Past Events by Semester

Fall 2018 | Spring 2018 | Fall 2017 | Spring 2017 | Fall 2016 | Spring 2016

Fall 2018

Wednesday, December 5, 2018
2-3 pm, Singh Center – Rm 221

What the History of Nanotechnology Tells Us about Its Future
Jody A. Roberts, PhD
Director, Institute for Research
Science History Institute

What social and ethical issues might arise from the research and development of new nanotechnologies? And what can be done to address these issues proactively? In this session, we’ll explore the connection between historical narratives, present-day research, and future outcomes. In particular, we’ll examine how research agendas get framed in these histories and how those agendas can yield very different sorts of social and ethical issues to be addressed. Participants will leave with a sense of how social and ethical issues arise, and their own role in addressing these issues in a meaningful way.

Thursday, November 1, 2018
2-3 pm, Singh Center – Glandt Forum

Intellectual Property and Innovation
Pamela Beatrice, PhD
Director, PCI Licensing Group
Tomás Isakowitz, PhD
Director, PCI Fellows Program

This session will provide an overview of intellectual property and its role in technology transfer and of programs for helping the creation of startups based on Penn research. A brief overview of patents and their importance will be provided. Opportunities for Penn graduate students and postdocs to participate in the PCI Fellows Program and Penn I-Corps will be discussed.

Wednesday, October 10, 2018
2-3 pm, LRSM Reading Room

From Academia to a Start-Up: A Journey of How Micro-Bio Robots Led to Micro-Aerial Robots 

Denise Wong, PhD
Robotics Engineer
Exyn Technologies

Planning the next steps of your career can be intimidating, especially after years in academia where the curriculum is structured and your focus is very narrow.  We become subject matter experts and often forget about the broadly applicable skills valued in industry.  In this discussion, I’ll talk about my transition from academia to working at a fast-paced, early staged tech start-up.

Thursday, September 20, 2018
2-3 pm, Singh Center – Glandt Forum

Words Matter

Sharon L. Haynie, PhD
Independent Consultant
Hypatia Technology Works, LLC

I offer anecdotes, insights and personal stories that demonstrate how words (from others or challenges in crafting words) impacted my career.  I wish I had received more communications training during my science journey that would have supplemented the intensive training on shaping ideas and sharpening my technical acumen.  I will share some broad examples—from words that sent my career aloft—an invaluable postscript for mentors; words used in technical papers or presentations; or words I choose even in casual conversation or dialogue with colleagues and general audiences.  It is my belief that language and presentation skills are critical to your professional success.  I am convinced that words are a critical component in our science interactions; thus, I urge participants to pay more attention to the words they select—words can be welcome, wisdom, and warning and sometimes a weapon.

Spring 2018

Thursday, April 26, 2018
2-3 pm, Singh Center – Room 035

From Goal Setting to Goal Meeting

Faisal Khan, EMTM, MAPP
Transformational Coach & Management Consultant,

Laura Taylor
Co-creator of the Penn Program for Flourishing

Have you ever set goals and had a hard time meeting them? Join Faisal and Laura to learn some scientifically researched ways to increase the odds of not just setting, but meeting your goals. Walk away with strategies to create, motivate, and pursue your personal goals that increase your chances of meeting them. Tap into your agency and pathways to engage to see meaningful progress.

Tuesday, April 24, 2018
1:00-2:00 pm, Singh Center – Glandt Forum

Marketing & Research (not a Star Wars Story)

Denis Bendejacq, PhD
Corporate Research Lab Director, COMPASS UMI 3254

In private firms, almost regardless of the structure they adopted, two worlds have usually coexisted: that of research & innovation, where scientists propose technologies and can somewhat pursue their thirst for understanding, and that of business, where customers often dictate the pace at which research must produce results. Although this paradigm has been evolving over the last years, it is always in this seemingly contradictory but challenging situation that marketing comes into play: among all of the​scientific topics that​ ​researchers could be working on,​ ​marketing can help discern those​ ​that could answer a need of the market and generate revenues. ​In a world where funding ​​becomes increasingly tied to ​​the value​ of an innovation, it is essential for scientists whose ambition is to work for a private firm, as well as those who are destined for Academia, to understand how to play with marketing in order to become impactful contributors tomorrow.

