You have to get the research funds, so that you can run your lab, so that you can publish papers. I think it’s a little bit harder to get that part going as a young faculty member. The thing is to get people to mentor you, so I’ve mentored a few people here. I think that benefits the young people a lot if somebody else reads their proposals and gives them some feedback.
My research interests include the physics of glasses, cure and properties of thermosetting materials, and polymerization under nanoconfinement.
Much of my research deals with fundamental issues related to structure/property relationships and durability in polymeric materials. For example, our viscoelastic bulk modulus measurements facilitate better prediction of residual stresses in aerospace composites during cure and thermal cycling.
I am inspired by the promise of making significant contributions to the solution of challenging problems in my field.
With respect to service, I enjoy organizing conferences and doing outreach projects.
I am currently organizing a session for the 2011 North American Thermal Analysis Society meeting on thermosetting materials, to be held in the fall, and I will act as Technical Program Chair for the 2012 meeting. In addition, along with other faculty in Chemical Engineering, I am organizing a session on plastics for the TTU Ideal Program, Science—It's a Girl Thing.
Balancing teaching, research and service is difficult for young faculty. They are all important, and they all take time to excel at. My advice to new faculty would be to take workshops on teaching, to follow your passions with respect to research, to ask senior faculty to give you critical feedback on proposals and to focus external service in areas that allow you to network in your field.