As a critical thinker with a passion for solving complex problems, I’m a trained physicist and experienced educator eager to apply my diverse skillset in a collaborative environment. My expertise in physics has equipped me with exceptional problem-solving abilities, innovative thinking, and the persistence needed to drive projects to completion.
With experience in materials science, automation engineering, and teaching, I bring a multidisciplinary perspective for finding creative solutions. I’m keen to join forces with a talented team of engineers who share my enthusiasm for tackling challenges and achieving excellence.
Efficiency is at the core of my work ethic; as an effective leader and trusted collaborator, I am dedicated to working methodically and systematically while developing the right tools to ensure success. My strong communication abilities have enabled me to form lasting, fruitful partnerships throughout my career.
Embracing vertical integration, I’ve honed skills across various aspects of my work — from developing bespoke software to precision machining my own tools. I have also expanded my abilities with professional experience in photography, computer repair, and print production. This rich tapestry of skills allows me to navigate challenges from multiple angles.
With an appetite for working alongside driven colleagues on exciting projects, my combination of critical thinking, technical knowledge, leadership skills, and unwavering motivation will prove invaluable in any technical endeavor.
To learn more about my past projects and specific areas of interest, please explore the content below.
As an experimental and computational physicist, I have extensively researched active materials, including liquid crystals and shape memory alloys. I specialize in custom automated instrumentation for novel measurements and observations as well as developing molecular dynamics, optical transmission, and director relaxation simulations. Recently, my focus has been on mentoring undergraduate physics students at Cal Poly through accessible, multi-disciplinary projects that enhance and complement the institution's renowned 'learn by doing' teaching approach.
Expertise in data analysis forms an integral part of my experimental physics background. Utilizing various computational and automation tools, I can efficiently process data and uncover trends. With a deep understanding of data collection, normalization, error analysis, and visualization, I excel in developing mathematical models to compare datasets. My advanced knowledge of statistics, linear algebra, and differential equations reinforces my strong analytical foundation.
With hands-on experience designing, building, and implementing automated systems across diverse applications, I have honed my skills as an automation engineer. Developing control systems with both hardware and software components, combined with expertise in programming languages such as Python and LabVIEW, enables me to rapidly prototype and test ideas. By delivering automation solutions that improve efficiency, accuracy, and reduce human error, I consistently prioritize the most effective and efficient solutions for any given task.
Strong communication and leadership skills have been crucial in my roles as a physicist, educator, and project manager. My experience mentoring undergraduate physics students has not only helped me connect with my audience but also allowed me to tailor my teaching style to their unique needs. As a team leader, I prioritize clear communication and collaboration with cross-functional teams to drive projects toward successful outcomes. In all aspects of my work, effective communication remains the key to fostering meaningful connections, whether it's while leading a project, delivering presentations, explaining complex concepts, or capturing the essence of a wedding through photographs.
As an award-winning portrait photographer and professional wedding photographer, I excel in documentary-style photography with a touch of whimsy. My technical expertise was fortified both behind the camera and as a researcher designing optical systems for experimental observation. In addition, my experience in print production includes offset press operation, pre-press processing, page layout, and graphic design.
An informal apprenticeship with a precision machinist provided me with a solid foundation in fabrication techniques such as CNC machining, lathe work, and manual milling. This apprenticeship imparted a profound understanding of material properties and their effect on the machining process, equipping me to create high-precision parts and components with tight tolerances. My versatile experience with fabrication tools (including milling machines and lathes) and computer-aided manufacturing techniques has allowed me to tackle a wide range of fabrication projects. This skillset has been invaluable in laboratory settings and fosters my passion for turning ideas into reality.
As a senior lecturer, I instruct 70-120 undergraduate engineers and scientists each quarter across various courses such as mechanics, waves, optics, thermodynamics, electricity, and magnetism. I have also enhanced students' learning experience by integrating real-world applications into my evidence-based curriculum. My research at Cal Poly involves establishing an active materials lab and supervising Frost Summer Scholar students on multi-disciplinary projects that align with my expertise in experimental and computational physics.
At NRD, my initial efforts were focused on refining a prototype auto-injector based on a novel liquid-vapor equilibrium propellant design. As a Materials Scientist, I developed theoretical models and simulated the thermodynamic properties of the device while working on the development of a propellant purification methodology. My responsibilities also included creating an automated high-throughput process for exhaustive temperature cycling to identify optimal operating conditions. Later, at my recommendation, Elastium Technologies contracted with NRD for the continued development of their single-crystal shape memory furnace. Utilizing my expertise in materials science and automation engineering, current efforts are underway to scale and refine this novel process for commercial-scale production, executing process improvements and contributing to the overall success of the project.
Elastium Technologies enlisted my expertise to develop an automation control scheme for their newly-developed single-crystal shape-memory continuous casting furnace. In this role, I designed and implemented custom software in LabVIEW, enabling precise control of system temperature, atmosphere, and pull rate, optimizing the conditions for producing high-quality products. Additionally, I served as a consultant to assist in refining their innovative technique for manufacturing single-crystal shape memory wire. My guidance, combined with my knowledge of materials science and automation engineering, contributed significantly to the project's success and the development of the company's unique manufacturing process.
As a valued member of the faculty at Chico State University, I taught introductory courses in calculus-based mechanics and no-calculus versions of electricity and magnetism, effectively engaging classes of 48-120 students. During my tenure, I fostered a positive classroom environment through engaging instruction methods and my passion for physics, catering to the diverse learning needs of students. By incorporating real-world applications, hands-on exercises, and thought-provoking concepts in my curriculum, I contributed significantly to enhancing the academic experience in the physics department.
