• Matt_s Swirls

Chinmay Saraf

I am from Mumbai, India, a city with a busy lifestyle and beautiful seashore. I grew up in the suburbs of Mumbai and that’s where I started my academic journey. After high school, I attended the Indian Institute of Technology-Roorkee (IIT-R) and graduated with an integrated master’s degree in polymer science and technology in 2016. At IIT R, in my sophomore year, I worked with Prof. Negi on the computational study of the alignment of polyimide layers in liquid crystalline polymers, my first encounter with the research problem which motivated me for pursuing a career in the area of polymers. During my college years, I had an opportunity to work as a summer intern, where I worked with Prof. Sadhan Jana at the University of Akron, USA on polymer blend aerogels for battery application and with Prof. Kontopoulou at the Queen’s University, Canada on reactive extrusion of biocompatible polylactic acid, in 2014 and 2015 respectively. During these internships, I became very interested in the field of processing and characterization of polymer blends and composites. Consequently, I choose to work on EMI shielding polymer composites for my master’s thesis under the guidance of Prof. Bose at the Indian Institute of Science. I was awarded the Institute silver medal at IIT R for overall performance during my undergrad.

Research experiences throughout my college years not only stimulated my interest to pursue a career in research but also helped me to identify the field for specialization. Owing to the presence of highly experienced faculty in diverse research areas, availability of state-of-the-art equipment and the collaborative nature of the department, PSE was always my preference. Based on the strong recommendations of my mentors and faculties, I choose to come to PSE and I can certainly say that it was one of the best decisions I have taken.

After coming to PSE, I joined the research group of Prof. Lesser and worked on engineering next-generation polymer composites for a wide range of applications. During my research, I collaborated with several industrial and academic colleagues that provided me opportunities to expand my perspective of the role of polymer science and its influence on current and future technologies. My research at PSE, in conjunction with the well-rounded curriculum, provided me an excellent platform to learn the fundamentals of polymer science and take a deeper dive in structure-process-property relationships of polymeric materials. After defending my dissertation in the spring of 2021, I joined PPG as a research engineer where I’ve utilized the skills developed at PSE to solve current challenges in the polymer industry.