The Career of an Accidental Professor

October 23, 2018

As an undergraduate student in chemical engineering I had my career path mapped out: I was going to go into industry for engineering - not research, not graduate school. Two decades later I am a professor - quite the shift! I will discuss my career path: how as I developed as a scientist; why academic research appealed to me; how I approached the faculty position search; lessons learned as I started my research group as a young investigator; and advice for my past self. I hope to help guide students in determining how to choose a future research path with incomplete knowledge, and how to adapt decisions as you advance in their careers.


  • Voice: 805.893-7472
  • Fax: 805.893-6132


Center for Science and Engineering Partnerships
University of California
Santa Barbara, CA 93106-6105