List of Past BANG Seminars : 01-Sep-2012 to 31-Dec-2012


Date:   Thu, 13-Sept-2012
Speaker:   Panel of students, postdocs and faculty
Title:  How do I get a job in astronomy?

This year's Careers Paths series will kick off with a panel discussion on "How do I get an astronomy job?". The panelists include members of the department who are first time job seekers, postdocs who have recently shone in the job market, and faculty who have been involved in recent postdoc and faculty searches. After very brief (1-2min) introductory remarks from the panelists, the format will be a free Q&A/discussion between the panel and the audience moderated by Ashlee Wilkins and Gabriele Betancourt-Martinez.

For further information please contact Career Paths coordinator Dr. Chris Reynolds at chris@astro.umd.edu, 301-405-2682


Date:   Thu, 20-Sept-2012
Speaker:   Jennifer Greenamoyer (AIP)
Title:  Your Best Science-Policy Fellowship Application

Who gets awarded science-policy fellowships (and jobs)? You might think it’s the best qualified and sometimes that might be true – but time and again I have seen great candidates not get the consideration they deserve because they do not submit an excellent written application. This is especially true for scientists who might be more accustomed to analysis and crunching numbers than writing about the skills it takes to do analysis and crunch numbers. You might also think that people with the best connections and networks get these positions but this is also not true, most science-policy fellowship selections are done by external review committee – you can’t meet them at a conference and they won’t read your papers or review your data. If you are interested in considering a position outside of research science, your scientific accomplishments will only be one of many considerations reviewed by an employer or selection committee. At the American Institute of Physics, your application will be one of fifty for a single Congressional fellowship position, we will interview 6-8 applicants. An exceptional application can get your foot in the door, developing an exceptional application can mean fostering a different set of skills and taking on a different perspective.

Jen Greenamoyer has been with the American Institute of Physics Government Relations team since 2006, she works on Congressional & Administration advocacy and coordinates AIP’s Congressional and State Department fellowship programs. Prior to AIP, Jen worked for the Sea Grant Association, as a staffer on Capitol Hill and at the Environmental Protection Agency. Jen has her MSc in Chemical Oceanography and Masters’ of Marine Policy from the University of Rhode Island. She likes bridging the different worlds of science and politics, although this means she often doesn’t fit squarely in either one.

For further information please contact Career Paths coordinator Dr. Chris Reynolds at chris@astro.umd.edu, 301-405-2682


Date:   Thu, 25-Oct-2012
Speaker:   Rob Cavallo (LLNL)
Title:  Career Paths at LLNL, One Scientist’s Perspective

Located in the East Bay town of Livermore, California, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory is a privately operated Department of Energy national security laboratory whose main missions include stewardship of our national nuclear stockpile; nonproliferation and arms control; reduction of the threat of terrorism from weapons of mass destruction; and research in energetic materials, environmental science, basic and applied physics and chemistry, material science, photon science, energy, and biological sciences among many other disciplines. The Lab integrates the disciplines across fields to produce a dynamic and leading edge research environment that incorporates state-of-the art computational tools, experimental facilities and engineering resources into goal-oriented results.

Opportunities for research at the graduate school and post-doc level are myriad and available in multiple disciplines from computer science to basic research in most areas of science. A summer internship is an excellent way for a graduate student to learn about The Lab and to become familiar with both the science and scientists while giving the Lab staff an opportunity to evaluate the student’s skills.

A background in astrophysics is ideal for many of the research areas studied at The Lab. Astrophysics requires the ability to integrate multiple areas of physics from hydrodynamics, thermodynamics and radiation transport to E&M and signal processing with computational and mathematical/statistical skills to evaluate data relevant to both basic and applied research.

In this talk I will discuss my own journey through The Lab, with a detailed discussion of a materials science project that studies the behaviors of materials under extreme dynamic loading conditions. The project uses lasers to drive solid targets to pressures in excess of 1 Mbar and strain rates above 106 s-1 as a means of testing constitutive models. Recent successes have validated the Livermore Multi Scale strength model for tantalum while highlighting weaknesses in more traditional phenomenological models.

For further information please contact Career Paths coordinator Dr. Chris Reynolds at chris@astro.umd.edu, 301-405-2682


Date:   Tue, 08-Nov-2012
Speaker:   Claudia Knez (APL)
Title:  Working at APL

Abstract: The Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory, located in Laurel, MD provides job opportunities for scientists looking for jobs outside of academia while still being affiliated with a university. The work that goes on at the lab is very diverse. The Space Department at APL works on both NASA and Defense missions. I will discuss some of the NASA related missions that APL is working on.

For further information please contact Career Paths coordinator Dr. Chris Reynolds at chris@astro.umd.edu, 301-405-2682


Date:   Tue, 20-Nov-2012
Speaker:   Lisa Wei (AER)
Title:  How your Ph.D. fits in with research industry jobs

Abstract : After graduating from UMD in 2010, I moved to the Boston metro area for a postdoctoral fellowship with the Submillimeter Array at Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics. I recently left my postdoc for a senior research associate position at Atmospheric and Environmental Research (AER) working on a project that quantifies the risk of geomagnetic storms to our power grid. I will talk about why I decided to pursue a non-academic career track, my current research, other projects that AER is involved in, what sort of skills are valuable in the "real world", and anything else you would like to talk about.

For further information please contact Career Paths coordinator Dr. Chris Reynolds at chris@astro.umd.edu, 301-405-2682


Date:   Tue, 29-Nov-2012
Speaker:   Brian Vastag (Washington Post)
Title:  The press and science writing

For further information please contact Career Paths coordinator Dr. Chris Reynolds at chris@astro.umd.edu, 301-405-2682


Date:   Thu, 13-Dec-2012
Speaker:   Jean Cottam (NSF)
Title:  TBD

For further information please contact Career Paths coordinator Dr. Chris Reynolds at chris@astro.umd.edu, 301-405-2682


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