Undergraduate: Chemical Engineering, University of Illinois at Chicago
Awards: Passage Program Recipient; Bridge to the Doctorate Fellowship, NSF-Graduate Research Fellowship Program; Graduate Research Opportunities Worldwide (GROW); AIChE Graduate Student Poster Competition Recipient
Deisy Cristina Carvalho Fernandes grew up in Brazil but has lived in the U.S. for over 11 years. The main focus of my research is to produce inks and gels consisting of 2D nanomaterials materials and study the interfacial, structural, electrical and optical properties as well as their 2D and 3D printing applications. Her expected graduation date is August 2020.
Deisy Cristina Carvalho Fernandes has received many awards. These include the Passage Program, the Bridge to Doctorate Fellowship, the National Science Foundation – Graduate Research Fellowship Program, and the Graduate Research Opportunities Worldwide. These awards are a small testament to Deisy’s drive and accomplishments. Through these various awards and fellowships Deisy has been awarded more than $200,000 for tuition, fees and stipends.
Deisy’s research focuses on developing inks with various 2D materials with an exciting application in the field of 3D printing of gels. The objective of this study is to build and characterize 3D printed nanoelectronics and possibly develop wearable electronics in the future. Her research lies in the interface of materials, rheology and electronics and requires an in-depth knowledge of each of these fields. It also needs a great understanding of numerous chemical engineering concepts. Deisy emphasizes, “choosing the right materials to mix and obtain the best properties, as well as understanding the flow of inks and gels, are Chemical Engineering concepts essential for 3D printing and other applications.”
Rolling with the Punches
When we face obstacles and we come face to face with them, we must learn how to overcome those obstacles. When you have little exposure in those situations, it is then that we develop our methods of solution. As Oscar Wilde once said,“Experience is simply the name we give our mistakes.” As Deisy explains, “[Starting] two different projects that didn’t work out as planned; a PhD [student] must always be easy to adapt, learn new concepts, and always analyze every experimental data. Sometimes, the results might not be as expected but it could explain a different science. Hence, I have learned not to overlook any results and it is always important to keep researching and reading new articles.”
Of course, life is about balance; and just like a ph levels, we need to balance the hard work with the fun, the good with the bad, and the highs and the lows. While we all have our own individual stress relievers, Deisy finds relief in helping others. “I am really involved in my church, and I teach Sunday school for kids Sunday mornings. I also help sometimes with worship by playing or singing. I love hanging out and spending time with my friends when I have a chance on weekends.” It is important to find what helps you get through the tough times.