The Center for Life Beyond Reed

Division of Student Services

Chantal Sudbrack

Class year: 1997
Major: 3-2 Engineering (Chemistry / Materials Science)
Company/organization: NASA
Job title: Materials Research Engineer

How did you get where you are? (e.g., education, brief work history, mentors)

Chantal majored in chemistry at Reed, and went on to do a 3-2 BA/BS engineering program with Columbia University in Materials Science and Engineering (MS&E). Chantal earned her PhD in MS&E from Northwestern University in 2004. After several post-docs, she landed a permanent staff position at NASA Glenn Research Center in Cleveland, Ohio in 2009. There, as a Materials Research Engineer, she researches the safety and durability of components used in the high temperature/pressure section of turbine engines as supported by NASA's Fundamental Aeronautics and Aviation Safety programs.

What lessons have you learned along the way that you'd like to pass on to current Reed students?

I can give helpful advice in getting into grad school, writing research proposals for graduate student fellowship applications, what criteria a government lab might judge an internship application (for example, if you are an average Reedie with an average GPA, you should always give a brief explanation about your GPA, as reviewer may not appreciate that Reed does not grade inflate.). I can give students advice on being flexible and open to trying new areas during their first job search.

In what ways you think you can help Reed students?

See above in lessons learned.

What else should students know about you? (e.g., volunteer engagement, avocations, interests)

I volunteer a lot for Reed (chapter work, oral history project, Working weekdn), and was in 2012-13 the president of the alumni board of director.