2012-2013 Luce Scholar

Aimee Bailey received her PhD in Condensed Matter Theory Physics from the Imperial College London (2009), and her BSE in Materials Science and Engineering from the University of Pennsylvania (2006). Ms. Bailey grew up in a small farming community in rural Illinois. She set out to pursue a bachelor’s degree at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, and defined her education in two major ways: by selecting courses across disciplines and by becoming actively involved in research starting in her first semester of college. By graduation, Ms. Bailey had contributed to an experimental chemistry group studying hydrogen storage, an experimental materials group investing thin films to coat impants to enhance biocompatibility, a theoretical materials group investigating the mechanical behavior of a candidate material for the containment walls of the ITER fusion reactor, and an applied physics group engineering photonic crystal devices capable of remote chemical detection. Ms. Bailey continued her education in the physics department of Imperial College London, where she completed her doctoral dissertation on the simulation of soft matter systems. Applications of her research include flow properties of petrochemicals, microorganism motility, and the organization of intra-cellular components. After completing her thesis, she spent a few months as a freelance scientist before starting a post-doctoral position researching biochemical networks at the Institute for Atomic and Molecular Physics (FOM Institute AMOLF) in Amsterdam, The Netherlands. There, Ms. Bailey investigated the Ras biochemical network, which is a group of proteins implicated in cancerous cells. In the fall of 2010, she moved to Washington, D.C., for a Science & Technology Policy Fellowship sponsored by the American Association for the Advancement of Science. For the fellowship, Ms. Bailey is hosted by the Solar Energy Technologies Program at the U.S. Department of Energy, where she is researching the process of technology evolution.