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Institute for Defense Analyses Info Session

The Institute for Defense Analyses works on behalf of U.S. government sponsors to answer the most challenging security and space policy questions with objective analyses leveraging extraordinary scientific, technical, and analytic expertise. IDA manages three Federally Funded Research and Development Centers, including the Systems and Analyses Center (SAC) focused on issues of relevance to the Department of Defense and the Science and Technology Policy Institute (STPI), which works on questions relevant to the Office of Science and Technology Policy in the Executive branch. IDA hires a diverse range of professionals in all areas of science and technology, including recent graduates with bachelor's and graduate degrees and former military service members. This talk will illustrate what it is like to start a career at IDA. Projects will be described in areas such as modeling the human effects of non-lethal weapons, understanding the Li-ion battery industrial base, and analyzing how the intersection of materials science and data science can be exploited by the DoD. At IDA, employees have the opportunity to broaden their experience beyond their academic training and apply their training to unique technical questions of importance to National Security.

About the speaker: Jessica Swallow graduated from Caltech in 2012 with a B.S. in Chemical Engineering and a minor in English. A recipient of the Department of Energy Office of Science Graduate Research Fellowship, she then studied chemomechanics of non-stoichiometric oxides for energy conversion and storage at MIT, where she obtained her Ph.D. in Materials Science and Engineering in 2017. This research focused on understanding and measuring how the properties of oxides used in platforms like solid oxide fuel cells and lithium-ion batteries are affected by changes in operating environments and composition. While at MIT, she also studied statistical analysis and data mining. Dr. Swallow then began working in the Science and Technology Division of the Systems and Analyses Center at the Institute for Defense Analyses, where she has been for two years. As a Research Staff Member at IDA, Dr. Swallow has worked on many projects including modeling of the human effects of non-lethal weapons, overseeing testing, advising programs on critical technology challenges, and evaluating the state-of-the-art in manufacturing and applications for materials and battery technologies of interest to government sponsors. She resides in Northern Virginia with her husband (BS, Caltech '13) and two guinea pigs.