I was born in San Diego, CA and grew up in Atlanta, GA, where I went to a magnet high school that specialized in both science and the visual arts. My undergraduate education took place at MIT, where I earned a degree in Materials Science and Engineering. During my freshman year I worked on a project involving the metallographic analysis of Aztec bronze artifacts that involved a summer in Toluca, Mexico. My interests later switched to the challenges of present-day materials science and I took on several projects concerning novel nanocrystalline Ni-W coatings produced by pulsed electrodeposition. I am also a third degree black-belt in Taekwondo and in my free time (hah!) I enjoy cooking, painting, and visiting microbreweries.
My PhD research concerns a new class of Co-based superalloys that may have the potential to replace the conventional Ni-based systems currently used for high-temperature applications, such as the turbine blades found in jet engines and power plants. The remarkable high-temperature properties of these alloys can be attributed to a microstructure consisting of a high volume fraction (~70% ) of γ' (L12) precipitates embedded in a γ (FCC) matrix. Prior to 2006, it was thought that Co alloys did not exhibit the γ-γ' microstructure, but their discovery has led to a renewed interest in this material with the goal of optimizing high-temperature performance and increasing the efficiency of processes vital to aerospace and energy technologies.