Jennefer Maldonado

When did you join Brookhaven Lab, and how did you find your way here?

I joined Brookhaven Lab full time in June 2022. I had been familiar with the Lab since January 2019, when I participated in the “Mini-Semester” program run by the Lab’s Office of Educational Programs. This program exposed me to the scientific applications of the topics I had been studying as an undergraduate at Adelphi University. During the summers of 2019 and 2020, I interned at the Lab’s National Synchrotron Light Source II (NSLS-II) as a part of the Science Undergraduate Laboratory Internship (SULI) program. I learned a lot about programmable logic controllers and controls systems and discovered my love for machine learning and data science. In January 2021, I was asked to come back to work on a project at NSLS-II as a student assistant while working toward my master’s degree at Adelphi. I used Python machine learning tools to reduce computational costs of beamline simulations, collaborating with companies outside of Brookhaven and working on beamlines during experiment days. After all these experiences, I knew I wanted to stay and work at the Lab. There are so many exciting projects I hope to be a part of one day.

What is your job at BNL?

I am a senior applications analyst in the Collider-Accelerator Department. I develop software that is used in the systems that control operations of the Lab’s accelerator complex. I also work on upgrading older versions of software to newer languages, such as Python.

What inspires your work here?

One of my life goals is to see equal opportunity for women in STEM fields. Being in a STEM field, I can help encourage other women to pursue these careers. As a volunteer member of the Brookhaven Women in Science (BWIS) board, I network with employees across the Lab and have met strong advocates for women in STEM. Seeing a lot of new faces early in their careers, including the scientists, engineers, and technicians beginning to work on the Electron-Ion Collider (EIC) project, is inspiring. I look forward to working with new employees, seeing the impact of my work in the future, and to furthering new ideas to aid in new scientific discoveries.

What is your favorite story about your job?

My favorite experience was when we had our first beam time allocation at NSLS-II when I was a student assistant. Everyone who worked on the project sat at the beamline to watch the beam vary as we controlled the hardware with the aim of collecting the perfect data and images. It felt really empowering to be a part of that team. Seeing the results was extremely rewarding.

What future activity at the Lab are you most excited about?

I am looking forward to the Electron-Ion Collider (EIC) project as this is the future of the Lab. I hope to continue to develop applications and software for EIC. I also hope to work on machine learning projects to help advance the project as well.