SDLE's new postdoc scholar: Erika Barcelos
Erika Barcelos recently defended her Ph.D. thesis in Case Western Reserve University’s Department of Macromolecular Science and Engineering, but she will not be leaving CWRU after graduation. In February, she began as a postdoctoral scholar in CWRU’s Solar Durability and Lifetime Extension Research Center, where she will focus on technical development.
"This position represents the possibility to combine data and material sciences in a diverse, organized, structured and supportive environment, which is exactly what I was looking for,” said Barcelos. “I look forward to applying my knowledge and background in polymer science in SDLE projects as well as in learning more about the methodologies and advanced frameworks used in the group where data science is used to address highly relevant materials challenges. I have always been interested in applied science and statistics, as well as working in multidisciplinary teams having a strong collaboration culture.”
During her Ph.D. studies at CWRU, Barcelos focused on coarse-grained dissipative particle dynamics simulations to model the effect of confinement on microstructure of suspensions. She also developed machine learning models and python scripts. She concurrently worked as a data scientist at Captiv8, where she worked on different Data Science projects.
Growing up in Campina Verde, Brazil, Barcelos had a strong interest in math and physics and in “making simple tasks more efficient and in solving problems using the most optimal available solutions.” She began her engineering studies at Universidade Federal de Santa Catarina in her home country, where she earned her B.S. in Chemical Engineering, before earning two M.S. degrees, one in Chemical Engineering from Ecole des Mines de Saint Etienne in France and one in Polymer Science and Technology at Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro. She completed a dual Ph.D. in Macromolecular Science and Engineering at CWRU and Mechanical Engineering at Pontifica Universidad Catolica do Rio de Janeiro in Brazil. Her primary engineering interest is applying data science to study materials properties targeting applications.
A native Portuguese speaker who is fluent in English and French, Barcelos has appreciated studying in different countries and working with people from diverse backgrounds. In addition to studying in Brazil, France and the United States, she studied abroad in England during her undergraduate years, where she also worked at McDonald’s. “I have always been attracted to multicultural experiences,” said Barcelos.