The Next Step — My Faculty mentor selections — Drs. Kocanda and Motaleb

kocanda                                                                                                                                   abdel-motaleb

I have finally selected my faculty mentors. I am fortunate to have two mentors. My primary mentor is Dr. Martin Kocanda while my secondary mentor is Dr. Ibrahim Motaleb.

Dr. Martin Kocanda is an electrical engineering and materials chemistry professional with extensive research and development experience in academia and industry. His interests are the design, analysis and validation of microelectronic sensors specific to chemical, biochemical and biometric and environmental chemistry that employ nanoscale and microelectronic fabrication methods. Related interests include materials characterization and surface morphology determination of dielectrics, semiconductors, ferroelectric and ceramic materials at the nanoscale level using advanced electron microscopy and spectroscopy instrumentation. Dr. Kocanda earned a Bachelor in Science (BS) in Computer Science from the University of Illinois in 1985, a BS in Chemistry from Elmhurst College in 1989, a Master of Science in Electrical Engineering (MSEE) from Northern Illinois University (NIU) in 2008 and a Ph.D. in Chemistry from Northern Illinois University in 2009.

Dr. Kocanda has always been entranced about chemistry, nano-particles and also had a keen interest in the way things work. He was very skillful in chemistry and was very proficient in math. With those skills and interests, it led him to earn multiple degrees in chemistry and computer science. Dr. Kocanda Martin is extremely well versed in both Analytical Chemistry and Electrical Engineering. This knowledge base combination makes him particularly effective at scientific research and higher-level problem solving. He went on to gain significant industry experience working as Senior Staff Engineer at Alnor Instruments, Director of Engineering at Sigmedics Inc. and Consultant at Baxter Healthcare amongst other companies. While he was pursuing his doctorate degree at Northern Illinois University, he became a nanotechnology research fellow. This led him to join the realm of academia as an assistant professor and now laboratory director at NIU.

Dr. Motelab is a renowned and seasoned professor and authority in the realm of academia and engineering education. Dr. Abdel-Motaleb has extensive administrative experience in academia, where he chaired or served on almost every committee at the department, college, and university levels. Dr. Abdel-Motaleb is the Chair of the Electrical Engineering Department, Director of the Microelectronics Research and Development Laboratory and Director of the Biomedical Engineering Program. He has numerous publications, patents and has chaired several committees in the university on various capacities.

I am very excited to begin my research with these two distinguished professors. I will be working on bacterial detection using interdigitated microbial sensors. We will be detecting various bacteria through impedance spectroscopy.


And the journey has just begun,



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