49: Kate Plass - Shake and bake

Kate Plass is an Associate Professor of Chemistry at Franklin and Marshall College where her lab specializes in the synthesis of nanoparticles, especially those with unique near-infrared optical properties. On this episode of Nanovation, Kate not only discusses her lab’s research but also talks about life at primarily undergraduate institutions (PUIs) like Franklin and Marshall. She explains the basics of PUIs, how they view the world and their place in it, and what opportunities they offer students and faculty relative to more research intensive institutions. Kate and Mike also muse on the importance of stupidity in scientific research and Kate talks about her mentors, hobbies, and tattoos in the lightning round. (Recorded on January 31, 2019. Edited by Andrew Cannon)  

48: Josh Caldwell - Bend light the wrong way

Josh Caldwell from Vanderbilt University, and formerly the United States Naval Research Laboratory, talks about his pioneering work in infrared polaritonics. Polaritons are quasiparticles that couple photons to the motion of electrons or atoms in a material, and allow you to squeeze and manipulate light in nanoscale volumes. In the infrared, this capability may one day allow, for example, the roof of your home to cool even when in direct sunlight. Josh and Mike get a little 'in the weeds,' but that's what podcasts are for! Be sure not to miss the great career advice Josh sprinkles in along the way. (Recorded on January 24, 2019. Edited by Andrew Cannon)  

47: Greg Parsons - Knife fight

Greg Parsons from North Carolina State University is the guest on this episode of the Nanovation podcast. Greg is an expert on atomic layer deposition (ALD), the process by which thin films or coatings are deposited atomic layer by atomic layer. Or, as Greg explains, almost. We discuss the good, the bad, and the ugly of ALD. While Greg has explored the use of ALD in a variety of applications, his pioneering work in the area of textiles stands out. Greg's scientific talks are filled with great stories, and this discussion is no different. You’ll hear stories of scientific discovery and also gain insight into Greg’s philosophy for research and life. Be sure to listen to the end to hear Greg participate in the inaugural Nanovation "lightning round." (Recorded on December 6, 2018. Edited by Andrew Cannon)  

46: Insplorion - Collective oscillations

Patrik Dalqvist and Elin Langhammer are the CEO and Founder/Technical Director, respectively, of Insplorion AB, a Sweden-based company working to commercialize nanoplasmonic sensing for the environmental monitoring and automotive markets. They joined Mike to talk about the company's birth, the science behind their nanoplasmonic sensor technology, their early attempts to achieve product-market fit, and how their technology promises to dramatically improve the performance and lifetime of batteries in electric vehicles. (Recorded on November 21, 2018. Edited by Andrew Cannon)  

45: Fred Rascoe - Coalition Smarty-Pants

Fred Rascoe from the Georgia Tech Library returns to the show to talk about the changing roles of libraries and scholarly publishing in the 21st century. Fred and Mike discuss why scholarly publishing has been so resistant to, really insulated from, change in the Internet era. They bat around ideas for business models that do not involve universities, companies, or the public paying for expensive journal subscriptions. Mike also makes the argument that peer review is not all it’s cracked up to be and Fred puts him in the hot seat, asking about his own publishing practices. (Recorded on September 13, 2018. Edited by Andrew Cannon)   

44: North Avenue Lounge - Nanovation in practice

On this special episode of Nanovation, Mike and Andrew are interviewed on WREK’s North Avenue Lounge. They spoke with host Charlie Bennett about the origin of Nanovation, why they started it, why they keep working on it, where they hope to go, and more. Nanovation will be back with a regular episode in a few weeks. (Recorded at WREK in Atlanta, GA on December 17, 2018. Hosted by Charlie Bennett. Podcast version edited by Andrew Cannon)  

43: Bob Hamers - Do you want to start a company?

Bob Hamers is a Professor of Chemistry at the University of Wisconsin—Madison and co-founder of Silatronix, a company that is commercializing a new electrolyte for Li ion batteries. On this episode of the Nanovation podcast, Bob shares the story of Silatronix's founding and the scientific twists and turns that lead them to their current electrolyte design. Bob also talks about the NSF-funded Center for Sustainable Nanotechnology (CSN), which is a multi-institutional partnership devoted to investigating the fundamental molecular mechanisms by which nanoparticles interact with biological systems. The show ends with a fascinating look at the esoteric field of solvated electrons and the potential of these tiny reactive species to perform chemistry in new ways. (Recorded on August 30, 2018. Edited by Andrew Cannon)  

42: Sebastien Lounis - It's a pretty sweet deal

Sebastien Lounis is the co-founder of Cyclotron Road, a fellowship program that supports entrepreneurial scientists as they start down the road of translating a scientific discovery into a commercially viable technology. On this episode of the Nanovation podcast, Sebastien overviews Cyclotron Road, what drove him and his co-founder to start it, how it works, and how it fits into the broader tech-translation landscape. Critically, Cyclotron Road helps to fill the earliest innovation stage gap, sometimes called the “valley of death”, that often prevents exciting “hard tech” breakthroughs from leaving the lab. Sebastien also shares the story of one fellow’s journey to success and how you know when you’re ready to apply to the program. (Recorded on August 7, 2018. Edited by Andrew Cannon)  

41: Kira Barton - Not just a good talker

Kira Barton from the University of Michigan joins the podcast to share her experience being a professor. At a tier-one research institution like Michigan, the job of professor is so much more than teaching undergraduate students. However, the show starts with a discussion of additive manufacturing, how it's already changing the way we make stuff, and Kira’s lab's exciting research on a new technique called e-jet printing. Whether you're here to learn about the emerging world of additive manufacturing or what it takes to succeed as a professor at a top engineering school, rest assured you'll be learning from the best. (Recorded on May 24, 2018. Edited by Andrew Cannon)  

40: Swami Rajaraman - Electroactive and excitable

Swami Rajaraman from the University of Central Florida joins the podcast to talk MEMS. MEMS, or microelectromechanical systems, combine miniaturized structures, sensors, actuators, and microelectronics into a single device. Swami’s laboratory develops new MEMS fabrication methods for the advancement of human health and personalized medicine. In this episode, Swami takes us on a journey from his days as a graduate student at Georgia Tech, to his time as an early employee of the start-up Axion Biosystems, and now as an assistant professor at UCF. Along the way, he provides great primers on the state-of-the-art in MEMS and 3-D printing technology. (Recorded on May 17, 2018. Edited by Andrew Cannon)