Ozgenur Kahvecioglu FeridunBy John Spizzirri • March 21, 2014
A visiting scientist at Argonne in 2010 and a postdoctoral research fellow since 2012, Ozgenur “Ozge” Kahvecioglu Feridun is a metallurgical and materials engineer with the Process Technology Research group in the Energy Systems division.
What do you do at Argonne?
I work on process development and scale-up of advanced cathode materials. We scale processes from bench to pilot scale, identifying and resolving process challenges when producing materials. This reduces the risks associated with the commercialization of new materials.
What made you choose Argonne as the place to continue your postdoc work?
Actually, this is my second time working at Argonne. In 2010, I was here as a Visiting Scientist working on another scale-up project, the Ultrafast and Large Scale Boriding project, under Ali Erdemir. During this project, I learned firsthand how to apply my skills to solve process scale-up problems and how working on a diverse team contributed to the overall success of the project. Everyone brought a different expertise to the table that helped us solve many difficult issues.
On that project, we scaled an advanced heat-treating process from bench to industrial scale. It was subsequently licensed to an industrial partner and won an R&D 100 award in 2012.
After completing this project, I returned to Istanbul Technical University in Turkey, and one of my colleagues on this project, Greg Krumdick, went on to lead Argonne’s Materials Engineering Research Facility (MERF) and battery materials scale-up programs. He contacted me and offered a postdoc position to work on scaling advanced cathode materials for lithium ion batteries. I jumped at the chance to return to Argonne, where I would work with multidisciplinary teams to strengthen my expertise and abilities.
What most excites you about your work?
It’s the challenges that come up when you least expect them — they stimulate your creativity. And then you wait to see if the solution you developed solves the problem. It’s very rewarding when you receive positive results and you know you helped come up with the solution.
How has mentoring been of help to you at Argonne?
I have found Argonne’s formal mentoring program to be helpful in navigating some of the complexities of working at Argonne, and I have also received good mentoring advice from my colleagues and co-workers.
In a previous project that I worked on, I learned a lot and expanded my skill set by working with others on tasks I had little or no experience with, such as how to construct a commercial-scale furnace or how to design safety features to enable safe operations.
How has Argonne helped you advance toward your career goals?
At Argonne, you get a chance to work with people from many different backgrounds—valued friends and colleagues who are experts in their fields. I am now working with Youngho Shin, an engineer who came to Argonne a few years ago from a company in Korea. I have learned a lot about the manufacturing of battery cathode materials and what it takes to scale a material from the bench to pilot scale. He brings real-world industrial experience to our group that you just don’t get at a university.
As a postdoc, Argonne is a great place to work to improve my skills, because I continue to develop my engineering background by working with experts who come here from different industries.
What advice would you give to grad students looking for the ideal postdoctoral position?
Really learn about the area in which you want to be an expert. Making a decision at the very beginning of your studies might be difficult, so try out different areas until you find one that feels like a perfect fit. Diversity in background always helps, too. No matter what you end up doing, a diverse set of skills will provide the ability to approach problems in different ways and perhaps, help find a solution more quickly.