Fellow Reflection: Kristen John
Discipline: Aerospace Engineering
Practicum: Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory
Hometown: The Woodlands, Texas
Explain why you have an interest in stewardship science.
My interest in stewardship science began with my interest in studying the properties of materials for space applications. As a graduate student in aerospace engineering, my research will involve characterizing material properties. By understanding how these materials behave under the extreme conditions of space, I can contribute back to the stewardship science body of knowledge.
Why did the DOE NNSA SSGF program appeal to you?
In addition to providing funding for my graduate education, the DOE NNSA SSGF program also appealed to me because it allows me to pursue graduate research in a topic that interests me (properties of materials under extreme conditions). Additionally, the DOE NNSA SSGF practicum that I will partake in will give me the amazing opportunity to work at a DOE laboratory, and may lead to an opportunity to work full time at a national lab after earning my Ph.D.
Explain the benefits you have received or positive experiences you have had in the DOE NNSA SSGF program.
On top of the financial benefits of the program, DOE NNSA SSGF has been an amazing way to meet other students, professors and DOE employees in similar fields. At the annual conference last summer in D.C., I had the chance to learn about other students’ research projects, meet many employees from the DOE and DOE labs, and get a feel for what to expect in the coming years of graduate research and beyond. The chance to be a fellow is such an honor and I am so grateful to be a part of the DOE NNSA SSGF program.
Describe your career goal(s) in the field of stewardship science.
After completing my Ph.D. in aerospace engineering and my research on the properties of materials under the extreme conditions of space, my goal is to hopefully become employed at one the national labs as a researcher. After completing my practicum next year, and potentially a second practicum the following year, I hope to have a good idea of which lab is best for me.
List or describe some of your hobbies and interests outside of your research / studies.
Outside of graduate classes and research, I like to spend my time traveling, exploring new places, swimming and biking, and catching up with friends and family.