TEC Alumni Series: Blaiszik Shares His Story
TEC News Stories
10/17/2012 4:34:00 PM
By: Hannah Miller
After receiving his Ph.D in Theoretical and Applied Mechanics from the University of Illinois, Ben Blaiszik became a Director’s Distinguished Postdoctoral Fellow at Argonne National Laboratory in suburban Chicago.
His current research at the Lab has a broad focus, ranging from developing new non-particle therapies for cancer treatment to improving the durability and lifespan of lithium- and sodium-ion batteries for electric vehicles.
During his time at the University of Illinois, Blaiszik completed most of his research at the Beckman Institute, working closely with Nancy Sottos and Scott White.
Blaiszik was also involved with the Technology Entrepreneur Center, participating in several TEC workshops and attending entrepreneurial lectures.
“I became involved with TEC while trying to find a link into a community of entrepreneurs at the university. Having a group of people with the university engaging the students and helping them learn the ropes of entrepreneurship, often first-hand from actual entrepreneurs, is extremely valuable” he said.
In 2009, with 7 patent pending inventions in the development of self-healing plastics, Blaiszik received a bid to the Lemelson Illinois Student Prize.
“Much like any of these competitions, the Lemelson experience is always a unique challenge,” he said. “You are competing against some very worthy candidates, and every single competitor involved was worthy of distinction.”
Blaiszik’s application focused on economical, environmentally friendly methods to achieve self-healing in composite materials, concepts which he believes will “result in a fundamental shift in the way we design materials, and how we expect them to behave once they are in a product”.
Looking to the future, Blaiszik hopes to stay working in a field he enjoys and believes in. “The main goal for my career is to be involved in research that has the ability to transform lives,” he noted.
In his spare time, Blaiszik enjoys watching sports (Go Illini!), spending time with his family and friends, and coding.