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Seeing the Big Picture with a Focus on the Small Solutions

The SENIC Undergraduate Internship in Nanotechnology (SUIN) program is a major component of the Southeastern Nanotechnology Infrastructure Corridor (SENIC), at the Institute for Electronics and Nanotechnology at Georgia Tech, that focuses on providing undergraduates in engineering the chance to spend a summer conducting research in a world-class collaborative lab with prominent Georgia Tech researchers. GT-IEN hosted 4 undergraduates from various U.S. colleges over the summer that engaged in hands-on research in a number of fields of nanotechnology.

Over the next months, IEN will be highlighting the undergraduate participants, their research topics and experience in the labs, as well as what they gained from the program and their time at Georgia Tech, and in Atlanta

Our second interviewee from the program is Spencer Temples, an undergraduate in Engineering at Clemson University.

Name:Spencer Temples
Mentor: Aaron Jiang
PI: Paul Khol

1. What sparked your interest in engineering and what problems are you hoping to help solve as an engineer?
I have always liked finding ways to apply things I’ve learned in other places to new situations, whether it be from the classroom to everyday life or just something as simple as fixing a mechanical pencil that’s jammed because you’ve seen how a similar pen works. I really enjoy how closely related problems are even when they appear to be very different. As an engineer I want to work on solving small everyday problems that compound into big issues, little things that help everyday life run smoother.

2. What research are you conducting at GT and what applications do you feel this research may have?
I am working on applying sacrificial polymers to the manufacturing of low dielectric materials for the microelectronics field. The applications of our projects is pretty straight forward actually. In electronics the circuits can act as mini capacitors and leech away energy from the system, we are trying to slow this process so electronics can run more efficiently.

3. What has been your favorite lab activity/ tool training/ etc. thus far and why?
I would have to say that being trained on the Denton Explorer e-beam evaporator has been my favorite lab experience so far. It was my first extended time inside a full scale inorganic clean room and I remember just being in awe as they explained to us how the machine works. That was the moment it first truly hit me where I was and they kind of work I would be doing.

4. Do you feel this REU experience has helped prepare you for working in a collaborative laboratory environment and furthered your education goals?
I do. It showed me how a full scale lab truly functions and just how cooperative that is. It taught how to function independently on my research but also how to work as part of a larger group that is always willing to help one another out on their projects

5. What are your plans post-undergraduate?
My post-undergraduate plans are pretty straight forward actually. I want to pursue a Doctorate in Chemical Engineering and then transition into applied research in industry.

6. What is your favorite thing about/impression of GA Tech and ATL?
I really like how green and open the campus is. GA Tech is like a few acres of forest and fields in the middle of Downtown Atlanta and I really appreciate the contrast it creates. It gives us access to both extremes, a large city and a quiet green area.