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October 22nd, 2009
They're known as "hot jobs" - islands of workforce growth upon an otherwise stingy job scene. Across a sampling of disciplines, Boston College PhDs are successfully launching their careers in these areas - both inside and outside of academe - despite a difficult employment climate.
Bed Poudel PhD '07 went from the lab of Physics Professor Zhifeng Ren to a start-up company commercializing nanotechnology devices based on the advanced thermoelectric materials first developed in Ren's lab.
"It is an exciting field and it is growing," said Poudel, the manager of thermoelectric research and development at GMZ Energy, based in Waltham, which uses nanotechnology to generate electrical power from the sun's heat producing green energy. "It is interesting work and I think it has a good future. When you accomplish something, you feel like you have done something to protect the environment."
Likewise, physicist Yang Wang PhD '06 is also working in nanotechnology at a company with roots in BC research: Solasta Corp., a Newton-based start-up using nanotechnology to improve the performance of solar energy collection.
Work in a start-up entails long hours, but Wang says he's in a perfect place: still firmly rooted in scientific research, but working to perfect an application that could ultimately changes the lives of people around the world.
"You've got to love what you do," said Wang, who spent two years as a post-doctoral fellow at MIT prior to joining Solasta. "The time you spend in the lab is an opportunity to learn as well as to achieve something nobody else has done before. I get a lot of motivation from that."
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