Societies Announce Congressional Science and Engineering Fellows

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The Optical Society (OSA); the Materials Research Society (MRS); and SPIE, the international society for optics and photonics, have announced the selection of Catherine Clark and Michelle Solomon as 2020-2021 Congressional Science and Engineering Fellows.

Each will serve a one-year term in Washington, D.C., as a special legislative assistant for a member of the U.S. Congress or as a staff member for a congressional committee.

Clark will serve as the 2020-2021 OSA/MRS Congressional Fellow, while Solomon will serve as the 2020-2021 Arthur H. Guenther Congressional Fellow, which is co-sponsored by OSA and SPIE.

Clark will graduate with Ph.D. in Materials Science at the University of Minnesota. Her research is in the area of metal halide perovskite materials for optoelectronics, focusing on the development a solvent-free deposition method to enable the study of process-structure-property relationships in lead-free perovskite materials. Prior to graduate school, she worked at Siemens Energy as a mechanical engineer on wind turbines, gas turbines, and generators. She holds a BSE in mechanical and aerospace engineering from Princeton University.

Solomon will graduate with her Ph.D. in materials science and engineering from Stanford University, where she studied light-matter interactions in the group of professor Jennifer Dionne. Solomon’s  research concentrated on ways to use light to purify chemicals used in the pharmaceutical and agrochemical industries, with the goal of decreasing side effects. Before Stanford, she received a B.S. degree in physics from Boston College.

The two fellows will begin their terms in September 2020.

As part of their fellowships, Clark and Solomon will attend a comprehensive science policy and communication training and orientation session facilitated by the American Association for the Advancement of Science. Upon completing the training, the fellows will interview with the Senate, the House of Representatives, and congressional committee staff on Capitol Hill, and then will select which congressional office or committee they wish to serve for their fellowship year.

The congressional fellowship program is designed to bring technical and scientific backgrounds and perspectives to the decision-making process in Congress and provide scientists with insight into the inner workings of the federal government. Fellows have the opportunity, as part of their daily responsibilities, to conduct legislative or oversight work, assist in congressional hearings and debates, prepare policy briefs, and write speeches.

Published: June 2020
BusinessOSASPIEMaterial Research SocietyMRSAAASCongressional Fellowship programArthur H. Guenther Congressional FellowArthur H. Guenther Congressional Fellowship ProgrampeopleOpticsMaterialslight speed

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