Outstanding and knowledgeable faculty. Immense resources. Opportunities abound if you like participating in projects outside your standard scope.
I work mostly with gas discharges (plasma), and I have had opportunities to investigate plasma applications in the chemical processing of crude oil, flow control over airfoils, generation of high energy particles, thin films for medical applications, and switching kilovolts at kHz frequencies. When I am not instructing upper level undergrad labs/classes I work in my research lab where I get to use equipment such as oscilloscopes, vacuum systems, spectrometers, scanning electron microscopes, gas chromatographs, rheometers, profilometers and many other tools. Projects require knowledge of thermodynamics, transport phenomena, circuits, electromagnetics, material properties and design/fabrication techniques. A formal report/presentation is given to the research sponsors at the end of a project. In addition to research, I volunteer with the Industrial Assessment Center (IAC), which is a DOE sponsored organization that promotes energy end-use and process efficiency to small businesses. The IAC will evaluate current practices of a business and recommend financially attractive modifications. Recommendations from the visit are prepared in a report and delivered to senior level personnel.