My involvement with MRS started 20 years ago when I was a Ph.D. student studying materials science and engineering at NC State University. Through MRS meetings, I presented my first professional poster and oral presentations in my career, interacted with peers, met my postdoc mentor, and received my first societal award—a MRS Graduate student silver award. Since then, I've witnessed how MRS helps all of us grow professionally, by connecting with our peers, sharing our research findings freely and shaping the future materials research community.
Over the years, MRS has grown as one of the top materials societies internationally with very popular spring and fall meetings. This is all because of the strong MRS leadership and the great time, efforts and thought that all the colleagues put into MRS. Ever since the start of my professorship, I started to be part of the MRS organizing team, including organizing MRS symposiums (4 symposiums in 2008 and 2009), participating the committee services (Award committee and others) as well as MRS Bulletin volume organizing efforts (2021 volumes). Now I have prepared myself strongly in my research expertise and records, gained much experience in many sectors of MRS operation, and acquired leadership skills through my NSF program director efforts and committee chair services. I am ready to serve the entire MRS membership by serving on the MRS board of directors.
In all of my roles, I cherish research freedom and communication, equity across genders, races and geography, and inspiring next generation materials scientists. My strengths in broad research experiences, service and leadership experiences, and passion in service will be an asset to the MRS membership. There are several areas that I will strive for during my service as a MRS board member.
First, to help our young generation materials scientists to grow through different stages of their careers, I will work on the board to identify areas to effectively increase student and postdoc membership, promote their success through early careers, and prepare them better for future academic and research careers. They are the future of MRS and our materials community.
Second, to facilitate research freedom and communications under the challenging pandemic period, I will work with the board to develop strategies for seamless integration of in-person and on-line conferences, and identify new models for future conferences as well as effective research dissemination mechanisms beyond conferences and journal publications. With the new tools and on-line technologies developed through the pandemic time, multi-modality meetings will be popular and more flexible for research dissemination.
Third, to promote equity in all aspects of MRS activities, I will work with the board in developing new strategies for promoting researchers in under-represented minority status, women researchers, and involving researchers from different geographical regions across the world. I believe diversity and equity will help the materials society grow healthier and stronger internationally and fuel the materials technology advancements for human beings.
I am passionate in serving the materials science community and very much look forward to the opportunity to serve on the MRS board of directors and make MRS a home society for all materials scientists.