Women in Materials Science & Engineering Keynote Talk

Wednesday, December 1
7:00 am – 8:30 am
Sheraton, 2nd Floor, Grand Ballroom

Cherie Kagan
University of Pennsylvania
Can You Get a Job with a Degree in Materials Science & Engineering?

During my first year in college, my parents asked whether I will be able to get a job in my chosen field. Fortunately, the answer was “Yes!” I will talk about my career experiences, focusing on three topics: (1) Career Path: Why I do not recommend that my students take the same path I did. (2) Mentorship: Why you are never too old to have a mentor. (3) Science and Engineering: Learning from the past and asking what is next in your future.


The MRS Women in Materials Science & Engineering Breakfast event is intended to promote interaction across various ethnic, cultural and gender boundaries and facilitate dialogue among women (and men) working in or pursuing education toward a profession in materials science or engineering.

About Cherie Kagan

Cherie R. Kagan is the Stephen J. Angello Professor of Electrical and Systems Engineering, professor of materials science and engineering, and professor of chemistry at the University of Pennsylvania. She is also Penn Engineering’s Associate Dean for Research, the 2021 President of the Materials Research Society, and an associate editor of ACS Nano.

Kagan graduated from the University of Pennsylvania in 1991 with a BSE degree in materials science and engineering and a BA degree in mathematics, and earned her PhD degree in materials science and engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1996. In 1996, she went to Bell Labs as a postdoctoral fellow, and in 1998, she joined IBM’s T. J. Watson Research Center, where she most recently managed the “Molecular Assemblies and Devices Group.”

In 2007, she joined the faculty of the University of Pennsylvania. The Kagan group’s research is focused on studying the chemical and physical properties of nanostructured materials and integrating these materials in electronic, optoelectronic and optical devices. The group combines the flexibility of chemistry and bottom-up assembly with top-down fabrication techniques to design novel materials and devices, and explores the structure and function of these materials and their devices. Kagan is the director of a newly awarded NSF Engineering Research Center on the Internet of Things for Precision Agriculture.

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