Name: Michelle Dolgos

Area of study / position title:  Materials Chemistry, Assistant Professor

Why chemistry? (What about it initially interested you, etc.)  My path to chemistry was fairly long.  I always loved science and my first career choice as a child was an astronomer, then a pathologist, then a geologist, then a marine biologist (even though I had never seen the ocean or been on a boat).  When I started college, I wanted to go to medical school like everyone else who is interested in science, but I got bored with all the biology classes.  I loved my general chemistry class, so decided to switch majors.  Then, my sophomore year, I almost left the chemistry profession because of Organic Chemistry, but decided to stick it out for one more semester and just get a minor if I decided it wasn’t my thing.   I ended up taking P-chem next and fell back in love with chemistry.  I decided to stay in the field, and I’m happy that I did.

Research focus (in non-science terms) or basic job duties?  My research focus is trying to understand how the structure of a material relates to the properties.  Then once we gain that knowledge for a particular system, we can rationally design new materials with improved properties. I consider myself a solid state chemist, but I have been known to work with thin films or amorphous materials on occasion.

One thing that you truly love about your job?  Writing grant proposals.  Just kidding.  I love working with grad students and watching them develop from student to scientist.

One interesting/strange factoid about yourself.  I am a loyal watcher of a certain daytime soap opera, which people are surprised by for some reason.   Also, I enjoy torturing myself doing Shawn T’s Insanity workouts every morning.

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