The Berkeley Lab Postdoc Association is an organization run by and for about 1000 postdocs and early career scientists working at the Lawrence Berkeley National Lab. We organize many activities to strengthen our ties to the Lab, to each other and to the (Berkeley) Bay Area. Our goal is to facilitate social interactions, scientific exchanges, seminars and general orientation.
Zhe Bai – Computing Sciences

Zhe Bai – Computing Sciences

Fadji Maina and Mariah Parker

Words Eliza lives by: “Everything should be made as simple as possible, but not simpler” – Einstein 

Her journey to LBNL
Eliza grew up in northeast China in a city called Harbin. In 2011, graduated with her MS from Syracuse University. Then in 2018, she graduated from University of Washington with a Ph.D. in mechanical engineering and applied mathematics. Eliza then joined LBNL in January 2019 as a postdoc. 

Cutting-edge technologies for a better prevention of traumatic brain injuries
Eliza works on two main projects here at the lab. The first is using imaging analysis to help prevent and diagnose Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBI) by understanding the influence of the external forces that can cause a TBI and what deformation occurs in the brain. This is a high impact project as it targets high-risk victims such as professional athletes and soldiers as it applies hard sciences to make our world safer. The second project is the LDRD program that combines graphs and network data visualization to look at bayesian with neuro-network informatics.
Specifically, with her TBI project, Eliza had to learn a new field with the biomedical application. There was a large learning curve, however having the mathematical optimization knowledge, she was able to build from her baseline knowledge and was able to gain more understanding quickly.  

Advice for New/Other Postdocs:
Get involved in activities the lab provides to help establish yourself in the community and make friends. Take advantage of the experts who work here in other fields to find new perspectives and new mentors. Also, to help boost a positive mental health mindset, take a 30-minute mid-day meditation break, even if that means leaving your office to walk around! 

Future Directions:
Even as a new postdoc, Eliza has her eyes on the future. She thinks both academia and national labs could allow her the research freedom she wants while also exploring her love of teaching.  

New Year’s Resolution:
Eliza has set the goal of having a better work/life balance in 2020. She hopes that by doing more volunteering and enjoying her personal time she will be even more productive in the lab!