How did you decide to come to Drexel Materials for a Ph.D.?
I initially enrolled in the Chemical Engineering program at Drexel but later transferred to the Materials Science and Engineering program due to my interest in the research work being done there. Plus, I had a high interest in having a better understanding of structure-property relationships of nanomaterials.
First Job Post-Graduation
My first job post graduation from Drexel was at Infineum USA, LP (a joint venture between ExxonMobil and Shell). As a Contributing Technologist in the Passenger Car Motor Oil department, my job duties included scoping and developing innovative formulations to meet emerging crankcase lubricant requirements. More specifically, my main work involved developing a fundamental understanding of additives and base oils in areas applicable to lubricant performances in diesel and gasoline combustion engines.
How did you find your first job?
I had posted my resume on a job site and, due to my previous work experience in the oil and gas field, I was contacted directly by the HR of the company. However, I also had other job offers which were found through other traditional sources such as networking at conferences and career fairs.
What have you been doing since?
I currently work at ExxonMobil Research and Engineering (NJ) as a Senior Researcher in the Passenger Vehicle Lubricants division. I develop passenger car motor oil formulations - through numerous engine and bench testing for sludge and deposit control, oxidation and viscosity control, friction and wear (fuel economy). I also support new product developments and actively participate in product pull-through and deployment processes.
How do you feel your Ph.D. research and education have contributed to your job?
I feel that the course work and research studies undertaken at Drexel have contributed significantly to how I do my work. I constantly revert back to the basic fundamentals taught in the Department of Materials Science and Engineering, i.e.; structure-property relationships of materials and how to conduct basic research.
Do you have any advice for students looking for a Ph.D. program or for current students?
My advice to potential Ph.D. students is to choose a program that covers cutting-edge research whereby you can learn skills that will be invaluable in the industrial field.
For current students, a reminder that jobs and careers options that may be available when you graduate may not be directly related to your research/dissertation work. Concentrate on the numerous skill sets that you'll acquire during your education such as "steps to find" potential solutions to challenging problems. The conclusions of your thesis/dissertation work is important but not as important as the "processes or steps taken" to reach those conclusions. This will be one of your greatest selling points in any field that you choose to work in the future.