Monday, March 19, 2018
2:00-3:00 pm, Singh Center – Glandt Forum

This session is co-sponsored by Penn Engineering’s Advancing Women in Engineering and the Penn Women in Chemistry group.

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
1:00 – 2:00 pm, Singh 035

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!

Tuesday, January 23, 2018
12-1 pm, Room TBA

Discussion:  Mentoring

Russell Composto, Associate Dean for Undergrad Education, Penn Engineering; Professor of Materials Science & Engineering
Kristin Field, Education and Professional Development for the Singh Center and REACT project
Michaile Rainey, Director, Advancing Women in Engineering

Audience focused discussion on mentoring, networking and generally tapping into community resources for your professional benefit as well as for participating in the community to help others build their careers.

Fall 2017

Monday, December 4, 2017
12:30-1:30 pm, Singh Center, Glandt Forum

Creating Multiple Career Possibilities through Education, Passion and Networking
Laura Stubbs, PhD
Director, Office of Diversity & Inclusion
School of Engineering and Applied Science, University of Pennsylvania

Dr. Stubbs will share her career path emphasizing that while fo Roomal education is a solid foundation for a career, it is not the primary factor to career movement and success. Dr. Stubbs has over 25 years of military, private and public sector experience in Technology Transfer, Quality and Supply Chain Management. She entered the U.S. Navy as the first African-American Naval Nuclear Power School instructor and later transferred to the US Naval Academy as an Assistant Professor in the Mechanical Engineering Department. She left active duty and continued in the Navy Reserve until she retired as a Captain. Dr. Stubbs received her PhD in Mechanical Engineering (University of Maryland at College Park) and BSE and MSE in Mechanical Engineering and Applied Mechanics (University of Pennsylvania).

Wednesday, November, 15, 2017
12:30-1:30 pm, Singh Center, Room 035

Research in Industry and Academia
Cherie Kagan, PhD
Stephen J. Angello Professor, University of Pennsylvania

After finishing her PhD at MIT in Electronic Materials, Dr. Kagan spent a couple years at Bell Laboratories before joining IBM’s T. J. Watson Research Center for 9 years. She joined Penn’s faculty in 2007 and, among many other activities at Penn, has served as a director for Penn’s Nanofab facility, the Energy Commercialization Initiative, and Pennergy: The Penn Center for Energy Innovation. Dr. Kagan will discuss her career path and provide insights on how research careers in industry and academia differ.

Wednesday, October 25, 2017
12:30-1:30 pm, Singh Center, Room 035

Intellectual Property and Innovation
Pamela Beatrice, PhD
Director, PCI Licensing Group
Tomás Isakowitz, PhD
PCI Fellows Program Director

This session will provide an overview of intellectual property and its role in technology transfer and of programs for helping the creation of startups based on Penn research. A brief overview of patents and their importance will be provided. Opportunities for Penn graduate students and postdocs to participate in the PCI Fellows Program and Penn I-Corps will be discussed.

Tuesday, September 12, 2017
12:30-1:30 pm, Singh Center, Room 035

Navigating the Social Implications of Science and Technology
Sam Nicaise, PhD
Postdoctoral Researcher, Bargatin Lab, University of Pennsylvania

In both research and industry, we carry an underlying expectation that our work, as scientists, engineers, and technologists, is important to or demanded by society. Seldom are we fo Roomally, or even info Roomally, taught how to discern the relationship between STEM and the rest of our culture or society, despite this relationship commonly dete Roomining the ultimate success/failure of our life’s work. In this session, we will dissect how scientific innovation is made, framed, interpreted, and used by exploring academic and practical sociotechnical tools as taught at the Winter School on the Anticipatory Governance and Responsible Innovation of Emerging Technologies.

