Elizabeth Hoffman

Ph.D. Alumna

How did you decide to come to Drexel MSE for a Ph.D.?

I was an undergraduate in the MSE department and felt there was more for me to learn at Drexel.  Based on my co-op experiences as an undergraduate, I knew that I wanted to pursue an advanced degree.

First Job Post-Graduation

Senior Engineer, Savannah River National Laboratory (SRNL):  As a senior engineer at the Savannah River National Laboratory, I research materials that are exposed to extreme environments, whether that is radiation, temperature, or a combination of both.  I work with a range of materials from elastomers, ceramics, and metals. 

How did you find your first job? 

I came across the job posting at an American Chemical Society Conference.  After an interview at the conference, I was invited to visit the laboratory and present on my thesis research. 

What have you been doing since?

I have been working at SRNL on a wide variety of research projects, including projects with my former advisor, Dr. Barsoum involving the MAX phase carbides and nitrides for nuclear applications.  In addition to performing research, I have been managing the laboratory’s Laboratory Directed Research and Development Program.

How do you feel your Ph.D. research and education have contributed to your job?

The skills that I developed as a Ph.D. student have greatly contributed to my job.  While learning academic knowledge of materials science is a must, I value the “soft” skills such as networking and communication that I developed while at Drexel. 

Do you have any advice for students looking for a Ph.D. program or for current students?

My advice to students looking for a Ph.D. program is to find an advisor that you trust and can easily communicate with along with a research project that you enjoy.  Research projects can come and go, but it is important that you feel comfortable with the people you will be working with, mainly your advisor. 

Year of Graduation: 2006


Advised by

Dr. Michel Barsoum

Distinguished Professor
LeBow 445
(215) 895-2338

Dr. Yury Gogotsi

Distinguished University and Trustee Chair Professor
CAT 383
(215) 895-6446