By Alexia Finotello
Dr. Beata A. Kilos-Réaume recalls that her love and passion for chemistry and problem solving began when her dad gave her a chemistry kit as a child. Her love of what she does was clearly demonstrated during the WCC Rising Star Symposium where she emphasized the impact of having a diverse career and taking opportunities that expands one's skill set.
Beata credits her successes to her hard work, following her passions, and being resilient. She underscores that her ability to be adaptive, be adventurous, and to learn from her mistakes have been keys to success throughout her career. While, she believes that if one is intelligent and knows how to channel that intelligence, one can reach their professional and personal goals and targets. Beata also cautions that successful scientists must not only work hard, but also take calculated risks to achieve greater impacts.
As a first-generation immigrant, Beata graduated from Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznan, Poland with a M.Sc. and Ph.D. in Chemistry. As one of Europe’s few scholars selected for the prestigious Marie Curie Fellowship, Beata completed work toward her doctorate at the Institut de Recherches sur la Catalyse et l’Environnement de Lyon (CNRS, IRCELYON) in Villeurbanne, France. Beata followed this with a joint appointment at the University of California, Berkeley’s Chemical Engineering Department and the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory where she worked with Professors Enrique Iglesia and Alex Bell on oxidation catalysis. Subsequently, she started her career at the Dow Chemical Company in 2008 and since then has worked on a wide array of projects for numerous Dow businesses, focusing on heterogeneous catalysis and materials science. For Beata, solving challenging problems and working on diverse teams are the most exciting parts of her job. She derives great satisfaction from developing new catalysts and processes to produce chemicals and energy.
Outside of work Beata enjoys art, jazz, classical music, traveling, tennis, skiing, and fine dining. Beata says "If I wasn't a scientist I'd work in art and design. I am a fan of mid-century modern architecture and non-objective art."
A strong proponent of diversity and inclusion, Beata is also a leader at several Dow and ACS organizations supporting these goals. Some additional advice she offers to women starting their careers is to follow their passion and build a network of mentors and supporters that can provide them with candid feedback. Beata also urges women scientists progressing in their careers to "...look to serve as a role model and promote diversity and inclusion for women in science. Be an inspiration."