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MRS Press Release

MRS and TMS Announce 2019-2020 Congressional Science and Engineering Fellow

July 23, 2019
Press & Public Relations Contact:

Erin Hasinger
Communications Manager
Materials Research Society
Tel 724.779.2739

WARRENDALE, PA—The Materials Research Society (MRS) and The Minerals, Metals & Materials Society (TMS) have selected Alexander Martin, postdoctoral fellow in the Molecular Design Institute at New York University’s Department of Chemistry, as the 2019-2020 MRS/TMS Congressional Science and Engineering Fellow. Through the fellowship, Martin will serve a one-year term working as a special legislative assistant on the staff of a member of Congress or congressional committee.

The purpose of the Congressional Fellowships program is to bring technical and scientific backgrounds and external perspectives to the decision-making process in Congress. Typically, Fellows conduct legislative or oversight work, assist in Congressional hearings and debates, prepare briefs, and write speeches as a part of their daily responsibilities.

“I am incredibly grateful to have received the 2019-2020 MRS/TMS Congressional Science and Engineering Fellowship,” said Martin. “During my time on the Hill, I am excited to use my technical background in physical chemistry and materials science to advise policymakers on energy and climate policy topics. The Congressional fellowship provides a unique opportunity for scientists to develop an understanding of the political and procedural elements that accompany policy analysis throughout the legislative process. I am looking forward to learning how science and scientists can best help policymakers to enact evidence-based legislation that benefits society.”

Martin will begin his fellowship in early September in Washington, D.C., starting with an intensive science policy orientation, facilitated by the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), which will introduce Executive Branch Fellows and Congressional Fellows from more than three dozen scientific societies to the fellowship program. Following orientation, Martin will go through an interview and selection process with offices of senators, representatives, or committees on Capitol Hill. Offices will extend offers, and he will choose the office in which to spend his fellowship year.

Each year, following a formal application process, finalists are interviewed and a Fellow is selected by committees comprised of volunteer members from MRS and TMS.

For more information on this award and to read about the experiences of past fellows, visit the Congressional Fellows section of the MRS website.

About Alexander Martin

Alexander Martin earned his Ph.D. in physical chemistry from New York University (NYU) in 2018 and his B.S. in chemistry from Boston College in 2013. During his undergraduate career, he conducted atmospheric physical chemistry research related to oxidation pathways, visible light absorption, and the associated radiative forcing of organic aerosols. In his doctoral dissertation, Martin developed polarimetric and ellipsometric measurement techniques and optical modeling methods for material characterization of optically active crystals, thin films, metamaterials, and multilayer structures. These techniques have applications in quality control for optoelectronic devices (e.g., solar cells, LCDs, and nonlinear optics) and expand the range of materials that can be easily characterized using common polarized light instruments.

Outside of the lab, Martin has served as a U.S. delegate for the CliMates think tank, a student-run environmental policy group that analyzes national and global policy solutions to mitigate the risks of climate change. During graduate school, Martin served as co-president of the NYU Chemists' Club and organized the Bonding Conference (2017, 2018), an annual sustainability conference aimed at professionals in the chemical, energy, and technology sectors that addresses the United Nations Sustainability Development Goals from a private sector perspective. Additionally, Martin has experience in technology transfer through his work with the NYU Office of Industrial Liaison, where he helped academic researchers build funding and regulatory strategies for technologies developed at NYU.

After earning his doctorate, Martin joined the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine as a Mirzayan Fellow with the Board on Energy and Environmental Systems, where he currently works on projects for the Department of Energy and the Department of Transportation. Through the MRS/TMS Congressional Science and Engineering Fellowship, Martin hopes to address legislative issues related to vehicle fuel economy standards, electric grid modernization, renewable energy, and industrial decarbonization.

About The Minerals, Metals & Materials Society

The Minerals, Metals & Materials Society (TMS) is a professional society that connects minerals, metals, and materials scientists and engineers who work in industry, academia, and government positions around the world. TMS creates networking, publication, and professional development opportunities by convening international conferences, publishing books and journals, administering awards, conducting short courses and training, and bringing together the professional community to address issues of common concern. TMS currently supports nearly 14,000 professional and student members in 80 countries on six continents. Learn more at www.tms.org.

About the Materials Research Society

MRS is an organization of more than 11,500 materials researchers from academia, industry and government worldwide, and a recognized leader in promoting the advancement of interdisciplinary materials research and technology to improve the quality of life. MRS members are students and professionals hailing from physics, chemistry, biology, mathematics and engineering—the full spectrum of materials research. Headquartered in Warrendale, Pennsylvania (USA), MRS membership now spans over 80 countries, with 45 percent of members residing outside the United States.

MRS serves and engages members across generations to advance their careers and promote materials research and innovation. The Society produces high-quality meetings and publications, assuring that members of all career stages can present and publish their most important and timely work to an international and interdisciplinary audience. MRS continues to expand its professional development portfolio, as well as promote diversity and inclusion in the scientific workforce, with career services for researchers worldwide. The Society advocates for the importance of scientific research and innovation to policymakers and the community. And the MRS Awards program honors those whose work has already had a major impact in the field, as well as those whose work shows great promise for future leadership.

For more information about the Materials Research Society visit mrs.org and follow @Materials_MRS.