Sohan Singh is a postdoctoral researcher for the Illinois State Geological Survey. Sohan recently answered a few questions about his role.
Tell us a little bit about your role!
I joined the Illinois State Geological Survey (ISGS) as a postdoctoral researcher in August 2020. Currently, I am working with Dr. Seyed A. Dastgheib on the synthesis of carbon nanomaterials and sorbents from different U.S. coals. Before joining ISGS, I earned my doctorate and master’s degrees in chemical engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology Guwahati, India. I worked in the synthesis of carbon-based materials and catalysts for hydrogen storage, CO2 capture, and desulfurization applications.
What drew you to your particular area of study?
I am interested in the synthesis of materials and in finding out the properties of those materials. Basically, the chemical, physical, thermal and mechanical properties of a material as well as modifying its properties for different applications requirements.
What are some challenges you’ve faced in your career?
The last year has been very difficult for me because my visa was stuck during the pandemic.
What do you wish more people understood about science or being a scientist?
I think it is important people know more about science because scientific knowledge helps to satisfy many basic human needs and improve living standards.
The goal of scientists is to understand how the universe functions in very specific ways, and to use that understanding to make successful predictions.
What’s it like doing this job in the middle of a pandemic?
In August, I joined the office in person during the pandemic when most people working remotely, but I was able to enjoy doing my research work in my laboratory.
What advice would you give to those just starting out in your field?
I would suggest that always do as much research as you can in your field and never stop asking questions not only to yourself but to anyone in your research field. Also, don't limit yourself to one line of work and extend your research area as much as possible. Be sure to enhance your knowledge and read more literature on your research area.