Student Spotlight: Ann Rutt
Why did you choose to study MSE?
I settled on majoring in Materials Science & Engineering in college because chemistry was my favorite subject in high school and I liked learning about science at the small scale. But I wanted to go into a field that would connect science to 'real world' applications so I thought engineering would be a better fit. Fortunately, I had connections to STEM professionals while I was in high school who advised that MSE would be a good match over other engineering disciplines based on my interests.
What do you like most about MSE?
I really like how MSE requires an understanding of materials across multiple length scales to effectively design technology. With my experience working in batteries, that is definitely the case. To realize advancements, you need to consider the processes happening from the scale of a single tiny particle to its role in a composite electrode system (something large enough that you can conceptualize holding in your hands).
Any interesting projects/research you are working on now that you’d like to share?
I'm enjoying my current research focus on materials discovery for improved multivalent cathodes. I'm learning about computational methods for evaluating ion mobility in crystalline solids that are applicable to many types of battery chemistries. Coming from an experimental background, this is a tool set I'm very excited to develop and hopefully leverage in working towards sustainable energy storage solutions to reduce reliance on carbon based fuels.
What do you enjoy doing outside of school?
I like cooking, practicing yoga, reading, watching performances, and spending quality time with friends in my down time. A nearby theatre I've really enjoyed since moving to Berkeley is the Shotgun Players at the Ashby Stage. They have really engaging shows and a number of efforts to make accessing the arts more affordable (which is key on a graduate student budget) like $7 M.A.D. tickets!
What are your future plans?
For the near future, staying indoors and wearing comfy socks. But in the longer term after graduate school, I would like to work in a professional space that values advancing technologies with an intentional focus on what will best serve society and investing in people who will overcome the challenges to make those ambitious goals happen.