MAP Pretzel Talk – an alumni spotlight

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MAP alumni Dr. Kasra Sardashti. Image: MAP Office

The MAP Pretzel Talk is a series of irregular extra-curricular career and research-related events for MAP students.

Accomplished MAP alumni Dr. Kasra Sardashti hosted such a talk while on a visit to Erlangen on Monday 5 December 2022. Dr. Sardashti, who proudly describes himself as an American, Iranian, and “most importantly, a Californian”, graduated with an M.Sc.w.H. (Master of Science with Honors) degree from the MAP programme in 2012, having written his Master’s Thesis at the Max-Planck Institute for the Science of Light. After graduation from MAP, Dr. Sardashti moved to California where he went on to earn his PhD in Materials Science and Engineering at the University of California San Diego, followed by post-doctorate work at Duke University, New York University, and finally at Clemson University, where he is now an Assistant Professor of Physics and Electrical & Computer Engineering (ECE).

During his talk with current MAP students, Dr. Sardashti stressed the value of miniprojects, an integral part of the MAP programme, and encouraged students to make the most out of them as they provide invaluable opportunities to gain experience with innovative and high-quality research institutions. Dr. Sardashti credited the MAP programme and its associated miniprojects and student positions for providing him with a valuable multidisciplinary background. This background complemented a philosophy that Dr. Sardashti recommends to students during their studies: to never let themselves be comfortable, and to always put themselves in new environments.

Dr. Sardashti’s visit concluded with him encouraging students to consider joining him in Clemson saying that the MAP programme tends to produce great candidates for cutting edge research. Dr. Sardashti took the time to answer questions from current MAP professors and students, and provide advice accordingly. Lastly, MAP Chair Professor Peter Felfer led a tour of the new equipment and work being done within the MAP host Department of Materials Science and Engineering.

FAU and the MAP programme would like to thank Dr. Sardashti for hosting the event and commend him for his achievements since his matriculation in 2012.

By MAP student Owen Murdock (matriculation group 2022)