During my time in Kent, Ohio, I co-owned and operated Iconic Photography alongside Nik Glazar. Our photography business was recognized for its exceptional quality and outstanding customer service. By consistently delivering top-notch results, we earned rave reviews and numerous word-of-mouth recommendations from our satisfied clients.
At MacSuperstore, my expertise in both hardware and software made me a valuable resource within the sales and service team. Rapidly advancing through the ranks, I was promoted to Senior Technician and obtained Apple Certifications in Desktop Repair, Portable Repair, and Mac OS X Support (valid from 2006 to 2009). My technical acumen contributed to enhancing customer experiences and ensured efficient resolution of diverse technical issues.
I am a materials physicist with a focus on custom instrumentation. I have built one-of-a-kind, novel instruments for making precise measurements and improving accuracy. My investigations span liquid crystalline material properties, applications of single-crystal shape memory alloys, and the commercial fabrication of single-crystal SMA wires.
My research primarily focuses on the material properties and electro-optic applications of liquid crystals. These fascinating substances can be thought of as rod-shaped molecules. In their simplest phase, known as the nematic phase, liquid crystals exhibit preferential alignment with one another, displaying orientational but not positional order. They flow like typical liquids while demonstrating macroscopic anisotropy in accordance with their average alignment direction. While the preferential alignment exists, the exact direction of alignment remains arbitrary, making boundary forces crucial in determining the bulk phase's orientational behavior. The overall orientation is anchored in a preferred manner due to the prepared alignment surface. The anchoring interaction that determines liquid crystal alignment is not fully understood, which makes photoalignment surface properties an intriguing area of active research. Although mechanical confinement of liquid crystals is a relatively simple concept, it has garnered limited experimental attention. However, this confinement serves as an excellent tool for investigating photoalignment anchoring and generating novel defect structures on photo-aligned substrates. Moreover, I have explored in-situ photoalignment techniques to establish a well-defined relationship between incident light sources and liquid crystal directors in order to enhance conventional liquid crystal material characterizations.
Automatic fire-suppression sprinklers play a crucial role in preventing property damage and saving lives. However, the widespread use of industry-standard glass-bulb sprinklers comes with a significant drawback: their delicate nature makes them susceptible to accidental breakage and sabotage. In the United States, an average of over 120 non-fire sprinkler activations occurs daily, leading to millions of dollars in property damage and lost business. Our innovative SMA-based sprinkler aims to offer the durability, performance, and affordability needed to become the new industry standard. "Shape-memory" refers to the ability of certain materials to recover from plastic deformation. Shape memory alloys (SMAs) are a class of active materials that experience a diffusionless solid-to-solid lattice distortion during a structural phase transformation, significantly altering their mechanical properties and shape. The key feature of this phase transition is a direct mapping of constituent atoms from one crystalline phase to another. Rather than undergoing random diffusion, atomic constituents shift correlatively from one configuration to the next, providing SMAs with unique characteristics suitable for various applications.
A successful course hinges on a strong foundation, integrating engaging blackboard lectures, relevant homework assignments, supportive office hours, and a positive class culture. My lectures introduce topics concisely through step-by-step examples, addressing student misconceptions along the way. I design lecture notes as detailed resources for all learners, including those forced to miss class.
By incorporating enthusiasm, creative demonstrations, and a passion for the subject, my courses become immersive learning experiences. Students appreciate my excitement, dedication, and unwavering support amid challenges. In addition to establishing a positive learning environment, I also adapt flexibly to students' needs and encourage their input on course structure, making the learning experience more individualized and relatable.
Underpinning my approach is the belief that enjoyable and well-rounded educational experiences empower students to tackle complex problems while deepening their understanding. Furthermore, by encouraging open communication and mutual support among peers and instructors, my courses promote meaningful connections that extend far beyond the classroom.
Throughout my career as a physicist, I have maintained a parallel focus on both experimental and computational physics. My programming skills were initially developed and honed in all corners of my experimental work, including the development of sophisticated data analysis algorithms, coding novel simulations and building fully-automated experimental instruments.
Frustrated by the limitations and lack of mobile-friendliness in standard university web systems like Blackboard and PolyLearn, I took matters into my own hands and began developing Physics Cloud in Fall 2016. Designed as an intuitive, custom-built online gradebook and course management system, Physics Cloud caters to the specific needs of my courses and helps facilitate seamless interaction between students and instructors.
The first phase implementation of Physics Cloud includes a gradebook application with detailed student views that illustrate scores and grade calculations. Additional features include class polling, student preferences, class-meeting scheduling, as well as grader functionality with access control. During the COVID pandemic, I also implemented an online assignment submission feature to adapt seamlessly to remote learning conditions.
Physics Cloud is continually evolving and expanding its potential. Future plans include incorporating interactive simulations and fostering student collaboration. Though a comprehensive demonstration requires authentication to protect sensitive student information, key functionalities are highlighted in the screenshots below.
A meaningful demonstration of Physics Cloud requires authentication and access to sensitive student information, but the key features are highlighted in the screenshots below.
Chore Cloud is a mobile-friendly, web-based chore management platform and digital piggy bank designed to guide your kids through their daily chores and promote accountability.
Chore Cloud offers a free-to-use platform with comprehensive documentation to help users get started. Text notifications are provided for an annual fee of $6.
Physics Cloud Flashcards is a convenient web-app that transforms the “Enrolled Student Photos” roster PDF, available to faculty on the Cal Poly portal, into an engaging, mobile-friendly flashcard game.
Built on the Leitner-system algorithm to enhance memorization, the flashcard game presents students' photos for you to guess their names. Once you attempt a guess, the name is revealed. Correctly guessed photos are shown less frequently, while incorrect guesses appear more often, reinforcing your memory. By creating an account and logging in at physicscloud.net, you can save your flashcards and track your progress.