We're Here to Help
Faculty advisors are here to help you with any initial content-related problems you may encounter with your degree. They are your first stop when trying to decide what courses to take or when you need help navigating your relationship with your major professor. Graduate advisors are also required to approve your annual student progress report and any official Graduate Studies forms you may need.
Professor Takamura received her B.S. from Cornell University and her M.S. and Ph.D. from Stanford University, all in the field of Materials Science and Engineering. She enjoys the combination of a major research institution in UC Davis and the small-town charm of the City of Davis. Professor Takamura believes that mentorship is an important aspect at all levels of your career, and that the nature of these relationships will evolve over time. In her free time, Professor Takamura is an active cyclist (both road and mountain biking) and runner. She has been at UC Davis since 2006.
Associate Dean Ricardo Castro
2021 Kemper Hall
Cohort: Fall 2015
Professor Castro received both his B.S. in Molecular Science and his Ph.D. in Metallurgical and Materials Engineering from the University of São Paulo in Brazil. A part of the department since 2009, Professor Castro uses the inspiring atmosphere of the campus to develop research in the field of nanoceramics. He believes mentorship is key not only for a bright career, but also for the development of a healthy and fruitful lifestyle. Professor Castro is a family man with two kids who make his life home life super busy, but as happy as it can get.
Professor van Benthem earned his bachelor's and M.S. degrees in Physics from the Westfälische Wilhelms University in Münster, Germany, and his Ph.D. in Materials Science from the Max Planck Institute for Metals Research in Stuttgart, Germany. Before joining UC Davis in 2008, he was a postdoctoral fellow and then an R&D Staff Scientist at Oak Ridge National Laboratory. Professor van Benthem enjoys mentoring and collaborating with graduate students from many disciplines to explore new and exciting materials phenomena. In his free time, he enjoys travelling with his wife, riding one of his road bikes or scuba diving. He has yet to find an opportunity to do all at once.
Assistant Professor Roopali Kukreja
2013 Kemper Hall
Cohort: Fall 2018
Professor Kukreja received her B.S. in Metallurgical Engineering and Materials Science from the Indian Institute of Technology Bombay in 2008, and her M.S. and Ph.D. in Materials Science and Engineering from Stanford University in 2011 and 2014, respectively. She arrived at UC Davis in 2016. She loves how bike-friendly both the university and the City of Davis are. Through her experiences as a doctoral student and postdoctoral scholar, Professor Kukreja understands the importance of mentorship and hopes all of her advisees successfully transition to graduate school and beyond. Her decision to pursue an academic career was greatly inspired by her own graduate mentor, who encouraged free-thinking and allowed her to make her own mistakes and discoveries. In her free time, Professor Kukreja enjoys cooking. She tries both old and new recipes, though they don’t always turn out as well as she would like.
Professor Sen received his B.S. and M.S. degrees from Presidency College in Calcutta, India before moving to the U.S. to complete another M.S. degree at the University of Houston. Though he started his Ph.D. at Princeton University, he moved to California after his first year and finished the degree at Stanford University. He joined UC Davis in 2004 after two years in academia in the U.K. and six years in industry. He greatly enjoys the department’s collegial, collaborative and friendly work environment. Graduate mentoring is very important to Professor Sen. He thinks it is the most effective way of sharing knowledge with young minds and preparing future generations to meaningfully contribute to human knowledge. Though he says he is not familiar with the concept of spare time, his hobbies include gardening, reading and traveling.
Staff advisors are here to help you with the logistical aspects of obtaining your degree at UC Davis. They are your first stop for form, policy or procedure related questions. They are also a great first resource to ask if you’re not sure where to go for something or if you have a general question.
Born and raised in Davis, Grace graduated from UC Davis with her bachelor’s degree in history with honors. Before joining the Department of Materials Science and Engineering, she worked as an undergraduate advisor and graduate coordinator for the Departments of History and Economics. From 2015 to 2019, she served as co-chair of the Graduate Studies Advisory Committee, a group for UC Davis graduate coordinators. Grace enjoys advising graduate students because of their dedication and passion for their field. Her door is always open to current and prospective graduate students, so stop by for a candy.
Fun Fact: Grace is a fifth-generation Californian.
Maria was born in Mexico and her family immigrated when she was very young. She grew up in the tiny town of Tulelake in Northern California. Maria is a first-generation college student and proud alumna of UC Davis. She graduated with a double major in International Relations with an emphasis on peace and security and Spanish. Maria is passionate about assisting students in their pursuit, transition, and journey through UC Davis and to provide them with the tools and resources to start and continue their education and careers.
Fun fact: Maria traveled to Washington, D.C. in the summer of 2011.