Opportunity's a knockin' for Grainger Engineer alumnus Salil Paranjape ('23, M.S.)
Opportunity's a knockin'
Alumnus Salil Paranjape ('23) is ready to take on the next steps of his career thanks to the "excellent credentials" his master's degree from The Grainger College of Engineering provided him. He'll start pursuing a doctorate this fall at Cornell University.
Interviewed by Emily Jankauski
What drew you to materials science and engineering?
“My interest in Materials Science and Engineering arises from my love for smartphones and other smart devices that have become possible due to strides in materials science.”
What made you choose to study at Grainger Engineering?
“I chose to pursue a degree at Illinois because the research done here is wonderful and I wanted to contribute my part.”
What made you want to pursue a master's in materials science and engineering?
"I wanted to expand my skill sets and become more proficient in my field.”
What makes Grainger Engineering the best place to pursue an advanced degree?
“Illinois is one of the best places to pursue an advanced degree because the MatSE community has a deep collaborative and supportive nature, some wonderful research is done here, and the student MRS (Materials Research Society) organization is very active.”
What research did you conduct as a master's student?
“I worked in the Shoemaker Group. My research is on synthesis and characterization of antiferromagnetic materials for spintronic application.
“I make single crystals of antiferromagnetic materials and they are characterized by XRD (X-ray diffraction) and SEM (scanning electron microscope). The magnetic and electric transport properties are measured by Magnetic Property Measurement System and Physical Property Measurement System techniques, respectively.”
How does your research impact our everyday lives?
"These antiferromagnetic materials for spintronic applications would be used for electric read and write memory devices, (providing) faster speeds than current technology.”
What are some of your fondest memories from your time at Illinois?
“When I went to see the sakuras blossom at Japan House and the various fun activities that I have participated in as a member of the student MRS community.”
What were some of the unique opportunities being a Grainger Engineer have provided you?
“An opportunity to improve my leadership skills by giving me an opportunity to become the president of the student MRS chapter. I have also been given an opportunity to go to the 2023 TMS (The Minerals, Metals and Materials annual Meeting and Exhibition) and present my research to a wider audience.”
How has your time at Grainger Engineering readied you for next steps in your academic career?
“It’s allowed me to build a strong network, which will always be very useful for me. It also has allowed me to develop and improve my professional and interpersonal skills, which are necessary for a successful career.”
What wisdom would you offer current Grainger Engineers pursuing graduate degrees in materials science and engineering?
“Develop a strong network that you can take advantage of later in life, and lookout for the various opportunities that the department provides from time to time.”
Why is your Grainger Engineering master's degree so important to you?
“Because you can work in the best institutes anywhere in the world because of your excellent credentials.”
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This story was published June 23, 2023.