In May 2011, I graduated from Indiana University Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI) with my Masters in Technology from the Engineering and Technology department of Purdue University. For two years, I worked with Dr. Rongrong Chen in the development of Alkaline Anion Exchange Membrane Fuel Cells (AAEMFC), or basically the alkaline version of the Proton Exchange Membrane Fuel Cell (PEMFC). (We do love our acronyms in the science and engineering fields). My master's project was looking at different methods to creating electrodes and seeing how these methods impacted the electrochemically and physical performance of the fuel cell. Unfortunately, finding a job in this area in the state of Indiana has proven difficult.
I worked after graduation at a couple of part time jobs, tutoring math, physics, statistics and accounting at the local community college, Ivy Tech and working for Dr. David Goodman at IUPUI on solar thermal research and new course development in sustainability.
In August 2011, I visited the Warwick Manufacturing Group (WMG) at the University of Warwick for a week-long school on sustainability with other researchers and students from Purdue, Italy, Romania and the UK. The University of Warwick hosted our group, and the whole week was organized by an Engineering Doctorate student, Ben Wood. There, I was able to meet several other students, professors and researchers in various areas of sustainability and sustainable design of things like racing cars and yachts. I was very interested in the idea of the Engineering Doctorate degree, having once tried to get a PhD in physics and not finding it to be a good fit for me. I liked the idea of the practical applications and critically thinking through all aspects of sustainability. I discussed the prospect of attending the University of Warwick with Dr. Kerry Kirwan and Dr. Nicholas Mallinson to get my Engineering Doctorate degree. I checked out all the projects offered through WMG for the EngD program (programme!) and begin my application the week I returned to Indiana from the conference.
After much assistance and advice from Dr. Kirwan and Dr. Mallinson, I picked a project that I was most interested in and was directed to discuss the project in greater detail via a very early morning Skype call with Dr. Steven Maggs and Dr. Jay Bal.
The project I will be working on involves Project Lifecycle Managment (PLM) for smaller and medium sized businesses. (In a very small nutshell) Hopefully, I will learn a lot (and I will blog about some of my findings!) and produce a useful portfolio at the end of four years.
So after all that, I completed my application to Warwick, was accepted and offered an assistantship to help pay for my expenses and applied for a visa. My start date in the programme (program!) is January 9, 2012. This blog will keep me connected to people back home, colleagues, friends, and family! It will also serve as a sort of journal of this great adventure for me!
I encourage all readers to comment, question and read on!