Christopher Culbreath

Physicist · Programmer · Photographer · Machinist


Location

San Luis Obispo, CA

Phone

(805) 234–0847

Intro

Physicists are trained to think critically and to think deeply. Physicists solve complex, difficult problems that demand a deep understanding and creative, innovative solutions. Pushing at the edges of science requires persistence, long-term project management and acute awareness of subtle details. I am a physicist looking to use the powerful tools and techniques of physics beyond the laboratory— I seek to apply my skills, innovation and drive in collaboration with a team of motivated colleagues. I am eager to solve difficult problems, work on exciting products and to get things done right and on time, working at a thriving, customer-focused organization.

As a student, the appeal of physics was its breadth— a vast knowlege of how the universe works, and how to solve problems. I am a life long learner, and my broad skillset extends beyond the often one-dimensional stereotype of a physicist. Beyond my work in academia, I have worked as a professional photographer, computer technician, and print professional. I'm an enthusiastic adopter of the maker's philosophy and have apprenticed and trained as a machinist. I value and thrive on efficiency, and have been a trusted and effective team leader in the lab and at work. To aid in my efforts, I have developed tailored software solutions to streamline and improve productivity, in the classroom, in the lab and at home.

Expertise

01

Materials Physics

I am an experimental and computational physicist with a research focus on active materials including liquid crystals and shape memory alloys. My research approach is to build custom automated instrumentation to make novel measurements and observations. In addition, I have developed molecular dynamics, optical transmission and director relaxation simulations. My recent work has focused on mentoring undergraduate physics students with accessible, multi-disciplinary projects that augment Cal Poly's famous "learn by doing" pedagogy.

02

Data Analysis

Data analysis is a core skill of an experimental physicist. Through my education and experimental work I have developed robust analysis skills. I utilize a variety of computational and automation tools to expedite processing and identify trends. I have a deep knowledge of data collection, normalization, error analysis and visualization. I know how to develop a mathematical model and how test a dataset's agreement with the model. My mathematical background is extensive, with an advanced understanding of statistics, linear algebra, and differential equations.

03

Communication and Leadership

Teaching physics requires accurate, clear communication and the ability to present complex and abstract ideas in a systematic and understandable way. At both Chico State and Cal Poly, I have been a popular and effective instructor, earning positive reviews from students and colleagues alike. Further, I have been a proven leader in both formal and informal roles. At Kinko's, I led our print production team to new levels of efficiency and accuracy. At the Liquid Crystal Institute, I advised new lab members, managed equipment acquisition, kept supplies stocked and supervised a significant expansion of our machine shop facilities. I also served as a the official graduate student liaison at faculty meetings. My communication and leadership skills fueled my success as a professional wedding photographer, where I exhibited excellent group management, time management, and communication skills in an infamously high-pressure environment.

04

Web Development

My knowledge of web development has grown out of the desire to develop specific tools to solve specific problems. I have a life-long love of intuitive, well-designed software. I am conversant in PHP, Javascript (and Jquery), CSS and HTML. As an instructor, I developed a custom course-management CMS and gradebook, a flashcard web-app for memorizing student names, and a mobile-optimized real-time in-class response system. At home, what started as a solution to supervise my kids' chores, developed into Chore Cloud—a chore and money management site that is loved by other families too.

05

Photography and Print

I am an award winning portrait photographer and professional wedding photographer. My photography is marked by a documentary style and a bit of whimsy. I developed a technical mastery of photography both behind the camera and in the lab, where I designed optical systems for experimental observation. I am also a print-production expert, with experience in offset press operation, pre-press processing, page layout and graphic design.

06

Machine Shop

Motivated to bring my ideas to life, I learned the trade of machining. I apprenticed with a precision machinist, and honed the trade. I can carry an idea from design to a finished part. I have experience with both conventional machining techniques and 3D CAD, CNC programming and automated fabrication. The shop teaches attention to detail, project management and how to see a project through to the end in a way that only a tangible hold-in-your-hand product can.

Technology

Languages

Frameworks

Apps

Experience

2016 – Present

Cal Poly

Lecturer, Physics Department

San Luis Obispo, California

As a core member of the teaching staff, I teach 70-120 undergraduate engineers and scientists each quarter in various courses covering mechanics, waves, optics, thermodynamics, electricity and magnetism. I also expanded my research program, establishing an active materials lab and supervising Frost Summer Scholar students.

2017 – present

Elastium Technologies

Materials Science and Automation Consultant

San Leandro, California

Elastium technologies hired me to development an automation control scheme for a their a newly developed industrial furnace. In addition, Elastium has relied on my consultation to refine their novel technique for producing single-crystal shape memory wire.

2015 – 2016

Chico State University

Physics Lecturer

Chico, California

At Chico State, I was a valued member of a small faculty. I taught introductory calculus-based mechanics and their no-calculus version of electricity and magnetism to classes of 48-120 students.

2011 – 2015

Iconic Photography

Owner · Photographer

Kent, Ohio

While in Kent, Ohio, I owned and operated Iconic Photography in collaboration with Nik Glazar. Our work was marked by exceptional quality and customer service, earning excellent reviews and word-of-mouth recommendations.

2005 – 2008

MacSuperstore

Senior Technician

San Luis Obispo, California

At the MacSuperstore, I was relied upon throughout the sales and service team as an expert in both hardware and software. I was quickly promoted to senior technician and received my Apple Certification in Desktop Repair, Portable Repair, and Mac OS X Support (2006-2009).

Education

2008

Cal Poly

B.S. Physics

San Luis Obispo, California

Science

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Teaching

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Sed egestas, ante et vulputate volutpat, eros pede semper est, vitae luctus metus libero eu augue. Morbi purus libero, faucibus adipiscing, commodo quis, gravida id, est. Sed lectus. Praesent elementum hendrerit tortor. Sed semper lorem at felis. Vestibulum volutpat, lacus a ultrices sagittis, mi neque euismod dui, eu pulvinar nunc sapien ornare nisl. Phasellus pede arcu, dapibus eu, fermentum et, dapibus sed, urna. Fusce lacinia arcu et nulla. Nulla vitae mauris non felis mollis.

Computation

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Sed egestas, ante et vulputate volutpat, eros pede semper est, vitae luctus metus libero eu augue. Morbi purus libero, faucibus adipiscing, commodo quis, gravida id, est. Sed lectus. Praesent elementum hendrerit tortor. Sed semper lorem at felis. Vestibulum volutpat, lacus a ultrices sagittis, mi neque euismod dui, eu pulvinar nunc sapien ornare nisl. Phasellus pede arcu, dapibus eu, fermentum et, dapibus sed, urna. Fusce lacinia arcu et nulla. Nulla vitae mauris non felis mollis.

Web Development

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Sed egestas, ante et vulputate volutpat, eros pede semper est, vitae luctus metus libero eu augue. Morbi purus libero, faucibus adipiscing, commodo quis, gravida id, est. Sed lectus. Praesent elementum hendrerit tortor. Sed semper lorem at felis. Vestibulum volutpat, lacus a ultrices sagittis, mi neque euismod dui, eu pulvinar nunc sapien ornare nisl. Phasellus pede arcu, dapibus eu, fermentum et, dapibus sed, urna. Fusce lacinia arcu et nulla. Nulla vitae mauris non felis mollis.