The following interview is part of a series the College of Science conducted with some of our alumni. While their experiences and career paths vary widely, their passion for science and love for the College and OSU tie them together.
Major: Physics and Engineering Physics
Additional Education: M.S. in Physics, Washington State University (’11)
Occupation: R&D Manager, Saint-Gobain Crystals
What led you to choose your major and career path?
I was always interested in making things (engineering) but also in the fundamentals of what makes things behave the way they do (physics).
How did the College of Science prepare you for your future career?
My experience in the College of Science gave me the foundation for my graduate studies.
Describe your career? How are you making a difference?
At Saint-Gobain Crystals, we make a range of products for the defense, medical, and semiconductor markets. Many of the markets that we sell into enable technologies that would not be possible without the products we offer.
What might people be surprised to learn about your profession?
Many people are surprised to hear about single crystal materials being an industry or profession, but in reality, they are a building block for a lot of different technologies. For example, your phone uses single crystal silicon for many of its components, LEDs, and likely has sapphire for the fingerprint sensor and/or outer camera lens. Another example is a lot of high-end power electronics in hybrid and electric vehicles use silicon carbide-based devices. Without single crystal materials modern technology simply wouldn’t be possible.
How were you involved in the OSU community?
I was involved in the Optics Society (OSA) for a couple years, including one year as vice president.
What is one favorite College of Science memory?
Using a 40kV power supply to try to build an open-air Nitrogen laser. Not so sure they would allow that now, but it was a good time.
If you could give a future College of Science student advice, what would it be?
Don’t spend too much time in the general engineering or science area. It can be nice to spend some time figuring out what you like, but it can make catching up in the field you choose a little more difficult. That said, don’t be afraid to switch majors if you don’t like what you’re studying. As long as you stick in the same general area (i.e. engineering, science, etc.) most credits transfer and the sooner you find where you want to be, the better.