Careers & Advancement


  Materials Research Society Foundation
The following are instructors for MRS professional development sessions at the Spring and Fall Meetings. For information about Science Writing Workshop instructors and guest scientists, visit the Science Writing Workshops page.

Mike Ashby, Granta Design, Ltd.

Mike AshbyMike Ashby, emeritus professor in the Department of Engineering at the University of Cambridge, is a world-renowned authority on engineering materials being the author/co-author of best-selling textbooks and of over 200 papers on mechanisms of plasticity and fracture, powder compaction, mechanisms of wear, methodologies for materials selection, and the modeling of material shaping processes, among other topics.

Ashby is recipient of numerous awards and honors including Fellow of the Royal Society and member of the American Academy of Engineering. He has been a professor at Harvard University and held academic positions in Germany and France. He is also co-founder of Granta Design and guides development of Granta’s CES EduPack.

Janet Callahan, Boise State University

Janet Callahan

Janet Callahan is chair and professor of the Micron School of Materials Science and Engineering at Boise State University. With BS, MS and PhD degrees from the University of Connecticut, Janet has been active in accreditation since 2005 and was nominated to serve ACerS as their commissioner to the Engineering Accreditation Commission in 2015.


Ron Gibala, University of Michigan

Ron Gibala

Ron Gibala is the L.H. and F.E. Van Vlack Professor Emeritus at the University of Michigan. His research includes many topics on mechanical behavior of materials, defects in solids, environmental effects on materials and materials characterization. His activity with engineering accreditation involves serving as a program evaluator and team chair (Commissioner) for the Engineering Accreditation Commission of ABET. He has evaluated or consulted for engineering programs in more than 30 colleges and universities nationally and internationally.


Bill Hammetter, Sandia National Laboratories (retired)

William Hammetter

Bill Hammetter is the former manager of the Advanced Materials Laboratory at Sandia National Laboratories.  He has served as the Chair of the Accreditation Subcommittee for MRS, in addition to serving as an ABET program evaluator for 13 years and a commissioner on ABET’s Engineering Accreditation Commission for six years.

Gregg M. Janowski, The University of Alabama at Birmingham

Gregg JanowskiGregg M. Janowski is associate provost for assessment and accreditation and professor of materials science and engineering at the University of Alabama at Birmingham.  He received his B.S.Met.E. (1983), M.S.Met.E. (1985), and Ph.D. (1988) from Michigan Technological University. Janowski joined UAB as an assistant professor in 1990 after a post-doctoral appointment in the Metallurgy Division of the National Institute of Standards and Technology.  His activities include leading EAC/ABET program reaccreditation for three cycles, overseeing the school efforts for one cycle, and having overall responsibility for university regional reaffirmation. Janowski has part of seven EAC/ABET reviews as a PEV, co-chair, or chair.

Alaina G. Levine, Quantum Success Solutions

Alaina LevineAlaina G. Levine is an award-winning entrepreneur, science journalist, science and engineering careers consultant, professional speaker and corporate comedian.

As president of Quantum Success Solutions, a career consulting enterprise with a focus on advancing the professional development expertise of scientists and engineers, she has been advising emerging and established scientists and engineers about their careers for over a decade, and has consulted with tens of thousands of early- and mid-career scientific and engineering professionals.

Levine has also served as a contributor to National Geographic and currently pens the career columns for Physics Today and the American Physical Society's international publication, APS News. Her new book on networking strategies for scientists and engineers, Networking for Nerds, was published in July 2015. It debuted as the Number 1 New Release in Zoology on Amazon and it is now in its third printing.

Sunshine Menezes, Metcalf Institute

Sunshine MenezesSunshine Menezes has served as executive director of the Metcalf Institute at the University of Rhode Island Graduate School of Oceanography (URI GSO) and associate director for communication in the URI GSO Office of Marine Programs since 2006. Prior to focusing her communication efforts on improving news coverage of the environment, she developed national and state-level environmental policy, first as a Dean John Knauss National Sea Grant Marine Policy Fellow with Congressman Frank Pallone, Jr. and later as part of a multidisciplinary team at the URI Coastal Resources Center and Rhode Island Sea Grant. Menezes received a B.S. in zoology from Michigan State University, a Ph.D. in biological oceanography from the URI Graduate School of Oceanography, and was a Rhode Island Foundation Fellow from 2013-2014.

Menezes frequently gives lectures about the importance of science communication, working with the news media, and how to become a more effective science communicator.

Alan Rae, IncubatorWorks Inc.

Alan RaeAlan Rae has worked in the electronics, ceramics, nanotechnology and “clean tech” industries for over 30 years in the USA and UK, managing global businesses and technology development at startup, operating company and corporate levels.

He currently is executive director of IncubatorWorks, leading the development of the business and manufacturing incubators at the Elmira-Corning Airport Corporate Park, along with directing operations at the Innovation Centers in Alfred, New York, and Painted Post, New York.

Alan has been involved in sustainability issues throughout his career, for example in developing a business plan for solder recycling, implementing the transition to lead-free solder in a global electronics company, chairing the sustainability group for ISO TC229 for 2 years, heading up a rare earth recycling venture and consulting on life cycle assessments for solar power and solar thermal film companies.

Julie M. Schoenung, University of California, Irvine

Julie Schoenung

Julie M. Schoenung is a professor in the Department of Chemical Engineering and Materials Science at the University of California, Irvine. She received her PhD in 1987 and MS in 1985 in materials engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and a BS in ceramic engineering from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. Schoenung was recently selected to be the recipient of the 2017 Materials Science & Engineering-A Innovation in Research Award and the 2016 Acta Materialia Holloman Award for Materials & Society. She was recently appointed as an editor-in-chief for the Journal of Sustainable Metallurgy, and has served for many years as a key reader for Metallurgical and Materials Transactions A (2003-present). In 2016, she was elected as Fellow of Alpha Sigma Mu, the materials honor society, and in 2012, she was elected as ASM Fellow.

Tatiana Vakhitova, Granta Design, Ltd.

Tatiana VakhitovaTatiana Vakhitova holds a Ph.D. in engineering from the Centre for Sustainable Development and an MPhil from the Land Economy Department (University of Cambridge, UK).

Prior to her graduate studies, Tatiana gained professional experience in a real estate consultancy, in a manufacturing company, and in a newspaper. Tatiana, as a part of Education Division of Granta Design, develops teaching resources in the area of sustainable development. Tatiana is also responsible for the development of projects with universities in Central and Eastern Europe.

Her research interests are in the area of engineering and design sustainability teaching, accreditation, resource efficiency, social impact assessment and CSR. Her recent collaborative publications include: “Taking stock: sustainability in engineering teaching: case of CES EduPack - software for teaching” (Vakhitova, Shercliff and Ashby 2015); “Material Risk and Corporate Sustainability” (Vakhitova and Ashby 2014); “Practical Competences as Learning Outcomes Using CES EduPack” (Vakhitova and Fredriksson 2013).