Spring 2017

Wednesday, April 19, 2017
1-2 pm, Singh Center, Room 221

The intersection of Science and Policy
Vijay Kumar, PhD
Nemirovsky Family Dean of Penn Engineering, University of Pennsylvania

Dr. Kumar is the Nemirovsky Family Dean of Penn Engineering with appointments in the Departments of Mechanical Engineering and Applied Mechanics, Computer and Info Roomation Science, and Electrical and Systems Engineering at the University of Pennsylvania. Since joining the faculty in 1987 he has served Penn Engineering in many capacities, including Deputy Dean for Research, Deputy Dean for Education, Chai Rooman of the Department of Mechanical Engineering and Applied Mechanics and Director of the GRASP Laboratory, a multidisciplinary robotics and perception laboratory. Dr. Kumar has served as the assistant director of robotics and cyber physical systems at the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (2012 – 2013). At this Singh Center Professional Development session, he will discuss how science and policy influence each other, how scientists can affect policy and whether or not they should become involved with the political process.

Tuesday, March 28, 2017
1-2 pm, Singh Center, Room 313

Publish or Perish
Georgia C. Papaefthymiou, PhD
Professor of Physics, Villanova University

Publication of research results is the main vehicle of communicating and sharing new scientific knowledge and is fundamental for the advancement of Science. In academia, it has become the litmus test of a scientist’s productivity and worth for professional advancement and tenure. Thus, it must be taken very seriously by those who aspire to a career in Academia. In this presentation we will discuss the various stages in the process of manuscript submission and ultimate publication of research results and the roles that authors, reviewers and editors play in this highly interactive process. We will discuss various issues that dete Roomine a successful submission from choosing the appropriate journal to responding to reviewers’ comments and utilizing their valuable input to revise and improve the quality of your original submission.

Thursday, February 23, 2017
1-2 pm, Singh Center, Room 035

From Nonlinear Optics to Watching Paint Dry: How What You Learn in Grad School Can Be Applied in Industry
Heather Eckenrode-Stiffler, PhD
Technical Service Manager, Dow Coating Materials, Dow Chemical Company

For many, the graduate school experience gives students a chance to learn about careers in academics. This discussion will focus on giving students some insight into what an industrial career looks like and the skills that are learned in graduate school that are valuable for a career in industry. Dr. Eckenrode-Stiffler will share her experience going from working in the L.R.S.M. on nonlinear optics to working in industry as a technical service manager in coatings. She graduated from UPenn with a PhD in Physical Chemistry. She joined Rohm and Haas Company (now part of the Dow Chemical Company) in 2005 as part of a rotational PhD program. Her roles at Dow have ranged from R&D to her current customer facing role as a technical service manager.

Wednesday, January 25, 2017
1-2 pm, Singh Center, Room 313

How to and why you would ever want to run a technical conference
George Patrick Watson, PhD
Director of User Programs, Singh Center for Nanotechnology, University of Pennsylvania

There may be a point in your career where you are asked, or you volunteer, to put together a research conference. This can consume a large part of your life for several months, but it can be incredibly rewarding. I will discuss my experience as the Program Chair of the 2016 EIPBN, a nanotechnology meeting of 400 researchers, why I am glad I did such a crazy thing, and why you should consider running one too.

Fall 2016

Friday, December 9, 2016
12:30-1:30 pm, Singh Center, Room 035

Engineering Consulting as a Career Option
MariAnne Sullivan, PhD
Associate, Mechanical Engineering Practice
Exponent, Inc.

A possible career path that may be less explored after graduate research is consulting. It is a great way to apply your new PhD knowledge into true engineering applications. MariAnne Sullivan is a recent PhD graduate, and has Materials Engineering degrees from Lehigh University and Auburn University. She is an Associate at Exponent, Inc., located in Philadelphia. Exponent is a multi-disciplinary engineering and scientific consulting fi Room that brings together more than 90 different disciplines to solve important engineering, science, regulatory, and business issues facing our clients. MariAnne will talk about her experience finding a career after graduate school, and will also talk about Exponent as a consulting company.

