Deepa Khushalani

Professor in Materials Chemistry, Tata Institute of Fundamental Research

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Persevere.

What do you do?

Mentor, Research Supervisor, Guiding students in research involving finding new materials for energy capture, storage and conversion

Why did you choose this field?

It was a desire not a have a conventional 9to5 job and always to be a 'learner'. As a researcher, you are always trying new ideas, go in new directions, trying to be innovative. The chance to do truly novel experiments that 'no one in the world' has done is what excited me (as a concept).

What do you look at and think, "I wish younger me would have known this was possible"?

I have moved away from conventional chemistry and my work involves quite a bit of physics and biology. It is multi-disciplinary. I work in areas that the 'younger' me did not really knew existed.

Why do you love working in STEM?

I like the fact that in STEM, initially an idea seems very far fetched, at times difficult to understand. However, once you commit to learning about the concepts, then you realize how intuitive it all really is and how, what was considered so tough, is actually quite trivial. I like breaking a large problem into something very non-threatening.

Best advice for next generation?

Persevere (as my favorite saying goes 'yet she persisted').

Inspo quote / fun fact / role model

As already stated in the previous answer, 'she persisted'

NOMINATE a woman in STEM

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