For starters, I’ve been doing research under Dr. Meenakshi Dutt in the Chemical and Biochemical Engineering Department at Rutgers University since my sophomore year as an undergraduate student. (Here’s the new website, which I helped design.) She’s an amazing research advisor. I’ve learned so much from her about the process of doing research and presenting the research at conferences, in PowerPoint presentations and in poster presentations. She expects a lot from her research group, but at the same time, she understands that we have other obligations and lives outside of research. Because of her, and a few other amazing professors, I’ve decided to become a chemical engineering professor.
My project deals with simulating nanoparticles with polymers tethered to them — think hairy ping pong balls. They bounce around in a box and since the “hairs” are attracted to each other, they form clusters. The application of this can range from bioimaging for diseases and disorder to forming nanomaterials to targeted drug delivery. The “hair” can change based on the particular desired function or application.
Hi y’all! (Do I still have any followers or have they given up on me?) So a lot of things have happened since I was last here…
First of all, I graduated from college at got my Bachelor’s in Chemical Engineering. It was definitely very interesting and I have a couple of stories from just going through that program at uni. When people ask, I just say, “I’ve seen the depths of hell and survived.” Because it was HARD. Not only was I juggling research and classwork/homework/exams but also mentoring and applying for funding and going to present at conferences on top of my own personal life. The biggest lesson I learned was that nothing can bring me down. Especially since a lot of things happened in my personal life that I struggled to successfully compartmentalize. But I may expand upon that in another post…
Second of all, one of my papers was submitted for publication!! It’s after nearly 3 years of research and organization and planning! Feels real good hehe. I’m working on a different project now – peptide aggregation simulations instead of nanoparticles. I’m hoping that this will be done before the fall, but it doesn’t look like it would. Hopefully my gut instinct is wrong on this.
Third, I’m pursuing a Master’s in Chemical Engineering! It’s part of a 5 year, accelerated master’s program at my uni. So this means that the 5th year is the year when an individual is a master’s student and will get that degree a year after they got their bachelor’s. It’ll good for me, ’cause it’s cheaper than a typical master’s degree and I have the flexibility of either working or going to graduate school afterwards. Still not sure which I want haha…
Fourth, I GOT TO SEE PRESIDENT OBAMA AT MY COMMENCEMENT!!!!!!!!!!!!! It was AMAZING. I was in the third row, ’cause my friends and I got to the stadium as soon as the gates opened at 8 am. So I slept over at a friend’s place and woke up at 5 am to get all ready. The four of us were the first engineering students on the field LOL. One of our ChemE professors was also the Engineering marshal, so he was really surprised we were there that early. But then we had to wait for 4 hours on the field with little food and water and on a cold and windy day. *shivers* It was horrible. But then seeing President Obama standing literally 20-30 feet away from you, that made it all so worth it. Lol I ate maybe a total of 300 calories and had to endure the engineering convocation immediately afterwards. Oh man. That day was crazy.
But now, I’m back and I plan on updating at least once a week!