Ever since walking into my Grandfather's aeronautics laboratory at the University of Illinois at the age of 5 I dreamed of being an engineer. While I did not become the space geologist I thought sounded cool at age 10 (yet), I have had the privilege of doing quite a few different things in my career so far. I have had the chance to work as an engineer in design, manufacturing operations, and test environments in the microelectronics and aerospace industries. I then worked on the Development side of R&D for several years in industry before going to a Department of Energy national laboratory to work on the Research side of R&D. Five years later I found myself as a professor at Washington State University, fulfilling a dream of being able to teach as well as carry out research. Along the way I have held roles in line management and project management, leading multi-disciplinary teams, and even performed anthropological field work on occupational and corporate culture. As a materials scientist and engineer, I waffle between intense interest in fundamental scientific issues and the economic necessity of applying knowledge and engineering technology. My diverse background has given me broad technical experience, but fundamentally I see the world through the lens of a classically trained materials scientist. Over the years I have worked in cryogenics, infrared optical ceramics and glasses, nuclear waste forms, magnetic nanoparticles, and nuclear steels. I often collaborate with mechanical, electrical, and nuclear engineers, geologists, chemists, and physicists, as we have overlapping interests areas. At home I enjoy gardening and botany, mineralogy and rock collecting, and having adventures with my family.