Ateneo physics faculty Juan Paolo Bermundo and Jennifer Damasco-Ty are now Ph.D. in Materials Science students in NAIST, Japan

by Cindy Cease

Mr. Juan Paolo Bermundo and Ms. Jennifer Damasco Ty went to Nara Institute of Science and Technology (NAIST) in Ikoma City, Japan last October2012, to pursue PhD in Materials Science. Mr. Bermundo would be part of the Information Device Science Laboratory to work on Thin Film Transistors (TFT) research. TFTs are electrical components found in display devices which act as active switches controlling individual pixels. Specifically, he will work on improving the electrical characteristics of TFTs by using novel materials and techniques. On the other hand, Ms. Damasco Ty would work on bulk heterojunction solar cells research.

Prior to their doctoral studies, Mr. Bermundo and Ms. Damasco Ty went to NAIST as interns during their graduate and undergraduate studies, respectively, in Ateneo de Manila University (AdMU). Below is an interview with Juan Paolo and Jennifer by the Ateneo Physics News:


Jennifer Damasco Ty with her sensei at NAIST

1. When will your studies start?

I will start as a research student on December. If all goes well, I will start as a PhD student on April.

2. Why did you choose NAIST?

Because of the opportunity available to me as an Ateneo alumni and faculty. The partnership between AdMU and NAIST makes me eligible to apply to the Screening of International Students by Special Recommendation. Also, as an undergraduate student, I was fortunate enough to participate in the NAPI internship which invites AdMU teachers and students to NAIST. During that time, I was able to observe the research in two laboratories and get to know the professors.

3. What will be your research area there?

I will be working on bulk heterojunction solar cells.

4. What will be the pros and cons of your studies in this university with your chosen field?

It is very easy to do research in NAIST because of the availability to many research equipment. Furthermore, NAIST also has good relationships with universities and research institutes abroad.

5. What are your future plans?

In the near future, I hope to work in a company pursuing similar research to gain experience. But I am also open to other opportunities that may be available to me after NAIST. Pursuing post-doctoral studies would be ideal.


Juan Paolo Bermundo at NAIST

Juan Paolo Bermundo at NAIST

1. When will your studies start?

I started my PhD studies last October 1, 2012 at Nara Institute of Science and Technology (NAIST). The institute is in Takayama Science Town in Ikoma City, Nara Prefecture—in the countryside but relatively near to big cities such as Osaka (45 mins by train), Kyoto (45 mins) and Kobe (2 hours), and the historic city of Nara (30 min).

2. Why did you choose this university?

I went to NAIST last March 2012 as an intern and I found the research environment to be top class. I also liked how people are focused with their research. Ateneo also has a very good partnership with NAIST. In fact, there are a lot of Ateneo graduates here in NAIST especially from the ECCE department.

3. What will be your research area there?

I am now part of the Information Device Science Laboratory in the Graduate school of Materials Science in NAIST. I am currently working on Thin Film Transistors (TFT). TFTs can be found in display devices and they act as an active switch that controls individual pixels. I am specifically working on improving the stability of TFTs (such as IGZO TFTs) and developing doped ZnO using novel materials and techniques to improve its electrical characteristics. The goal is to develop new materials that can be used for next generation flexible displays.

4. How did your employment in Ateneo as faculty member help you to get into the PhD program of your chosen university?

An advantage of being an Ateneo student is that there are a lot of opportunities to go to several partner universities. Ateneo has a lot of International mobility programs such as the JTA and internships to other universities. Because of this, I was able to apply and get accepted as an intern student in NAIST last March 2011.

The scientific training that Ateneo provided in the Physics and Materials Science Engineering programs is also helpful in making it easier for me to keep up, adjust, and adapt to a new research environment. Being a faculty member is also an advantage because I can review the basics. Teaching develops one’s discipline and patience.


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Physics News and Features from Ateneo de Manila University

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