Behind the Lens: Meet CEMAS' Matt Cabral

Posted: September 6, 2022
headshot of matt cabral

As a scanning electron microscope (SEM) instrument manager at The Ohio State University’s Center for Electron Microscopy and Analysis (CEMAS), Matt Cabral plays a critical role in guiding research initiatives and helping users collect valuable data. Matt joined CEMAS in April and brings experience from different facilities on multiple continents, working with various types of instruments. Matt recently took time to share insight into his journey, as well as what it’s like to work a world-class microscopy facility like CEMAS.

CEMAS: What is your role at CEMAS?

My role is an SEM instrument manager, which means I train users how to use the SEMs and help them collect their data. I give suggestions to users and guide them in their research when needed.

CEMAS: What led you to work at CEMAS?

My journey has led me all over the world. I grew up in southeastern Massachusetts and did my undergraduate studies in Rhode Island. I went to graduate school at North Carolina State University to study nuclear engineering but switched to materials science and became interested in electron microscopy. I finished my PhD and took an electron microscopy postdoc position in Australia. After coming back to the United States, I worked at the Carnegie Mellon University materials characterization facility working with transmission electron microscopes and SEMs. Then, I saw the position at CEMAS and knew there was a lot of opportunity here to learn more and be involved in different research.

CEMAS: Is there a particular project or research topic you’ve been involved in that’s been the most exciting?

I have gotten to help students from the College of Medicine look at knee implants. I’ve never done anything like that before, so it was exciting to work on something in which I had no prior experience. It was also great to collaborate with other departments in the university.

CEMAS: What is your favorite part of being at Ohio State and CEMAS?

I like that it’s such a large university with people doing all different types of research. Day to day you can see totally different things. I never know what research someone is going to bring into CEMAS.

CEMAS: If you could visit anywhere in the world, where would it be and why?

I’ve had a lot of opportunity to travel and see the world as a graduate student and postdoc. I would probably choose South America because it’s one part of the world I haven’t had a chance to explore yet.

CEMAS: What’s a hobby you’ve always wanted to pick up but haven’t yet?

I would say playing the guitar. It’s always something that has looked really cool when I see others do it.


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