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Scismic Webinar: Careers at National Labs

September 19, 2023 @ 10:00 am - 11:00 am

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General overview of national labs (~2-3 minutes)

What a postdoc or advanced postdoc looks like in a national lab (~5 minutes)

Viable career directions at national labs past a postdoc (potentially including sample job opportunities) (~10-15 minutes)

Open Q&A/panel discussion (20-30 minutes)


Jahi Simbai, Senior Manager, Workforce Development at National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL)

Board President, National Association of Multicultural Engineering Program Advocates (NAMEPA): the nation’s leading community of change agents, cultivating diversity, access, equity, and inclusion in engineering.

Ilja Popovs, Ph.D., R&D Associate at ORNL

Dr. Ilja Popovs is an organic chemist in the Nanomaterials Chemistry Group at Oak Ridge National Laboratory. He pursued a Ph.D. degree in Organic Chemistry, working in Olafs Daugulis’s lab at the University of Houston on the development of novel transition-metal catalyzed methods for the C–H bond functionalization, reaction development, small-molecule chemistry, studying reaction mechanisms employing concepts of physical organic chemistry, in addition to developing concepts of porous molecular crystals for separation and materials science. After graduating in 2014, he moved to Northwestern University and joined the group of Sir Fraser J. Stoddart, furthering the chemistry of macrocyclic hosts and developing a greater sense of appreciation for concepts of host-guest binding, complementarity principles, and fundamentals of mechanical bonds and supramolecular chemistry. In 2016 Ilja joined ORNL as a postdoctoral fellow, and in 2017 he accepted the position of an associated R&D staff member in the Nanomaterials Chemistry Group in the Chemical Sciences Division at ORNL. In 2022 he was promoted to an R&D staff member. His research interests focus on applying the principles of structure-property relationships, molecular recognition, and concepts of physical organic chemistry in combination with advances in synthesis towards the rational design of materials and molecular systems for energy applications, gas and ion separation, molecular recognition, and sensor development.

Samantha Erwin, Ph.D., Senior Data Scientist & Team Lead at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory

Samantha Erwin is a data scientist in the Data Science and Analytics group at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory. Her research focuses on developing mathematical models to elucidate biological mechanisms. She has led teams to develop data analysis pipelines that integrate natural language processing, graphical models, machine learning, and statistical analysis. She has strong interests in multi-omics, multiscale modeling, biological threats, and One Health.

Erwin has a Ph.D. and MS in Mathematics from Virginia Tech, and a BS in Mathematics from Murray State University. She was a postdoctoral scholar at North Carolina State’s College of Veterinary Medicine in the Public Health Department.

Register here.


September 19, 2023
10:00 am - 11:00 am
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