About this blog

I started this blog, My science career…rebooted! in summer 2012 while completing my postdoc in materials science and engineering. I spent quite some time evaluating my post-postdoc career direction, and my world changed after reading Cynthia Robbins-Roth’s book Alternative Careers in Science: Leaving the Ivory Tower. Did you realize the sheer variety of career options beyond bench science for which scientific training and the analytical mind that goes along with it are great assets? Neither did I. Books like this provide lots of ideas and reassure me I’m not the only oddball scientist looking to make an impact outside the lab.

My aims are to:

  1. Cover the issues involved in making the transition from a traditional scientific or research career path to any number of non-traditional, alternative, or (dare I say it) AWESOME directions in which science PhDs can go
  2. Think aloud as I navigate the same transition
  3. Share tidbits of wisdom I come across that might help others in the same boat.

Yes, there are lots of non-academic possibilities that can be even more fun than academic science. The options are limited only by your imagination, your interests, and your awareness of where exactly science and technology fit into the economy and in society.

Any by the way, I’ll be damned, but there are a lot of scientist blogs out there. Thank you for checking out this one.

About the author

My name is Heather Fireman Jackson (I haven’t really adjusted to the anonymity of “Jackson” after growing up a “Fireman”).

I am a materials scientist and engineer specializing in metallurgy and failure modes of structural materials. I have a BS from MIT and PhD from Imperial College London. I recommend working for a while between college and graduate school – I did, spending 2.5 years in Materials and Processes at NASA Johnson Space Center, where I discovered a cool field and a better sense for the type of work I like to do and the variety of roles I could play in an engineering organization.

I am currently completing a postdoc, and I’m excited to start the next stage of my career applying materials knowledge to solve problems in real-time in the design, manufacturing, and operation of consumer or industrial components. I am a native of Houston, TX, and currently live in San Jose, CA.


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