Senior Staff Scientist

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Trust your curiosity and instincts.

Jill Pestana

What do you do?

I research and develop lithium-ion batteries for electric vehicles.

Why did you choose this field?

When I was in high school, I decided to pursue physics because of my interests in science, math, and music. I was curious about how the universe worked. While working toward my BS in physics, I interned at NASA Jet Propulsion Lab developing fuel cell catalysts. I fell in love with researching energy materials, not just because of the fascinating science but also because of the greater application in promoting sustainability. This motivated me to go to graduate school and work towards becoming a battery scientist.

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

I wish my younger self knew that she would be able to make scientific discoveries and file patents related to them!

Why do you love working in STEM?

I love working in STEM because it expands my perception of the world, and the knowledge I gain empowers me to make a difference by solving tough challenges. I wake up every morning looking forward to learning new things, making new mistakes, and growing my expertise.

Best advice for next generation?

Trust your curiosity and instincts. The changing economic landscape presents opportunities that you may see, while others don’t. There’s plenty of space for innovation and reimagining of how we live.

Inspo quote / fun fact / role model

“Always make new mistakes.” - Richard Feynman

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