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Jared Shadish, PhD Student | 4th Year

Undergraduate Major and University: Chemical Engineering at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute

While getting my undergrad degree in ChemE, I did research through the Department of Biology on cancer cell migration and angiogenesis. I was thrilled to be able to apply the concepts that I was learning in Chemical Engineering to different discipline. Seeing things through an engineering mindset gave me a unique perspective on biological problems. I hoped to continue this in my graduate studies.

How did you become interested in Chemical Engineering? I first became interested in Chemical Engineering after taking AP Chemistry in high school. I was passionate about science, but I wanted to major in something which would apply that passion in order to solve practical problems. After visiting several schools and investigating different programs, chemical engineering stood out as a perfect fit. I was intrigued by the combination of applied math and chemistry, as well as by the rumors of the major’s challenging and rigorous nature. I decided to take the challenge, and the rest is history!

Why did you decide to do your PhD here at UW? I have always been interested in applying engineering principles and thought processes to biology. The University of Washington is renowned for its work on the interface between engineering and biology. I had also visited Seattle before applying to UW, and I fell in love with the city. I couldn’t be happier with my decision come to Seattle and work among leaders in the field of biomaterials.

Describe an interesting opportunity you've had through UW ChemE. One of my favorite aspects of my time in ChemE at UW has been my involvement with the Association of Chemical Engineering Graduate Students (ACES). ACES provides an excellent opportunity to connect with the other ChemE graduate students, and have a real impact on the direction of the department. Visitors to the department always comment on how tight knit and collaborative the department is, and I think that ACES helps to build that sense of community from the ground up.

What advice do you have for students considering graduate study in ChemE? Do it! I love the independence and impact of the work that I do as a graduate student. The graduate experience is a unique opportunity, and it opens the door to go into virtually any field that you want.