A research technologist with Los Alamos National Laboratory, Douglas Vodnik ’13 mainly deals with physical vapor deposition (PVD). He coats samples with various materials (mainly metals and ceramics) in vacuum chambers. The two main PVD techniques he uses are sputter deposition and electron beam evaporation. He also takes care of the associated equipment and characterizes samples.
What have you enjoyed most about your career?
“National labs are much more of an R&D environment compared to industry, so I always have exciting and novel coating requests. Overcoming these unique challenges is one of the best parts of my job.”
How did Carthage prepare you?
“The Physics Department provided me with many opportunities to make the most of my time at college, like the SURE program (which looks good on a resume). But really, it’s all about the professors. Each one of them is willing to get to know you on a personal and individual level, and as such they are happy to share their knowledge, advice, and support. Even now, Professor Quashnock is willing to serve as a reference for me! I am grateful to all of them.”
Tips for current Carthage students:
“College is what you make it. The opportunities are there, especially at a place like Carthage, but you have to take advantage of them.”