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Home » Discover Rackham » Student Spotlight: Olga Shalev

Olga earned her bachelor's and master’s degrees in Chemical Engineering and Materials Science from the Technion, Israeli Institute of Technology. She served as a lieutenant in the Israeli navy and after graduation worked for seven years as the chief engineer at in research and development.

“I decided to earn the Ph.D. and wanted to expand my expertise with new research fields and really experience all of that by studying abroad, so my husband, two children and I made the bold decision of relocation to Ann Arbor. U-M is really attractive because it has such a strong engineering school and Ann Arbor is one of the best places to raise kids. Funding and housing played a big role in my final decision, as well.”

Olga joined the research group of Professor Max Shtein working on renewable energy and organic electronics. “My research focuses on understanding the properties of small organic molecules and films deposited using organic vapor jet printing technique. The uses of these compounds are ranging from solar energy harvesting and flexible electronics to pharmaceuticals. I found a universal relationship between crystal structure and thermal properties of small organic molecules and developed a model that predicts film morphology under given deposition conditions. I optimized the pattern resolution, a key parameter in display industry, by resolving the main trade-offs in organic vapor jet printing technique. Currently I am working on the implementation of a medicine printing technique that allows a drug coating to be applied to various substances.. My research advisor is always encouraging and is keen for realization of innovative ideas that integrate fundamentals and are application driven. I'm glad that such an approach to research is cultivated within U-M.”

After receiving her Ph.D., Olga is interested in a scientific research position.

“My life experience taught me that the sky is NOT the limit. I want to provide an example and give confidence to women pursuing goals of scientific research, while combining family and professional life.”

For fun, she says, “I like to challenge myself, and after the record harsh winter we all experienced, I set a goal of being able to finish my first marathon in the near future.”

Olga concludes with a statement of gratitude, “I'm very appreciative to Rackham. It is a great honor for me to receive a Predoctoral Fellowship.”

A video of Olga discussing her research was recently featured on Gizmodo! To view the video and read the accompanying article, click here.

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