Susmita Sarkar is a mechanical engineer. Her PhD research focused on designing and manufacturing next-generation battery technologies and increasing the reliability of existing energy storage devices by cross-linking fundamental sciences with innovative techniques to broaden mass access to sustainable energy.
As a Schmidt Science Fellow, Susmita will pivot from Mechanical Engineering to Chemical Engineering, working with Professor Zhenan Bao at Stanford University to study stretchable electronic devices for healthcare. By applying unconventional nanofabrication and material characterization techniques, Susmita’s hopes her research has a substantial societal and economic impact by bringing down the cost of healthcare devices and sensors by providing affordable healthcare to those in need.
Coming from a small village in the rural northeastern part of India, the topics that spiked Susmita’s interest in science were directly related to the benefit of the villagers, such as energy storage, affordable healthcare, and better sanitation. She also faced and understood the challenges associated with women’s education. Throughout her undergraduate and graduate years, she actively sought opportunities for improving diversity, engagement, inclusion, and belonging in the STEM field. In the future, in addition to researching a sustainable future, she intends to keep advocating for women’s education and continue her efforts to instil a passion for science in underrepresented communities.