdocs in STEM disciplines. The series covers three general areas: career paths, soft and transferable skills, and career-related knowledge and resources. Topics are meant to supplement the formal academic and technical research training graduate students and postdocs receive in the classroom and/or in their laboratories and to help to explore career paths and develop competencies for advancing their career goals.

If you are interested in being on the mailing list or in suggesting a topic/speaker, please email kfield[at]

Please note that this series does not generally cover teaching and best practices for pedagogy. The Center for Teaching and Learning offers excellent resources on developing teaching skills. In general, the Singh Center series also does not focus on traditional academic career development (i.e., finding faculty positions). There are a number of resources at Penn that offer programming on faculty job searches (e.g., Career Services Academic Careers, Penn Engineering Postdoc Community, Biomedical Postdoctoral Programs).

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Spring 2021

Friday, March 19, 2021
11 – noon ET, Zoom
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The Benefits of an Advanced Science Degree in Business Development
Francisco Buitrago, PhD
Scientist, Arkema Inc.

The job market for scientists and engineers in industry is very broad. From R&D to process development, there are a variety of positions in which a scientific background is essential. Regardless of the industry, all companies have the goal to create new business opportunities by nurturing excellent relationships with customers. Please join me to learn about my experience along the fine line between R&D and Business Development.


Thursday, February 25, 2021
1-2 pm, ET Zoom
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Engineering at Penn: A Local History of Materials Science & Contemporary Approaches to STEM Ethics
Brit Shields, Ph.D., Senior Lecturer, Bioengineering Department, School of Engineering & Applied Sciences, University of Pennsylvania

Brit Shields has training as a sociologist and historian of science and currently teaches the undergraduate engineering ethics curriculum at Penn.  Her scholarship focuses on the reciprocal relationship between technology and society.  This talk will include an overview of the local history of material science at Penn as well as contemporary approaches to STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) ethics education today.