Well, I and all of the other 1st-year grad students here in the Chemical Engineering department turned in our 1st, 2nd, and 3rd choices for our advisor. It turns out that my advisor is Dr. Bonnecaze. He wasn’t my first pick, but he was probably my most realistic pick, since my other two choices were for professors that just about everyone else also wanted to work for. But I think it will be great working in his group for several reasons:
1. He is tenured, so he doesn’t work his students to death in order to publish enough papers to ensure he does get tenured.
2. He is very friendly and easy to talk to, and isn’t too “hands-off” (i.e. throws you in the lab and says “have fun”), nor is he too “hands-on” (i.e. checks on you several times a day to make sure you’re doing everything you should).
3. His students also are all really friendly and easy to get along with… very important since I will spend the next 4-5 years in the same room as them.
4. The research I’ll be doing looks pretty interesting, but I don’t know too much about it yet. I will be working on a new method of something called immersion lithography, something to do with using a bubble of water to focus the light better on silicon wafers when they are being imprinted to form microchips.
But for now all I have to do is concentrate on my classes and prepare for the qualifier tests in January. I’m not too worried about transport and reaction kinetics as long as I study, but thermodynamics have always been my weak point. I’ll have to get that into shape to pass in January.