Our research community is grappling with problems that can change the future for the Earth—and discover more about Mars. And pioneers are creating innovative technology applications that touch virtually everyone’s lives—through the electronics we use to the medical devices that keep us alive. Opportunities abound in the theory and practice of our burgeoning field, with new discoveries and applications developed practically every day.
Making a difference in your community
For students just entering the field, finding a path for their research and career development can seem overwhelming and intimidating. Fortunately, ECS has many programs to welcome students to the field’s close-knit community and help to make its resources and people truly accessible. Getting involved in a student chapter is a great way to stand out and support early career colleagues. With over 81 chapters worldwide, student leaders get involved in many ways. From sponsoring local K-12 STEM education events to hosting symposia with invited speakers from your research community, there are many ways to share what inspires you about electrochemistry and be inspired by your colleagues.
“I’m sure most universities are similar to mine: you have all these research groups who’ve never met before. I do corrosion, but I might not know anything about spectroscopy. So with the help of ECS, we can bring research graduate students from different groups together at events and make these inter-university connections.”
– Jeff Henderson, past president and co-founder University of Waterloo ECS Student Chapter
Advancing research and developing successful leaders
Each year the Society provides a wide array of awards, summer fellowships, travel grants, and training and development that help to shape new scientists and showcase their accomplishments.
Taking advantage of even some of what ECS has to offer can be an enormous boost to your career. A great example is the Summer Fellowship Program, a generous grant program that has helped to launch student careers since 1928. Each summer, up to four students are selected to pursue their research with a generous fellowship grant. In 2016, the Colin Garfield Fink Summer Fellowship was established to offer an opportunity for postdoctoral scientists and engineers to distinguish themselves and advance their work.
Jeffrey D. Henderson, PhD Candidate, Department of Chemistry, University of Western Ontario
“Currently, I am wrapping up my PhD degree, and will graduate by the end of summer 2020. After that, I plan to work in industry and apply my knowledge of electrochemistry, corrosion, and surface analysis to tackle real-world problems. I am tapping into ECS resources to help me line up an interesting position for the fall,” said Jeffrey.
He noted, “The ECS Summer Fellowship was an awesome experience and REALLY benefited the overall quality of my PhD thesis. My time as a fellow at Chimie Paris Tech, where I was ably mentored by Xuejie Li, led to four publications (2 published and 2 in the pipeline – see Interface article) and an ongoing collaboration. My collaborator/supervisor, Jamie Noël, and I plan to submit our findings to the Journal of the Electrochemical Society. Last but not least, I am grateful for ECS’s additional support in the form of a travel grant that enabled me to fly to and from Paris.”
The fellowship was not Jeffrey’s first or last engagement with ECS. He has regularly attended events and meetings, including the one where he made an acquaintance that led to his becoming an ECS member and working in Paris. Jeffrey also serves on the ECS Individual Membership Committee, at the invitation of ECS Past President, Yue Kuo.
Haegyeom Kim, Staff Scientist, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory
“I was promoted from a postdoc to a staff scientist position in March 2019. My ECS summer fellowship was really helpful to prepare for my new role. The Colin Garfield Fink Summer Fellowship helped me develop my capability to lead my own research as a principle investigator. That’s an opportunity that most student or postdoc-level researchers don’t get. The experience of preparing the proposal and managing the budget, for example, changed my perspective on what’s involved and important for a project to succeed in the real world,” said Kim.
Kim’s research focuses on understanding the correlation of the electrochemical properties in the battery system. “During the fellowship, I studied on how to alkaline ion species like lithium, sodium and potassium can affect its electrochemical property in the electromaterials,” he explained. “I am now continuing to investigate how to design the and managing the budget, for example, changed my perspective on what’s involved and important for a project to succeed in the real world,” said Kim.
Kim’s research focuses on understanding the correlation of the electrochemical properties in the battery system. “During the fellowship, I studied on how to alkaline ion species like lithium, sodium and potassium can affect its electrochemical property in the electromaterials,” he explained. “I am now continuing to investigate how to design the electromaterials for specific alkaline batteries.”
Kim’s and Jeffrey’s stories are unique, but the connections, opportunities, support and encouragement they received from ECS are not. Where will your ECS membership take you? As the 26th US President Teddy Roosevelt said, “Believe you can and you’re halfway there.” ECS helps with the rest!
When you join or renew, let us know when you expect to receive your next degree, so ECS can offer you more opportunities to inspire and lead our community.