I hold a BS in Chemical Engineering and an EIT in the great state of Kentucky. I spent most of college taking classes that interested me, but I ended up focusing on coal. Probably because coal is easy. I learned a good deal about explosives while working for a year on an anti-terror project (probably my favorite project to date). Since my first year in college, I have been the following:
- A server at a 24-hour diner.
- A glassware cleaner and petri-dish preparer in biochemisty.
- A lab-monkey for a grad-student working on coal-to-syngas production (gasification).
- A lab-data-producer for a university-run engineering firm with projects including anti-terror, waste utilization, and waste agglomeration.
- A lab-monkey for a Fortune-500 company.
This is experience above and beyond that of the normal 4-year degree holder. I have to say, though, my only regret is that I was never able to take the time (financially) to co-op with a large industrial company, so the vast majority of my experience is research/academia based.
I have a lot of interests, largely food chemistry, explosives, and spirit distillation. That’s right – food, fireworks, and firewater. Living in Kentucky, it is hard to imagine not having an interest in spirits – part of moving to Kentucky is signing a waiver that says you’ll learn to drink and appreciate fine bourbon. I personally prefer Four Roses for my “go-to” bourbon. I’m not all about bourbon, though. I love beer. Good beer, too. I was raised that if you can get 30-cans for $10 (or less), you’re better off getting a case of water and drinking that until you get sick.
When it comes to food, family played a large role in that one. I have always loved cooking food. I loved the process, the procedure, the delicate balance between a rigorous adherence to procedure and considering a recipe more of a guideline than and actual rule. I love to cook sauces, curries, gravies, and am working to perfect my roux. I am also quite adept at marinating and grilling meat.
When it comes to explosions, I am still a fledgling. After all, you want to be REALLY sure you know what you’re doing before you start to fabricate an explosive. I’d played with some simple reactions and routinely scare the neighbors with Halloween stunts with my little inventory. Mercury thiocyanate is a wonderful addition to any basic chemistry set.
I have a rudimentary understanding of a great and many things. Have a question? Submit a comment and I’ll write a post and help you answer that question.