UB Symposium on Job and Career Perspectives for Students in the Computational Sciences*

The group (led by Johannes and Atif) has initiated the annual “UB Symposium on Job and Career Perspectives for Students in the Computational Sciences” and has been organizing this event every spring since its inaugural edition in 2015. Since 2016, it is part of the UB CDSE Days and traditionally represents its final event. We have put an emphasis on winning a broad base of stakeholders for this event and it is now sponsored and supported by the UB School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (SEAS), the Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering (CBE), the Department of Materials Design and Innovation (MDI), the Computational and Data-Enabled Science and Engineering Graduate Program (CDSE), the New York State Center of Excellence in Materials Informatics (CMI), the Center for Computational Research (CCR), the Center for Unified Biometrics and Sensors (CUBS), the Graduate Student Association (GSA), and the Computational Science Club (CSC).

The goal of the symposium is to address the questions of students who work (or plan to work) in the computational research groups at UB regarding their career prospects once they conclude their university education. Every year, we are inviting five speakers to this full-day event, and their combined experience has so far covered jobs at BASF, BigDataBio, Bosch, Cryos Net Consultancy, Dow Chemical, Eastman Kodak, HGST/Western Digital, IBM, Kitware, NASA, Nexight Group, NIH, NIST, NREL, Pfizer, PNNL, Q-Chem, Schlumberger/OneSubsea, and Wiley. Our speakers have typically conducted computational research during graduate school (including at UB) and then transitioned into employment outside the university domain. They share their experience of finding jobs coming from a computational background, their move from academia to their new environment, and their thoughts on the computational R&D landscape in the industry. They report on the job situation in their chosen profession, give insights into the nature of their work, and talk about opportunities with their specific employers (we actually encourage people to use this event to promotion their company, their work, and, if applicable, as a recruiting opportunity). Each presentation is followed by a Q&A session and we hold a joint panel discussion with all speakers at the end of the symposium. Students have the chance for personal conversations with the speakers during a light lunch.

Speakers 2015:

  • Opening remarks by Prof. Gary F. Dargush (Associate Dean For Research And Graduate Education),
  • Prof. Michel Dupuis (UB, previously PNNL, IBM, UB Alumnus),
  • Dr. Roel Sánchez-Carrera (BASF, previously Bosch),
  • Dr. Roberto Olivares-Amaya (BigDataBio),
  • Dr. Matteo Cavalleri (Wiley),
  • Prof. Edward Furlani (UB, previously Eastman Kodak, UB Alumnus).

Speakers 2016:

  • Opening remarks by Prof. Abani Patra (Director of UB CDSE),
  • Dr. Scott Wierzchowski (Shell Oil, UB Alumnus) – cancelled due to weather,
  • Dr. Changwon Suh (Nexight Group, previously NREL),
  • Dr. Alexander Sodt (NIH/NICHD, previously Q-Chem),
  • Dr. Marcus Hanwell (Kitware, previously Cryos Net Consultancy),
  • Dr. Frederick Phelan, Jr. (NIST, UB Alumnus).

Speakers 2017:

  • Opening remarks by Dr. Liesl Folks (Dean of UB SEAS),
  • Dr. Eric Grzelak (Schlumberger/OneSubsea, UB Alumnus),
  • Dr. Timothy J. Lee (NASA),
  • Dr. Jonathan D. Moore (Dow Chemical),
  • Dr. Romelia Salomón-Ferrer (Pfizer),
  • Dr. Derek Stewart (HGST/Western Digital).

(* The original name of the symposium used in 2015 and 2016 was “UB Symposium on Computational Science: An Industrial and Career Perspective”.)