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Your Career Choices after Graduate School and The Most-Neglected Item in your Career Development

By Gerhard Klimeck

Purdue University

Published on


What are your career choices after graduate school? Will you develop technology yourself? Will you work in a team? Will you guide people? Where will you work: in industry, research lab, or academia? Regardless where you work, there is generally one item that you are not being taught in graduate school: your communication skills. Come and hear my personal perspective on working in Industry (Texas Instruments) for 4 years, in a U.S. government research laboratory (NASA JPL) for 6 years and in an academic institution (Purdue University) for over 5 years. Within the presentation I will highlight my “recipe” for a strategically structured presentation that is open and inviting to any audience. The key message is that about 1/3 of the presentation should introduce the overall topic and relevance of the problems to be solved. The next 1/3 of the presentation should highlight the beautiful solutions that have been achieved without any technical details. These 2/3 of the presentation should be accessible to all members of the audience. The next 1/6 of the presentation addresses details of the work that are understandable to experts in the audience, the last 1/6 gathers the whole audience and provides a perspective of what needs to be done with the topic in the future.


imageDr. Gerhard Klimeck is a PhD electrical engineer working in the area of nanoelectronic modeling for the past 19 years in graduate school (Purdue), industry (Texas Instruments, Raytheon TI Systems), a federal research lab (NASA/JPL), and academia (Purdue). At Purdue University he is currently leading the NSF-funded Network for Computational Technology (NCN) as Director with an appointment in the School of Electrical Engineering as a full Professor. From Dec. 2003 until May 2009 I served as NCN’s Technical Director. He authored and co-authored over 240 peer-reviewed publications and over 120 invited and 260 contributed conference presentations. Most of his professional work has focused on the development of the Nanoelectronic Modeling tool (NEMO). At Purdue he leads the development and deployment of the community web site nanoHUB has been used by over 91,000 people in the past 12 months to obtain educational and research material about nanotechnology and over 7,100 users have executed over 400,000 simulations on a freely available system. Dr. Klimeck received his Ph.D. in 1994 from Purdue University and his German electrical engineering degree in 1990 from Ruhr-University Bochum.

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Researchers should cite this work as follows:

  • Gerhard Klimeck (2009), "Your Career Choices after Graduate School and The Most-Neglected Item in your Career Development,"

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