By: Liz Inman
EDUCATION : B.E in Chemical Engineering from Stevens Institute of Technology, Ms.c in Chemical Engineering from New Jersey Institute of Technology, and currently pursuing Ph.D in Chemical Engineering from Stony Brook University. Stephanie is also the winner of the GEM and STRIDE Fellowships. Besides being a Ph.D student, she is enrolled in the Alan Alda’s Science Communication Certificate and C-STRIDE.
RESEARCH INTERESTS: Renewable Energy
CURRENT RESEARCH : I am quantifying the amount of renewable natural gas (RNG) that can be produced in New York from different feedstocks. In addition, I am designing a protective film for stainless steel (SS) biodigesters used to produce RNG. A big problem with RNG production is the corrosion of the SS. The environment inside a biodigester contains acids and other impurities that cause the steel to corrode and the production process to be interrupted for maintenance purposes. This represents costly downtime since it usually take 3 to 4 months for production to start-up again. My goal is to create an environmentally friendly process for producing a highly corrosion resistant film on SS. The film will be easy to apply to biodigesters and will self-heal. This research will lead to better corrosion resistant design of current and next generation biodigesters.
FUTURE GOALS: I would like to work in the energy industry and possibly teach one or two university classes on the side.
Why did you want to be a part of GWiSE?
I think it is a wonderful way to get to know other women in science and engineering outside of my department and lab. It is also a great way to get involved on campus and to network with SBU employees.
What/who got you interested in your field?
I had two excellent high school math and science teachers. I looked up to my chemistry teacher, in particular, because she managed her time very well. She had a full-time job teaching, and was studying to a pharmacist in her spare time. She finished her degree around the same time I finished high school. Both were excellent teachers in the sense that they required you to work hard on your own, but also taught the material to the best of their ability.
When did you know you were interested in pursuing a degree in science/engineering?
I went into engineering because it is a field where you can follow several different career paths like finance, consulting, manufacturing, law, etc. I liked this flexibility. I also knew I wanted to major in a field that combined math and chemistry. Chemical engineering seemed to be the best fit for me.
What do you think needs to happen for there to be more women in science/engineering?
I think there needs to be more visibility of women as engineers/scientists to the younger generations.
Name one achievement/award/moment that you are proud of and why:
Getting in the Ph.D. Program at Stony Brook University. I spoke to a few graduate program directors from different universities and they all explained how competitive it was to get into a Ph.D. program. I almost felt as though I did not have the qualifications the programs required. I applied anyways, and thankfully, received a few acceptances.
Favorite way to spend a free day:
Swimming in a pool or hiking in the mountains
Most interesting place I have visited:
Galapagos Islands! There is so much wildlife. It is absolutely gorgeous.