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Greetings from Nattusbs - new member
Old 01-31-2007, 09:35 AM   #1
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Greetings from Nattusbs - new member

Hi all

I am glad I found this site. Seems like fun and very informative. About me:

Male, 46, live in Southern Calif, Canadian by birth, East Indian - I have a Ph.D. in Materials Science and Engineering and have spent all of career at industrial R&D commercializing technology to the hi-tech market (not software).

Planning on moving to India, get a Professor position and lead a relaxed life - do some good research with very bright students, teach, write papers, attend conferences worldwide ie travel.

I have a very good feel of finance, but, always wanting and willing to learn more.


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Re: Greetings from Nattusbs - new member
Old 01-31-2007, 10:39 AM   #2
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Re: Greetings from Nattusbs - new member

Hello Nattusbs,

My past is somewhat similar to yours. I have a Ph.D., worked in R&D for many years, and decided that being a Professor would be a "down-shifting" move. My thoughts on that life were similar to yours: work with bright students, teach a little, write a few papers, attend conferences, all in a relaxed and genial atmosphere.

WRONG! My life as a Professor has been far, far more stressful than ever before. The ticking tenure clock, much lower salary, working with surly, unprepared and entitled students, "publish or perish" pressures that lead to the temptations of quantity over quality, no time for relaxed travel, *unbelievable* political games...

Maybe it would be different in India, I don't know, but maybe not. I don't want to spoil your dream, but it's just something to think about.

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Re: Greetings from Nattusbs - new member
Old 02-02-2007, 10:25 AM   #3
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Re: Greetings from Nattusbs - new member

Not an easy road as a prof in most US universities today.
I too have considered that route, but have now concluded that I am much better off to spend another 18 months here in industry and them go whole hog retired.
Then I can do some limited consulting on my own schedule.
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Re: Greetings from Nattusbs - new member
Old 02-02-2007, 10:55 AM   #4
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Re: Greetings from Nattusbs - new member

I thought I had the good life figured out - - didn't want to teach any more (for the reasons cited by Grep), so I took a research professorship at a state university in which I didn't have to teach at all. I thought it would be perfect for me. Wrong! The pressure to publish or perish was unbelievably intense, but the worst part was doing most of the humdrum parts of research myself since I only had one research assistant who turned out to be rather worthless. And as anybody knows who has done research, it can actually involve a lot of fairly boring, repetitive work sandwiched somewhere between the proposal and writing up the results.

The most interesting part was writing the proposals, but then of course the ones that were funded were usually the dullest ones and the ones I was excited about gathered dust on a shelf or had to be altered beyond recognition to fit new guidelines for resubmittal elsewhere. Ugh! University jobs did not turn out to be the key to my happiness.

Eventually I found happiness in the type of job I had thought would be my last choice - - working for the federal government. There is much less pressure, the pay is much higher, benefits are unbeatable, and I get to read and critique OTHER researchers' proposals and oversee their work. Fascinating! After 2 or 3 years I was able to adjust to working just a 40-hour week on most weeks. A 40-hour week is encouraged at my workplace, and its very restful.

On the other hand, work is work so I do hope to ER pretty soon.

Welcome to the board, Nattusbs!
Already we are boldly launched upon the deep; but soon we shall be lost in its unshored, harbourless immensities. - - H. Melville, 1851.

Happily retired since 2009, at age 61. Best years of my life by far!
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