Research Summary

Design, syntheses, and analyses of organic materials for electronic, photonic, and medicinal applications

I’ve designed, synthesized, and analyzed small molecule organics, monomers, polymers, and self-assembled monolayers for use as functional coatings for a variety of applications: conformal coatings for protection of electronic assemblies, charge storage devices, light-emitting materials, and biomedical research.
At HZO, Inc., I lead a team in developing chemical-vapor deposition (CVD) and other types of conformal coating materials, as well as evaluating these coatings for fundamental properties and functional performance with a cross-functional team with a variety of engineers, scientists, technicians, and other personnel.
I worked for nearly six years at ACI Technologies, Inc., where I managed projects involving electronics manufacturing translational technology for products to be used by the US Navy. At ACI, a large percentage of my time was involved in failure analysis of electronics products and manufacturing processes.
During my ASEE/NRL Postdoctoral Fellowship at the Naval Air Warfare Center Weapons Division in China Lake, CA, I worked with Drs. Jennifer and David Irvin on the synthesis and analysis of electroactive polymers in advanced charge storage devices. I synthesized a variety of heterocyclic aromatic systems and their electronic properties were evaluated as n-type conductive polymers.
I completed a Ph.D. in Chemistry under the advisement of Dr. Aaron Harper in the Donald P. & Katherine B. Loker Hydrocarbon Research Institute at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles, CA, with my dissertation: “Design and syntheses of polymeric materials for visible and near-infrared emitting applications.” In my research, several classes of polyphenylene-type polymeric materials were synthesized according to several different design parameters, with the end results of each being able to sensitize lanthanide chelates, which emit energy in the visible and/or near-infrared regions of the electromagnetic spectrum. The goal of this research was to create materials that would emit in the near-infrared. The first set of materials was para-meta linked polyphenylene-type polymers with pendant terpyridine groups to which europium complexes were bound. The second set was para-meta linked polyphenylene-type polymers with various pendant beta-diketonates to which europium complexes were bound. The third set was para-meta linked polyphenylene-type polymers with various pendant beta-diketonates to which erbium-porphyrinate complexes were bound.
I designed polymers and organic ligands with specific structural properties that led to the desired photophysical properties. These structure-property relationships also led to the pendant groups to which the lanthanides would be datively or covalently bonded to the polymer. Upon this foundation, the third group of materials reached the goal of having polymeric materials that emitted energy in the near-infrared region of the electromagnetic spectrum.
For two years prior to graduate school, I synthesized therapeutic candidates as a Research Technologist in the Organic Synthesis Core Facility at Mayo Clinic Jacksonville with Dr. Abdul Fauq in Jacksonville, FL, targeting muscular, neurological, and neurodegenerative diseases. Most of the compounds were a variety of small molecule organics, including amino acid, caffeine, inositol, peptide, and sugar derivatives, as well as some larger molecules, such as peptide nucleic acid oligomers.
I’ve authored over twenty technical publications, including one book. My research emphasizes materials design, instrumental analysis, and organic synthesis. My foundation in the rational design and structure-property relationship studies aids in developing new technologies from the molecular level.

Conformal coatings

Thin-film barrier and conformal coating selection, development, materials, evaluation, services, and advice

Led materials science and coating technology teams for materials selection, development of materials and processes used for improving reliability and mitigating corrosion with Fortune 50 companies and others around the world.
Industry
Conformal coating service provider for automotive, consumer electronics, industrial, and medical device markets
Achievements
Assisted well-known companies and developed processes that have led to 100M+ devices coated and significant revenue. Served as SME for cross-functional teams of executives, sales, marketing, operations, legal, and others.
Status
Evaluated materials used in the production of automotive, consumer electronics, industrial, and other markets.
Contacts
Chemical, electrical, mechanical, and materials engineers; machine operators; physicists; technicians; and more across the world.

Consulting

Advisor in science, technology, engineering, arts, and mathematics (STEAM)

Ran a consulting company, Clancy & Associate Technical Services LLC, in Draper, UT, which provided practical solutions to development, manufacturing, and process issues related to electronics, coatings, and instrumental analysis, as well as technical marketing and instructional documents.
Industry
Aerospace, oil and gas, coatings, and chemical industries
Achievements
Assisted a major oil & gas pipeline inspection company with materials and manufacturing issues to increase sensor reliability, as well as wrote a series of guest blog articles for a coatings company
Status
Evaluated materials and production facility, as well as helped with materials selection for very harsh environments.
Contacts
Electrical, materials, and mechanical engineers, CEOs, CTOs, and technical sales people around the world.

Laboratory and Program Management

The Secret of Success

At the University of Utah, in Salt Lake City, UT, I managed the Materials Characterization Laboratory (MCL) in the Materials Science and Engineering Department, which provided services to students, faculty, and industrial clients.
Industry
Academia
Achievements
Used my knowledge and experience towards improving laboratory services, maintaining equipment, writing funding proposals, and guiding students on test methods and processes.
Status
Managed student workers and billing, maintained equipment, and increased outreach for the lab.
Contacts
Professors and staff within the Materials Science & Engineering, Physics, Nuclear Engineering, Chemistry, Health Sciences, Information Technology, and Utah Nanofab groups.

