Tell Us about Yourself
I am the Director of Outreach, Recruitment and Retention and an Associate Professor with the School of Engineering at Oakland University.
What AEOP program(s) did you participate in?
Research and Engineering Apprenticeship Program (REAP)
What got you interested in this field?
From a young age I seemed to be mechanically inclined, and always curious about how things worked. I gravitated in school to naturally doing well in science and math classes.
What drives your thirst for knowledge?
Intellectual curiosity drives my desire for more knowledge. How things work, and how figuring out mechanisms leads to better understanding that leads to better designs. That curiosity is the driving force for continued exploration. Research always begets more research. It never ends. It is just passed onto other interested persons.
What is the most beneficial/inspiring part of the mentor relationship?
Seeing new ideas being realized by the students. Sometimes a eureka moment, while other times a gradual understanding that puts a smile on their faces.
What sage advice would you give to a student just beginning to consider a career in science?
Never stop learning. Let your passion and curiosity guide you. Learn what you love, and your job will be getting paid to do your hobby.
Considering the current sciences, where do you see the future direction heading?
The biggest obstacle for future generations to enjoy the high standard of living we have today is sustainability. How do we sustain everything we have indefinitely into the future without running out of resources at some point? In the past, the biggest challenge was instead survival—where diseases and lack of medical technology was the biggest obstacle to progress. Life expectancy is much higher, machines have taken over what people used to do and that has allowed us to move forward as a civilization—taking on education, thinking and working at a much higher level. But progress can’t continue without large quantities of available and cheap energy, and this next generation will have to find out how to sustain that.