Editor's Note: This is one in a series of articles highlighting the diverse group of Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory postdocs and graduate scholars.
The postdoc program at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory provides opportunities for postdocs to conduct world-class research in an exciting, diverse and often interdisciplinary environment. Postdocs are involved in basic science as well as applied science and technology for both research and development. Postdoctoral fellows are selected for their expertise, capability and enthusiasm for working at an institution that places a premium on scientific creativity and innovation.
Full Name: Ivy Krystal Jones
Hometown: Chicago, Illinois
Educational background: Jones received a bachelor's degree in chemistry from Tuskegee University, a master's in biotechnology and chemical sciences from Roosevelt University, a master's in mechanical engineering from Tuskegee University, and a master's and Ph.D. in physics from Hampton University.
Previous experience: Jones' thesis and dissertation research in physics focused on crystal growth and spectroscopic analysis of transition metal ion doping of II-VI semiconductors and rare earth ion doping of low phonon energy host materials for mid- and near-infrared laser applications. Her thesis research in mechanical engineering involved the fabrication and characterization of a "space-survivable" hybrid nanocomposite material for aerospace structural-support applications. In the past, she also studied techniques associated with three-part ligations of DNA genes carrying putative age and brain-specific exons and the evaluation of reverse-phase high performance liquid chromatography columns for environmental analysis applications.
When did you start at the Lab? January 2016
LLNL Group/Division/Directorate: High Pressure Physics/Physics (Materials Science)/Physical & Life Sciences
Describe your research: My research is a combination of material science, additive manufacturing and optical engineering design.
What are you working on at the Lab? I'm working on fabricating functionally graded solid-state laser gain media via direct ink writing and transparent ceramic processing.
What are you involved in at the Lab besides your research? I have recently joined the PLS Workforce and Communications Committee. I'm also a member of the Lawrence Livermore Laboratory Women's Association and the Lawrence Livermore Postdoc Association.
What interested you in the Lab? Its dedication to STEM research and development and resolving national security issues by scientific discovery.
What do you enjoy most about the Lab? The collaborative efforts of the groups/divisions/directorates to create innovative ideas, fabricate advance technologies and to articulate the dissemination of these ideas and technologies for a plethora of applications.
What have you learned since joining the Lab? I have always known that to progress you must continue to learn. Being at the Lab has truly expanded the diversity of this required knowledge base.
What has been your biggest challenge to overcome? There is not one challenge I would label as my biggest challenge. I view life as a dichotomy comprised of highs and lows and attempt to be mindful of the mechanisms I use throughout transitional periods of life. Analogous to a complex synthetic organic chemistry equation: the conditions, precursors, etc. are critical to the resulting compound and depending on the challenge/complexity of a macromolecule. My personal daily objective is to challenge myself to be of service to those around me.
What has been your biggest accomplishment so far? The completion of my U.S. Navy Reserve Direct Commission Engineering duty officer application.
What was your first job and how did you get it? My first job was as a summer apprentice after my sophomore year, where I studied the mechanical inoculation of various mosaic viruses in cowpea plants. I applied to a research apprenticeship program at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in the College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences through the counseling department at my high school.
Who/what inspired you to pursue a career in a STEM field? Commander (Chief Medical Officer) Beverly Crusher, a fictional character on the science fiction television series "Star Trek: The Next Generation." As a child, I was so intrigued by her tricorder multifunctional hand-held device. I wanted to know how the device worked and how it was made. I was aware of where my passions lie early on.
What do you enjoy doing in your spare time? I enjoy watching movie series: trilogies/quadrilogies.
Where do you see yourself in 10-20 years? Working on as well as leading collaborative multidisciplinary research programs/projects.
What book do you think everyone at the Lab should read (and why)? Plato's "Republic." I believe the book series is informative, entertaining and thought provoking.
What is the best movie that you've seen in the last year? "The Abyss." I saw the movie when it first came to the movie theater and I have watched it several times after. It is an American science fiction film about life, love and the unknown.
What is a common misperception about you? My sense of humor.
Who do you follow on Twitter (and why)? I have an account but I currently don't follow anyone.I just like to say I have an account when people ask if I have one.
Who are your heroes? My mother and father.