Wednesday, November 9, 2016
12:30-1:30 pm, Singh Center, Room 221

Intellectual Property and Innovation
Pamela Beatrice, PhD
Director, Physical Sciences Licensing, Penn Center for Innovation
Tomás Isakowitz, PhD
Director, PCI Fellows Program, Penn Center for Innovation, University of Pennsylvania

This session will provide an overview of intellectual property and its role in technology transfer. A brief overview of patents and their importance will be provided. Opportunities for Penn graduate students and postdocs to participate in the PCI Fellows Program will be described.

Thursday, October 20, 2016
12:30-1:30 pm, Singh Building, Room 035

Career Evolution: Turning Change into Opportunity
Lou Graziano, PhD
Associate Director of Corporate Outreach for Physical Sciences, Penn Center for Innovation

Setting a career path is smart. But rarely does the path we plan match the road taken. I will give some perspective on my career path and the surprises that came along the way, with an emphasis on embracing the unexpected to create new opportunities.

Thursday, September 29, 2016
12:30-1:30, Singh Center, Room 035

Networking: Tips and Resources
Rosanne Lurie and Rosette Pyne
Senior Associate Directors, Career Services, University of Pennsylvania

Networking is frequently listed as one of the most important tools for career building. Why is it so important? Does it really work? What are best practices for successful networking? Career Services’ Senior Associate Directors Rosanne Lurie and Rosette Pyne discuss effective strategies for networking and resources available to build your network and improve your skills.

Spring 2016

Tuesday, April 12, 2016
Noon – 1 pm, Singh Center, Room 035

Team Dynamics and Multicultural Communication
Alan M. Barstow, PhD
Director and Senior Scholar, Organizational Dynamics Programs, University of Pennsylvania

Science and technology today is perfo Roomed in a global context – from collaborating with international partners to working intimately at the bench with researchers from different countries. How do teams function best when they consist of members from a diversity of nations, backgrounds and/or cultures? How can you have the most impact when you join a professional environment in a foreign culture or country? How can you make your team more productive when you host professionals from other cultures? This session will discuss the intersection of team dynamics and multicultural communication and provide tools for understanding and navigating these environments.

Wednesday, March 16, 2016
Noon-1 pm, Singh Center, Room 035

Communicating Science to the Public
Evan Lerner
Science News Officer, University of Pennsylvania

Public polls repeatedly show that “scientist” ranks amongst the professions most worthy of respect, so how can we reconcile that fact with the misunderstanding and distrust that seem so pervasive within the scientific issues of the day? More important, how can we remedy this situation? As scientists, you’ve been trained to communicate your work in a very specific way to a very specific audience: your peers and colleagues. In this talk, you’ll learn about ways to translate that kind of communication into language and concepts non-scientists will better understand and appreciate.

Thursday, February 18, 2016
Noon-1 pm, Singh Center, Room 313
This session is co-sponsored by the Institute for Biomedical Info Roomatics

Give me the money: Communicating science to non-academic bosses and funders
Marc Rigas, PhD
Managing Director, Penn Institute for Biomedical Info Roomatics

Many Ph.D. scientists go on to non-academic careers in private industry, government, or non-profit foundations. Those who do stay in academic careers must constantly sell their ideas to people at Federal agencies that fund research. These audiences are often knowledgeable and may have a scientific background, but their motivations and interests will be different than academic colleagues from your discipline. In this short session, we will begin to think about how you craft your message about complex research or scientific topics so that others will support what you want to do in your professional career. Dr. Rigas will share insights drawn from his experience as a researcher and from 13 years in research program administration at NIH, NSF and at Penn.

Friday, January 22, 2016
Noon – 1 pm, Laboratory for Research on the Structure of Matter, Reading Room

Innovation: the intersection of technology and the zeitgeist: A view from a Research Fellow in a consumer product company
Russel M. Walters, PhD
Research Associate Director, Fellow, Johnson & Johnson

This session will share the career path and new skills gained by a research fellow in a personal products company. Dr. Walters, a University of Pennsylvania Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering Department alumnus, will give an evolutionary perspective on technology change and the development and launching of new products for consumers.