On my way to the postdoctorate

Hey Internet,

Change is always ongoing. Change is good. In evolution processes, it is typically a balance between compartmentalization processes and consolidation processes.

On 10 April 2014 (THE planned date), I will (hopefully) defend my thesis in front of a committee (sort of, the "judges" are called evaluators). In the previous sentence I added the word hopefully inside parentheses because technically, my university is still waiting for one thesis evaluation report (there is a total of 5 of them if you wonder). I submitted my thesis on 12 December 2013.

My schedule is not too far off my initial 2010 planning, but it is.

I am really looking forward to join Argonne National Laboratory to work at the CELS (Computing, Environment and  Life Sciences) directorate. Technically I will be with MCS (Mathematics and Computer Science), a division of CELS. But I prefer the meaning of CELS than the one of MCS.

According to Peter B. Littlewood (the new director at Argonne) in a Chicago Business article : Our biggest challenge, really, is to make materials with the level of control we have with biology” through genetic engineering, he added. “These will be the manufacturing technologies of the future” for solar cells, batteries and many other things. As he mentions in the Chicago Business article,  supercomputing facilities and ultra-fast computing are Argonne means to reach their goals in energy research.

If you connect the dots, manufacturing using biology (check out Angela Belcher's TED talk to learn more) will change how stuff is made.

I really look forward to work at Argonne in computing, environment and life sciences. I will report to Rick L. Stevens (check out his TEDx talk about microbiomes). As an illustration of my interest in the mission of Argonne, I declined opportunities at several companies including Illumina, Synthego, Facebook, Google, Palantir, and NVIDIA. Working at these companies would have been different, but presumably nice too.

Regarding my fellowship/scholarship applications (submitted or successful or unsuccessful):

  • Fonds de recherche du Québec, Postdoctoral research scholarship (B3): submitted
  • Argonne National Laboratory Named Postdoctoral Fellowships: unsuccessful (7th, only 4 funded)
  • Banting Postdoctoral Fellowships: unsuccessful (my application was rejected because I needed a doctorate to apply)
  • Canadian Institutes of Health Research Fellowships: submitted
  • James Hardy Wilkinson Fellowship in Scientific Computing: unsuccessful ("upper portion of the candidates")
  • Margaret Butler Fellowship in Computational Science: unsuccessful (the submission link was not working at all)
  • Argonne Director's Fellowships: submitted

I am arriving in Chicagoland in April too. Changes caused by that include: less French speaking.


René Paradis said...

I wish you the best of the success out there!

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