Scholar Profile

Ahmed Ismail

Voted Most Likely To:
Go into the lab as a hurricane was moving through

Yale University, Class of 1998

Currently Working As:
Assistant Professor, West Virginia University

What do you love about your job?
The opportunity to choose my own research areas. I love learning how and why the world works the way it does. Everything breaks down to how small chemical changes make huge differences in material performance; understanding why is the key to future materials development.

What has been the most exciting part of your career so far?
I've had the good fortune to work with many amazing people, including spending five years at a German university, where I was working as part of a biofuels research center! Getting the opportunity to work and live in a foreign country has completely changed my perspective about education, work-life balance, and many other aspects of professional careers.

What would you tell yourself at age 18?
Don't feel like you have to have everything planned out. You will find yourself doing many different things in your career and your life. Prepare for what you'd like to do, and be ready to seize opportunities that come your way!

How has ACS Scholars impacted your life and career?
If it hadn't been for the ACS Scholars program, I would never have become a chemical engineering major and would have led to an entirely different career. (I was deciding between CS and chemistry as a freshman: the support provided by ACS made the difference!)