What are your main responsibilities or activities in your current position?
Microscopy, material characterization, research, methods development, fuel cell electrode structure-property-performance correlations
How does your current work relate to your graduate degree?
During my graduate degree I learned about fuel cell fundamentals, testing, materials fabrication and characterization. These are the skills that I am currently using.
What do you like and what do you find challenging about your current position?
I love the everyday challenges that research brings, solving problems and finding solutions. The most challenging aspect of research is finding sufficient funding.
Is your current career path as you originally intended?
No, at first I thought I would to go into academia. But the offer from industry came before I even started applying to universities. I could not refuse this good opportunity, where I thought I would gain valuable experience that would help me even if I later go to academia. I now enjoy the research in industry that still allows me to collaborate with universities.
What motivated you to pursue graduate work at UBC?
Great campus, my supervisor's reputation, good prospects after graduation.
What did you enjoy the most about your time as a graduate student at UBC?
Living at the Acadia Family Housing was the best experience I and my family had. My kids grew up in a great neighborhood, green spaces, playgrounds, close to schools and everything we needed. It was a very happy time, with lots of friends and great moments. Also, my supervisor Dr. Wilkinson was very supportive and accommodating, which made my experience as a graduate student and a mom of three very positive.
What key things did you do, or what attitudes or approaches did you have, that contributed to your success?
Exactly what I said in the previous question. In addition, I always showed strong initiative and enthusiasm.
What is your best piece of advice for current graduate students preparing for their future careers?
Always keep a good track record behind you. Leave as best impression as you can on everyone who you worked with or interacted with. Be honest, hard-working, responsible and ethical. Also, stay in touch with your contacts.
Did you have any breaks in your education?
I had a break between my undergraduate degree in Serbia and graduate studies in Canada, during which I worked for 5 years in industry and then immigrated to Canada. It was partially planned. Every experience is important, so this break brought me a lot of new knowledge and skills, as well maturity.
How did you find out about/obtain your current position?
I kept in touch with my contacts and they knew I was close to completing my degree when they offered me a postdoc position.
What challenges did you face in your graduate degree, or in launching your career?
Balancing studies/work and family was quite challenging. But also very enjoyable. I would not do it differently. You just need a good support from you spouse or family.
How are jobs normally posted and filled in your organization or industry?
The jobs are always posted on-line and applicants go through a regular interview process.