Coffee with SLAM finalists – Part 3

Emmanuel Schaan

What’s your division?
Physics

Where did you do your graduate school?
Astrophysics PhD from Princeton University

Can you describe your research at LBNL?
As a cosmologist, my research consists in matching the Universe’s initial conditions (the so-called cosmic microwave background) with its present, final state (the large-scale distribution of galaxies). This is a powerful approach to learn about the properties of dark matter, dark energy, which dominate our Universe, as well as measuring the masses of the neutrinos.

Why did you decide to participate in the SLAM?
I like sharing my passion for physics with the general public. See more of my outreach work here: https://eschaan.lbl.gov/outreach

If you weren’t a scientist what job would you be doing today?
In a dream life, I would work at the repair shop (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Repair_Shop), and fix people’s broken objects of sentimental value. Or being a teacher.

Who was/were you inspiration along your journey?
I am very fortunate to have been inspired by people at all stages of my growth as a scientist, from my grandfather, to several high-school and university teachers, and colleagues around the world. Too hard to pick only one person!

What’s your secret talent?
I love tinkering and DIY projects. I like electronics, mechanical and woodworking projects. My “inventions” always aim to achieve exciting and improbable tasks. They work a small fraction of the time, are almost as expensive as existing commercial solutions, and take many months (sometimes forever) to build. More here (https://eschaan.lbl.gov/outreach) and there (https://eschaan.lbl.gov/misc). For the last two years, I have been grinding, polishing and figuring an amateur telescope mirror by hand. This consists in turning a chunk of glass into a perfect paraboloid, to within a thousandth of a hair. I am determined to finish it during this life.

The one celebrity you’d want to have dinner with?
Simone Giertz, the Queen of Shitty Robots (https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC3KEoMzNz8eYnwBC34RaKCQ).

Krishnakumar Vasudevan

What’s your division?
IGB

Where did you do your graduate school?
University of Georgia

Can you describe your research at LBNL?
Creating ingredients for renewable products harnessing the power of living cells. I am trying to achieve this by integrating a synthetic biology tool, CRAGE in Algae and fungi

Why did you decide to participate in the SLAM?
I wanted to share my research to people from all different facets in an easy and understandable manner

If you weren’t a scientist what job would you be doing today?
Doctor

Who was/were you inspiration along your journey?
My graduate and postdoc mentors namely Dr. Jacek Gaertig and Dr. Tim Stearns

If you could re-live one day of your life which one would it be?
Any day I was a kid at school

What’s your secret talent?
I used to play classical violin. I also can watch and understand 3 movies at a time

The one celebrity you’d want to have dinner with?
Former President of India, APJ Abdul Kalam

Stijn Wielandt

What’s your division?
EESA

Where did you do your graduate school?
KU Leuven

Can you describe your research at LBNL?
I develop wireless sensors for environmental monitoring.

Why did you decide to participate in the SLAM?
I wanted to get some visibility for electrical engineering within eesa

If you weren’t a scientist what job would you be doing today?
R&D engineer, entrepreneur, or maybe medical doctor?

Who was/were you inspiration along your journey?
My dad is an electrical engineer as well.

If you could re-live one day of your life which one would it be?
My birth. Don’t remember much of that.

What’s your secret talent?
I swim/run/bike.

The one celebrity you’d want to have dinner with?
Barack Obama

Yoseob Yoon

What’s your division?
Materials Sciences Division

Where did you do your graduate school?
MIT

Can you describe your research at LBNL?
I study how laser pulses interact with two-dimensional materials.

Why did you decide to participate in the SLAM?
I always wanted to share my excitement and admiration for how nature works in a delicate and beautiful way, and SLAM is the perfect opportunity to do so.

If you weren’t a scientist what job would you be doing today?
I would be a classical pianist. I enjoy listening to and playing pieces by Rachmaninoff, Scriabin, Chopin, Ravel, and Prokofiev.

Who was/were your inspiration along your journey?
Richard Feynman inspired me to enjoy life, to ask questions all the time, and to explain most complicated things in a way that a little kid can easily understand.

If you could re-live one day of your life which one would it be?
The day I got into a science high school.

What’s your secret talent?
I mentioned above, so it’s no longer a secret, but playing piano.

The one celebrity you’d want to have dinner with?
José Mourinho (manager of a soccer club, AS Roma).