Los Alamos National Laboratory

Los Alamos National Laboratory

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Michael Demkowicz: MIT

Former postdoc now an Associate Professor at MIT
September 3, 2014
Michael Demkowicz

Michael Demkowicz

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Michael Demkowicz

Demkowicz now at MIT

Michael Demkowicz worked at the Lab from 2005 to 2008 with the Materials Science and Technology division, first as a postdoc and then as a technical staff member. He arrived in Los Alamos after finishing his Ph.D. at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and returned to his alma matter where he is now an Associate Professor within the Department of Materials Science and Engineering.

Demkowicz’s work at the Lab was unclassified and directed toward understanding, predicting, and improving the life of materials under irradiation. “Extremely high and low temperatures, radiation, and low and high pressures all lead to changes in materials’ behavior. Understanding those changes at the atomic level could help us improve the performance of materials operating in such environments,” Demkowicz said.

Reflecting on his time as a postdoc in Los Alamos, he said, “The time I spent at the Lab allowed me to interact with a variety of scientists, many of whom are the best in their fields. When someone who does modeling does not have regular interactions with experimentalists, it is easy to become abstracted away from reality. The Laboratory provided me many opportunities to mix with experimentalists. These interactions kept me asking how I could best connect my models with experiments. If I had been at a university and not at the Lab immediately after I graduated,” he said, “my days as a postdoc would have been very similar to my days as a student. My time at the Lab was much more enriching.”

During his time at the Lab, Demkowicz was a Director’s Postdoctoral Fellow. In 2007, he received the Los Alamos Postdoctoral Distinguished Award.

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