Electronics Manfacturing

Managing high-reliability, -value, and -visibility projects, along with managing commercial laboratory failure analysis services

At ACI Technologies, Inc., in Philadelphia, PA, I provided chemistry expertise relating to failure analysis and process recommendations for commercial analytical and manufacturing services.
Industry
Electronics manufacturing and aerospace-defense government contractor for the US Navy
Achievements
Used my knowledge and experience towards improving current and developing new technology. Spoke at the Nano for Business 2010 Conference on the panel for Nanotechnology Health and Safety on the topic of large consequence equipment failures due to tin whiskers. Wrote eleven EMPFasis articles on failure analysis and materials processes, of which two were republished in Printed Circuit Design & Fab/Circuits Assembly: the Journal of Surface Mount and Electronics Assembly.
Status
Evaluated devices for failure analysis and processing, including state of cleanliness and solderability.
Contacts
Analytical chemists; chemical, electrical, and mechanical engineers; materials scientists; etc. Most of my colleagues were from disciplines other than chemistry, so I was able to converse well with people that have other skill sets.

Sensors

Carbon nanotubes, polymer films, and metal oxides as electrodes for enviromental monitoring of water quality

At NanoSelect, Inc., in Newark, DE, I designed, synthesized, and characterized materials for use in sensors.
Industry
Applied research in environmental monitoring in a start up industrial setting.
Achievements
Used my knowledge and experience towards developing new technology.
Status
Synthesized materials and evaluated devices.
Contacts
Analytical chemists; chemical, electrical, and mechanical engineers; materials scientists; synthetic organic chemists; etc. Many of my colleagues were from a variety of foreign countries: China; India; Panama; Turkey; and others.

Charge Storage

Small molecules, polymers, and electrochemistry for better electrodes

At the Naval Air Warfare Center Weapons Division (NAWCWD), Materials and Chemistry Division, Polymer Science and Engineering Branch, in China Lake, CA, I designed and synthesized of heterocyclic and non-heterocyclic conjugated polymers for use in electro-optical devices, photovoltaics, and advanced charge storage devices (supercapacitors).
Industry
Applied research. Military with academic and industrial collaborations. The work spans several branches of chemistry: organic and polymer synthesis; analytical characterization, using electrochemistry, NMR and optical spectroscopy, etc.; chemical engineering, for device applications and considerations; etc.
Achievements
Synthesized and characterized polymers with novel architectures. Expanded on my synthetic organic methodology to include more heterocyclic chemistry. Learned how to perform electro-analytical chemistry experiments on polymer systems.
Status
Synthesized materials and evaluated devices.
Contacts
Analytical chemists; chemical / polymer engineers; explosives chemists; organic / polymer synthetic chemists; etc.

Graduate Research

Synthesis and photo-physics of energy transfer complexes for light-emission

At the University of Southern California in Los Angeles, CA, I designed and synthesized conjugated polymers and organic ligands, then tuned their photophysical properties by changing the structure of the systems, and developed experiments to determine energy transfer parameters for polymers donating energy to visible and infrared emissive materials.
Industry
Applied research. Academic with academic collaborations. The work spanned several branches of chemistry: organic and polymer synthesis; analytical characterization, using NMR and optical spectroscopy, etc.; physical organic; etc.
Achievements
Synthesized and characterized polymers with novel architectures. Energy transfer was shown to occur from polymer to organic ligand to lanthanide ion. Expanded on my knowledge of organic synthesis and structure-property relationship studies. Learned how to perform optical spectroscopy experiments, with fluorescence, phosphorescence, and lifetime studies. Preliminary studies led to MRS, PMSE, and SPIE publications, as well as oral and poster presentations at national conferences.
Status
Finished the research, which went into my dissertation, then led to my defense and graduation.
Contacts
Analytical chemists; crystallographers; electrical engineers; organic / polymer synthetic chemists; organometallic chemists; physical chemists; scientific glassblowers; etc. Many of my colleagues were from a variety of foreign countries: China; Finland; Japan; India; Sri Lanka; Sweden; and others.

Medical Research

Synthesis and evaluation of bio-active molecules

At Mayo Clinic Jacksonville, in Jacksonville, FL, I synthesized carbohydrates, amino acids, peptides, monomers and oligomers of peptide nucleic acids (PNAs) via solution or solid-phase synthesis.
Industry
Applied research. Medicinal with academic collaborations. The work spanned several branches of science: organic synthesis, in-solution and solid-state synthesis; analytical characterization, using polarimetry, NMR spectroscopy, etc.; molecular biology; etc.
Achievements
My work led to multiple publications for the primary investigators. Learned a great deal about how to perform synthetic organic research and structure-activity relationship studies. Trained as a Hazardous Materials Technician for membership on MCJ’s Chemical Spill Team.
Status
Synthesized many types of small molecules and learned many practical skills that significantly helped in graduate school.
Contacts
Analytical chemists; medical doctors; molecular biologists; neuroscientists; organic synthetic chemists; etc. Many of my colleagues were from a variety of foreign countries: Algeria; China; Pakistan; and others.

Undergraduate Research

Flow injection analysis (FIA) and polymer membranes

At the University of North Florida, in Jacksonville, FL, I performed experiments with flow injection analysis (FIA) and ion-exchange polymer membranes.
Industry
Academia
Achievements
Learned how to use fluidics, spectroscopy, and data logging tools, as well as initial synthetic organic chemistry with polymers used in ion-exchange membranes.
Status
Learned fundamental skills that aided me throughout my career
Contacts
Professors in analytical, inorganic, organic, and physical chemistry, as well as physics, computer science, and fellow students from a wide variety of backgrounds. Many of my colleagues were from a variety of foreign countries: England; India; Syria; and others.

Pharmacy Technician

Helping pharmacists and patients

At Winn-Dixie Stores, Inc., in Jacksonville, FL, I assisted pharmacists in the filling of prescriptions, along with instructing, operating, and providing support for a UNIX-based prescription filling system.
Industry
Retail pharmacy
Achievements
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Status
Learned about different classes and interactions of medicines, reading doctor’s writing, having patience with patients, and dealing with health insurance companies.
Contacts
Doctors, health insurance providers, pharmacists, store managers, etc.