Jasna Jankovic

I love the everyday challenges that research brings, solving problems and finding solutions.
University of Connecticut
Assistant Professor
Belgrade, Serbia
Storrs, United States
Proton-conductive intermediate temperature fuel cells
David Wilkinson

Where and what is your current position?

Microscopy, material characterization, research, methods development, fuel cell electrode structure-property-performance correlations

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.

How does this job 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 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 are key things you did 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.

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.

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.