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More Time in the Ivory Tower?: Pursuing Graduate School AICHE Brownbag Wednesday, September 28, 2011.

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Presentation on theme: "More Time in the Ivory Tower?: Pursuing Graduate School AICHE Brownbag Wednesday, September 28, 2011."— Presentation transcript:

1 More Time in the Ivory Tower?: Pursuing Graduate School AICHE Brownbag Wednesday, September 28, 2011

2 Today’s Brownbag Is graduate school for you? What does a professor actually do? (Prof. Ferri) Faculty panel Slides will be available on Lafayette chapter AICHE sites (sites.lafayette.edu/aiche)

3 Why Choose Graduate School? Graduate school is not for everybody. On average, a year investment of time People who enter grad school should be: – Self-motivated – Inquisitive about engineering AND science – Interested in why things are happening, not just what is happening – Willing to handle failure and learn from it – Unafraid to ask questions

4 Undergraduate vs. Graduate UG is (primarily) closed-ended problems where a solution is available following some procedure. A Ph.D. involves solving open-ended problems where the solution is unknown and the path to solving the problem is often murky at best. Graduate school will enhance and develop your analytical skills to allow you to solve any problem.

5 GroupingDescription CourseworkAdvanced courses in thermo, transport, kinetics and applied math. Science/engineering electives Most completed in first two years QualifiersShow competence in coursework and/or ability to conduct research Teaching (most)1 or 2 courses as a teaching assistant Oral/Poster PresentationWork presented at symposiums or conferences Publications1-4 (Varies from school to school and from research group to research group) ThesisCompilation of original research Final approval from research advisor and thesis committee (2 or 3 in department, 1 external) What are the Requirements of a Ph.D.?

6 Am I Going to Accumulate Loans? In virtually all ChemE programs (and most other science/engineering), no. (For Ph.D.) Research is funded by a wide range of entities. – Covers cost of “employees” (grad students et al.) Tuition/fees Stipend (~$25-35,000, dependent on school) Health care (typically) Attendance at conferences (% coverage varies)

7 Will I Like Research? The best way to find out is by actually completing research. At Lafayette – Excel program (the earlier, the better) – Can go outside of the major Externally – Summer REU programs (http://www.nsf.gov/crssprgm/reu/list_result.cfm?unitid =10006)http://www.nsf.gov/crssprgm/reu/list_result.cfm?unitid =10006 – Other federal/university level organizations (NSF, NIH, etc.)

8 Applying For Grad School RequirementDescription TranscriptImperfect grades can be overcome by quality undergrad research GRENot as important as you may think, but still required Personal Statement1-2 pages discussing why you want to attend grad school (and the particular school) and what makes you a good candidate Letters of Recommendation 3 letters is a typical minimum. All recommenders do not have to be from the major. Provide ample time, a resume and an update to your recommenders. Application CostMoney Typically due around January 1 (variation exists)

9 How Do I Pick a Grad School? Researching schools is important – Most to all research groups have a group website where a flavor of their work is available. (upkeep) What are your research interests? – Any particular area of interest (energy, bio, etc.)? – Experimental? Computational? Both? The school – Prestige (be careful) – Location (size/weather/rural vs. urban) – Number of professors interested in (be careful)

10 Senior Year Timeline Sept.Dec.Jan.Feb.Apr. Research potential schools Ask faculty or others for advice/insight Look into fellowships (NSF etc.) Take GRE Narrow list of potential schools Ask for letters of recommendation Send s to faculty you are interested in. Prepping applications (GRE, personal statement) Ensure letters of recommendation have been completed and sent Submit application Notification of acceptance Notification of award package Recruiting weekends Final decisions

11 What Can I Do with a Ph.D. (Besides be a Professor)? Remember, your thesis research will a little slice of science/engineering that you are the expert. You may be expected to run experiments or oversee others completing experiments. Senior Engineer Research Scientist Consultant

12 Where are They Now?: Postdocs

13 Where are They Now?: Jobs

14 A Few Parting Words Don’t choose grad school solely because finding a job is difficult. Grad school will change the way you think and approach problems. Even though it’s not industry, networking is just as important in grad school. What you get out of grad school is directly related to what you put into it.

15 Chemical Engineering in Academia What does a professor do? James K. Ferri Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering Lafayette College

16 Faculty Positions Non-tenure Track vs. Tenure Track Adjunct, Visiting, Instructor One to three year appointment Generally non-renewable Assistant (Associate) One to three year appointments Renewable during probationary period “Up or out” Salary Scale: PUI Assistant ($59,150, $86,600) - $74,000 Associate$88,600 Full $115,700 Research (R-1) + $8,000-$12,000

17 Job Description 20

18 Teaching Course Load: (varies by institution) Teaching-oriented: (3/3) Most (all) teaching and grading done by faculty Research-oriented: (1/1) Lectures taught by faculty; laboratory and recitation/quiz sections by graduate assistants Occasionally, lectures taught by adjunct or other non-tenure track instructors (Nearly) all grading done by assistants Example: A College in Easton, Pennsylvania 3/2

19 Student evaluations: Written comments Student comments Peer observation Educational materials development Academic advising Teaching: evaluation of job performance This seeks to provide perspective This is how to excel. Good is not good. Valued but not quantified.

20 Scholarship Dissemination Publications peer reviewed non-peer reviewed (conference papers, book chapters) Presentations invited seminars and public lectures (think LSS) conference presentations Support Grants NSF, NIH, DOE, DOD, NASA EPA, FDA, … Industry cooperation sponsored fundamental and applied research Professional development

21 Scholarship: evaluation of job performance Dissemination Publications peer reviewed 1 paper per year is annual expectation non-peer reviewed Presentations invited seminars and public lectures conference presentations Support Grants NSF, NIH, DOE, DOD, NASA EPA, FDA, … Industry cooperation sponsored fundamental and applied research Professional development Anything here is good (and might be necessary; see above)

22 Service Departmental Service: Standing committees: Outreach, Student Experience, etc. Operational activities (open houses, outreach, individualized learning experiences) Institutional committees: Standing committees: Judical, Compensation, Policy, … Ad-hoc (“for this”): faculty searches, special appointments Professional service: Organization of professional meetings Peer-review of journal articles and grant proposals

23 Job Description 30


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