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Kalee Francis Rozylowicz | Student Spotlight

"As an NSF GRFP Fellow and SGF Art and Mary Fong fellow, I have had the privilege and opportunity to follow the research that excites me"

 

Kalee Francis Rozylowicz

Ph.D. Student
Materials Science and Engineering

"As an NSF GRFP Fellow and SGF Art and Mary Fong fellow, I have had the privilege and opportunity to follow the research that excites me."

I study a class of organic materials that can conduct both ions and electrons.  This class of materials catches my interest because of the contrasting conductive mechanisms of computers, which rely on electrons, and the human brain, which operates with ions. This presents immense opportunity in studying these materials that are capable of bridging these two worlds. My research is in-part motivated by the prospect of utilizing these mixed conductors to design neuromorphic, or "brain-like" devices.  By emulating computational processes of the human brain, we may be able to achieve efficient computing that scales better with our need for computation.  

Organic mixed ionic electronic-based devices are also tunable.  Beyond microfabrication and device design, I am curious to learn about the fundamental science of what happens when we apply a potential to these mixed conducting semiconductor materials.  This has prompted me to explore how changing the charge density might change other properties of the material, such as the refractive index.  

Designing, fabricating, and characterizing devices has afforded me a lot of experience with very expensive equipment.  I have loved (most of) my time in the cleanroom processing wafers and doing spectroscopic ellipsometry.  My access to the Stanford facilities has inspired me to teach and commit to outreach.  I elected to be a teaching assistant for "Introduction to Microfabrication" (EE312), and I also co-teach the materials science class for Stanford Splash.  

As an NSF GRFP Fellow and SGF Art and Mary Fong fellow, I have had the privilege and opportunity to follow the research that excites me.  In addition to this freedom in research, my advisor, Professor Salleo, has always supported my call to engage in my community outside of the lab.  I was elected and serve as one of the Presidents of the department’s Materials Research Society.  In this role, I orchestrate and moderate department town halls, teach practice qualifying exam sessions, host local professionals, and help to produce events that build community connections within our department.  

I grew up in a military family in Annapolis, Maryland.  Engaging in outreach has caused me to reflect on how I was exposed to STEM fields and how that shaped my childhood aspirations.  I recall wanting to be a 'Mad scientist'. Now that I am in graduate school, it is clear to me that the mad scientist archetype does not make for a good colleague. I strive to not only contribute to advancements in my field but also to foster a community where empathy and respect can thrive alongside academic excellence."

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