Careers & Advancement


  Materials Research Society Foundation
The following are instructors for MRS professional development sessions at the Spring and Fall Meetings. For information about Science Writing Workshop instructors and guest scientists, visit the Science Writing Workshops page.

Sunshine Menezes, Metcalf Institute

Sunshine MenezesSunshine Menezes has served as executive director of the Metcalf Institute at the University of Rhode Island Graduate School of Oceanography (URI GSO) and associate director for communication in the URI GSO Office of Marine Programs since 2006. Prior to focusing her communication efforts on improving news coverage of the environment, she developed national and state-level environmental policy, first as a Dean John Knauss National Sea Grant Marine Policy Fellow with Congressman Frank Pallone, Jr. and later as part of a multidisciplinary team at the URI Coastal Resources Center and Rhode Island Sea Grant. Menezes received a B.S. in zoology from Michigan State University, a Ph.D. in biological oceanography from the URI Graduate School of Oceanography, and was a Rhode Island Foundation Fellow from 2013-2014.

Menezes frequently gives lectures about the importance of science communication, working with the news media, and how to become a more effective science communicator.

Tatiana Vakhitova, Granta Design, Ltd.

Tatiana VakhitovaTatiana Vakhitova holds a Ph.D. in engineering from the Centre for Sustainable Development and an MPhil from the Land Economy Department (University of Cambridge, UK).

Prior to her graduate studies, Tatiana gained professional experience in a real estate consultancy, in a manufacturing company, and in a newspaper. Tatiana, as a part of Education Division of Granta Design, develops teaching resources in the area of sustainable development. Tatiana is also responsible for the development of projects with universities in Central and Eastern Europe.

Her research interests are in the area of engineering and design sustainability teaching, accreditation, resource efficiency, social impact assessment and CSR. Her recent collaborative publications include: “Taking stock: sustainability in engineering teaching: case of CES EduPack - software for teaching” (Vakhitova, Shercliff and Ashby 2015); “Material Risk and Corporate Sustainability” (Vakhitova and Ashby 2014); “Practical Competences as Learning Outcomes Using CES EduPack” (Vakhitova and Fredriksson 2013). 

Alan Rae, IncubatorWorks Inc.

Alan RaeAlan Rae has worked in the electronics, ceramics, nanotechnology and “clean tech” industries for over 30 years in the USA and UK, managing global businesses and technology development at startup, operating company and corporate levels.

He currently is executive director of IncubatorWorks, leading the development of the business and manufacturing incubators at the Elmira-Corning Airport Corporate Park, along with directing operations at the Innovation Centers in Alfred, New York, and Painted Post, New York.

Alan has been involved in sustainability issues throughout his career, for example in developing a business plan for solder recycling, implementing the transition to lead-free solder in a global electronics company, chairing the sustainability group for ISO TC229 for 2 years, heading up a rare earth recycling venture and consulting on life cycle assessments for solar power and solar thermal film companies.

Alaina G. Levine, Quantum Success Solutions

Alaina LevineAlaina G. Levine is an award-winning entrepreneur, science journalist, science and engineering careers consultant, professional speaker and corporate comedian.

As president of Quantum Success Solutions, a career consulting enterprise with a focus on advancing the professional development expertise of scientists and engineers, she has been advising emerging and established scientists and engineers about their careers for over a decade, and has consulted with tens of thousands of early- and mid-career scientific and engineering professionals.

Levine has also served as a contributor to National Geographic and currently pens the career columns for Physics Today and the American Physical Society's international publication, APS News. Her new book on networking strategies for scientists and engineers, Networking for Nerds, was published in July 2015. It debuted as the Number 1 New Release in Zoology on Amazon and it is now in its third printing.