In one's research career before being independent as PI, it is usual to study within one field (or occasionally two). I was very lucky in a sense that I have entered several fields in relatively short period of time.
I started my research experience with bio inspired and biomimetic soft robots. Two years time I spent in this field was great enjoyment with couple of publications (interestingly, the paper I wrote during my undergraduate period in this field cited many times in major literatures!). Although the field of bioinspired and biomimetic soft robotics was greatly enjoyable, I changed my research area to soft material and mechanics when I started my master at MIT. Luckily, my transition to this very new field went fairly well, and I had joyful time with interesting topics and ideas around soft materials like hydrogels and elastomers. Thankfully, this new topic gave me handful of nice publications too.
While it was fine to stay in this field until PhD, I kind of made another venture toward 3D printing of advanced soft materials when I started my PhD. It took almost two years to fully setup and mastering the direct ink writing 3D printing setup as I needed to start from the scratch. However, it was kind of great bet for me to transit one more time. This new topic gave me opportunity to study and invent various interesting materials and ideas including 3D printable living, magneto-responsive, electronic, and biomimicking materials. This new venture already gifted me couple of publications, and generously giving me chance to get more and more papers.
Interestingly, more chance to divert into other fields came accidentally too. While I was discussing with my friend in neuroengineering field, I had chance to collaborate on brain probe. This seemed ludicrous and half-joke in the first stage as I really didn't have any experience or knowledge in neuroengineering or brain probes, and my friend was too for my fields. However, after several years, we made things through, and we may get a decent publication very soon. I learned a lot about the field of neuroengineering, brain probes, and bioelectronics during this interesting digression. Encouraged by this unexpected success in new exploration, I recently made another expedition to a new field - bioelectronics. This is kind of ongoing venture, but I luckily got multiple nice ideas to pursue. If I am lucky enough, I may get several major publications in this new field in coming year.
So, until I have less than a year before finishing my PhD, I have entered many fields starting from bioinspired and biomimetic soft robotics to bioelectronics. Remarkable thing is that all these seemingly different fields are closely connected and influencing me when I explore new ideas, sometimes providing me strength of convergence in multidisciplinary research. All these interesting fields in sum have given me tremendous enjoyment and excitement (and productivity as a result). What other new exciting new fields await me in the future?