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).

| View Past Events |

Spring 2018

Tuesday, January 23, 2018
12-1 pm, Room TBA
Due to unexpected circumstances on Jan. 23, this session was replaced with a discussion on mentorship. The speaker will be rescheduled for a later date.

This session is co-sponsored by Penn Engineering’s Advancing Women in Engineering

Tales from my professional journey (so far)
Lisa Friedersdorf, PhD [bio]
Director of the National Nanotechnology Coordination Office
United States National Nanotechnology Initiative

Please join me for a discussion about career options in industry, academia, and government for graduates of technical programs. This conversation will be based on my observations over the course of a non-traditional career as a woman engineer. I will share key lessons learned (e.g. wear your hair back around power tools!) and resources for students to create their own path.


Thursday, February 22, 2018
1 – 2 pm, Singh 035
Sign up here to attend.

Nailing your scientific pitch to different audiences
Vanessa Chan, PhD [bio]
Professor of Practice, Innovation & Entrepreneurship
Materials Science & Engineering Dept., Penn

In this conversation we will discuss how to take a scientific topic (e.g., your thesis, your invention) and create pitches that will resonate with a wide range of communities.  We will use Carbon 3D as an example and share with you their Science paper, the business articles that have been written about them as well as the TED talk and scientific talks that their founder has given.  Coming out of this conversation, you will learn how to hone your story so that it resonates with different audiences since ultimately, communicating what you are doing is a critical component of your success!