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Marcus Cole

Research Scientist - Universal Display Corporation (UDC)

I grew up in the suburbs just north of Atlanta, GA and spent most my early years golfing and enjoying the outdoors with friends. I was accepted into the University of South Carolina in 2010 where I was initially a Journalism major and worked at the school newspaper as a page designer.  After my first year at USC I realized I had a passion for the physical sciences and changed my major to chemistry and began undergraduate research in the lab of Dr. Brian Benicewicz. My research projects focused on the synthesis and characterization of responsive polymer nanocomposites for applications in drug delivery and biological imaging. I developed a fundamental understanding of polymer synthesis materials and how ubiquitous polymers are to materials science and everyday life.

In addition to my work in the Benicewicz labs, I also promoted undergraduate participation in scientific research through in the Magellan Ambassadors program at USC.  The Magellan Ambassadors program offered me an opportunity to present my research with fellow students and discuss the benefits of undergraduate research experience.  Connecting with my community through these presentations was equally as impactful as the research itself and I knew it would continue to be an integral part of my future. After working in the Benicewicz labs I knew I wanted to continue conducting research at the graduate level and began applying to graduate programs.

 I was admitted into the doctoral program at PSE department at UMass in 2014 where I joined the Emrick Research group. Over the next five years my research focused on the molecular design of optoelectronic polymers for applications in organic electronic devices.  During this time, I developed perylene diimide-based polyionenes that could enhance the performance of photovoltaic devices and tetraphenylethylene conjugated polymers with tunable aggregation-induced emission properties.  While at PSE I also had the opportunity to lead the ‘Polymers All Around Us,’ student outreach program. Through this program I was able to conduct polymer-related classroom experiments and presentations with K-12 students in the Western Massachusetts area.

Currently, I am working as a Research Scientist at Universal Display Corporation (UDC) developing materials for phosphorescent organic light-emitting diode (PHOLED) displays found in many high performance personal electronic devices.  My time at UDC has made me appreciate working in the Electronic Frontier Research Center under Dr. Emrick’s guidance, where I was able to develop a holistic understanding of organic electronic materials and devices through experimentation and discussion with other center users. PSE provided me with the strong scientific foundation and broad network of skilled researchers necessary to achieve success in my professional life.