More Time in the Ivory Tower?: Pursuing Graduate School AICHE Brownbag Wednesday, September 28, 2011
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)
Why Choose Graduate School? • Graduate school is not for everybody. • On average, a 4.5-6 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
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.
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)
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) • Other federal/university level organizations (NSF, NIH, etc.)
Applying For Grad School • Typically due around January 1 (variation exists)
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)
Senior Year Timeline • Research potential schools • Ask faculty or others for advice/insight • Look into fellowships (NSF etc.) • Take GRE • Ensure letters of recommendation have been completed and sent • Submit application • Recruiting weekends • Narrow list of potential schools • Ask for letters of recommendation • Send e-mails to faculty you are interested in. • Prepping applications (GRE, personal statement) • Notification of acceptance • Notification of award package Sept. Dec. Jan. Feb. Apr. • Final decisions
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
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.
Chemical Engineering in Academia What does a professor do? James K. Ferri Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering Lafayette College
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 Research (R-1) + $8,000-$12,000 Assistant ($59,150, $86,600) - $74,000 Associate $88,600 Full $115,700
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
Teaching: evaluation of job performance Student evaluations: Written comments Student comments Peer observation Educational materials development Academic advising Good is not good. This seeks to provide perspective This is how to excel. Valued but not quantified.
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
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 Anything here is good (and might be necessary; see above)
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