Dr. Jennifer Wilcox is an Associate Professor in Chemical and Biological Engineering at the Colorado School of Mines and an Investigator within the Clean Energy Conversions Laboratory there. The research in Jen’s group focuses on carbon capture and trace metal pollution. On the carbon capture side, she tries to better understand and reduce CO2 emissions from coal and gas-fired power plants. In terms of trace metals, the most common source of trace metals like mercury in the fish we eat is burning coal in coal-fired power plants. Jen’s research examines how to capture trace metals and reduce their emission into the environment. Outside of science, Jen keeps busy spending time with her family including her husband and daughter. She also loves being active outdoors through hiking, running, and bicycling. She received her bachelor’s degree in mathematics from Wellesley College and her PhD in chemical engineering from the University of Arizona. She served on the faculty at the Worcester Polytechnic Institute and at Stanford University before joining the faculty at the Colorado School of Mines. Jen has received numerous awards and honors, including an Army Research Office Young Investigator Award, an American Chemical Society Petroleum Research Fund Young Investigator Award, and an NSF CAREER Award. She also was awarded the Stern Award for Distinguished Paper from the Journal of the Air and Waste Management Association. Jen is with us today to tell us all about her life and science.

Direct download: 710_Jen_Wilcox_Final.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:00am EDT

Dr. Tim Buschman is Associate Professor of Psychology and Neuroscience at Princeton University. He studies a process called cognitive control, a process in the brain that allows you to control your own thoughts and actions toward achieving your goals. There are a lot of factors that can influence cognitive control that must be integrated to direct your behavior. He uses animal models to better understand aspects of cognitive control, and his work has relevant applications for improving machine learning and artificial intelligence as well as developing new treatments for neurological diseases that impact cognitive control. When he’s not in the lab, Tim enjoys spending time outdoors with his family. In particular, they have been doing a lot of hiking, and Tim finds it a great activity for stimulating thoughts and drawing out his creativity. He received his B.S. in Biology from the California Institute of Technology, and Tim was then awarded a Postbaccalaureate Intramural Research Training Award (IRTA) to conduct research at the National Institute of Mental Health’s Laboratory of Neurophysiology. Next, he completed his PhD at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Tim remained there to conduct postdoctoral research before joining the faculty at Princeton University. He was awarded the NIH Director’s “New Innovator” Award in 2014, and he holds multiple patents related to his research. In our interview, Tim shares more about his life and science.

Direct download: 709_Tim_Buschman_Final_V2.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:03am EDT

Dr. Charles Hohenberg is a Professor of Physics at Washington University in St. Louis. In the lab, Charles does mass spectrometry of noble gases like Krypton and Xenon. He designed and built his own mass spectrometer which is one of the best in the world. With this instrument, Charles measures noble gas isotope ratios in various sources. A major focus is studying meteorite samples to understand early solar system processes. Charles has always been a tinkerer, and he often spends his free time working on various projects around the house. For example, one of Charles’ hobbies is woodworking. He built his own kitchen table and several other pieces of furniture. He received his PhD in Physics from the University of California, Berkeley and has been on the faculty at Washington University since 1970. Charles has received many awards and honors during his career, including election as Fellow of the Meteoritical Society and a Fellow of the St. Louis Academy of Science. He has been awarded the NASA Principal Investigators Award, the NASA Exceptional Achievement Award, and recently the James B. Eads Award honoring engineering or technology from the St. Louis Academy of Science. Charles is here with us today to tell us all about his journey through life and science.

Direct download: 708_Charles_Hohenberg_Final.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:00am EDT

Dr. Diana Aga is the Henry M. Woodburn Chair and a State University of New York (SUNY) Distinguished Professor in the Department of Chemistry at the University at Buffalo. She also serves as the Director of RENEW (Research and Education in eNergy, Environment and Water) Institute at the University at Buffalo. Diana is an environmental chemist. She studies sustainable agriculture and pollutants such as the “forever chemicals” (Per- and Polyfluorinated Substances (PFAS)) that we frequently encounter in our everyday lives. When it’s warm outside, Diana enjoys biking and hiking, and when it’s cold she spends more time indoors watching movies. Cooking is another one of Diana’s hobbies, and she is particularly fond of making Filipino food, creatively reusing leftovers, and recreating restaurant favorites at home. Diana received a B.S. degree in agricultural chemistry from the University of the Philippines, Los Baños and her PhD in analytical chemistry from the University of Kansas. Afterwards, she conducted postdoctoral research at the Swiss Federal Institute of Aquatic Science and Technology. Diana worked on the faculty at the University of Nebraska at Kearney and then in industry at Bayer before joining the faculty at the University at Buffalo. She has received numerous awards for her research, teaching, and mentoring, including the SUNY Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Scholarship and Creative Activities, the Koh Lectureship Award in Science from the Philippine-American Academy of Science and Engineering, the Jacob F. Schoellkopf Medal of the Western New York Chapter of the American Chemical Society (ACS), a National Science Foundation CAREER Award, the Menzie Environmental Education Award from The Society of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry, and the Excellence in Graduate Student Mentoring Award from the University at Buffalo. Diana has also been named a Fulbright Fellow, an Alexander von Humboldt Foundation Research Fellow, an ACS Fellow, and an ACS AGRO Fellow. In this interview, Diana shares more about her life and science.

Direct download: 707_Diana_Aga_Final.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:00am EDT

Dr. Andrew Alleyne is the Ralph and Catherine Fisher Professor in the Department of Mechanical Science and Engineering at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, as well as the Director of the National Science Foundation Engineering Research Center on Power Optimization for Electro-Thermal Systems (POETS) headquartered there. He is an engineer who works on control systems, which provide an automated way of making decisions. They take in relevant information and use algorithms to make correct decisions based on the information gathered. Andrew’s group designs algorithms that make the best decisions possible with the information available to keep systems stable and performing well. When not doing science, he spends much of his time with his wife and two sons. This translates to a lot of driving back and forth to soccer games, but also going on road trips and having fun together. Andrew grew up in Jamaica and came to the United States when he was in high school. He received his B.S. in Engineering degree in Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering from Princeton University. He went on to study Mechanical Engineering at the University of California, Berkeley where he was awarded his M.S. in Engineering and Ph.D. degrees. In 1994, Andrew joined the faculty at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign where he remains today. Andrew has received many awards and honors throughout his career, including an NSF CAREER award, the Xerox Award for Faculty Research, a Fulbright Fellowship, and the SAE International Ralph R. Teetor Educational Award. In addition, Andrew was also named a Fellow of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers, and he has received their Gustus Larson Award, Charles Stark Draper Award for Innovative Practice, and Henry Paynter Outstanding Investigator Award. Andrew has joined us today to talk about his experiences in life and research.

Direct download: 706_Andrew_Alleyne_Final.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:01am EDT






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