The Postdoctoral Society of Argonne recently elected new officers for the 2021 calendar year. The PSA Officers serve as the Executive Committee for the PSA Board and set the direction for PSA efforts. Last year’s PSA Board wrote and approved the new PSA Charter as we became an Employee Resource Group (ERG), moved all our social and professional development events to virtual and organized yet another successful Annual Postdoctoral Research and Career Symposium. The 2021 Officers are excited to build on these successes, while spearheading new initiatives. Please welcome the 2021 PSA Officers!
President, Juan Diego Colmenares Fernandez:
I received my PhD from the Department of Mechanical Engineering at the University of New Mexico (UNM), having done my previous studies at the Universidad de los Andes, Colombia. I started working at Argonne in 2019 as a postdoctoral appointee in the Energy Systems Division, doing research in computational modeling of fuel sprays for internal combustion engine applications using the HPC resources at the lab. I was president of the Mechanical Engineering Graduate Student Association at UNM and I lead the Company Outreach subcommittee for the 2020 Argonne Postdoctoral Research and Career Symposium.
As President of PSA, I would like to explore new ways to engage with postdocs at Argonne so they feel supported through these trying times. I would like to promote social activities, since I’ve found that Argonne postdocs are not only intelligent, but also incredibly kind and talented outside of work. Finally, I would like to support the efforts from the PSA to help postdocs find their career path, whether inside or outside of Argonne.
Vice President, Lily Robertson:
My background starts with a love for new ideas. In high school, I discovered a love of chemistry and distilled my creativity into a scientific career. I’ve moved east from graduate school in Colorado to postdoc in Illinois at UIUC and Argonne and now work on flow batteries. My credentials include serving on the Postdoc Symposium Organizing Committee (ANL), a department climate committee (UIUC), and a non-profit board. As PSA Vice President I will champion postdocs whose career paths and sense of community feel uncertain during Covid-19. Postdocs need a way to reengage and reconnect. I will seek to connect us in ways that overcome BlueJeans fatigue including social activities like introducing each other to family recipes and open mic nights and networking activities with non-Postdoc staff and crossdivision working groups. With skills and strengths provided by the PSA, postdocs will never walk alone in their career paths.
Secretary, Cody Nunno:
I am the current Secretary of the Postdoc Society of Argonne, serving a second term. I work in the Energy Systems division in the Multi-Physics Computation group, performing CFD simulations on combustion devices. Prior to coming to Argonne, I was a PhD student at Princeton University in the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering. While at Princeton, I spent 5 years as a member of the MAE Graduate Student Committee, including two years as the chair, addressing issues that affected graduate students in our department and serving as a liaison between the administration and the graduate student body. I don’t have any grand or specific plans as PSA secretary, other than to continue to serve as a communicator to the Argonne postdoc community, but I enjoy service, and I look forward to the opportunity to continue to give back to the postdoc community here at Argonne.
Social Liaison, Andrea Nicolas:
I am currently a Postdoctoral Associate at Argonne National Laboratory under the Applied Materials Division, working on the evaluation of Additive Manufacturing Technologies (AMTs) for nuclear applications, the uncertainty quantification of nuclear materials, and the development of frameworks that can evaluate both metallic and nonmetallic nuclear components using ASME rules. I received an MS and a PhD in Aerospace Engineering from Purdue University, where I focused on the environmental damage of aerospace-grade materials from both a mechanical and a chemical perspective. Prior to graduate school I worked for ITP aero as a structural analyst, where I worked on the development and production of aircraft turbine components subjected to high-temperature working conditions. During my graduate studies I acted as social chair for the aerospace graduate student organization at Purdue. I enjoy organizing events that brings people together, especially when they relate to celebrating cultural holidays across the world. I hope that my contributions as social chair will enable the postdocs across Argonne to keep a sense of community in the current virtual environment.