Notes: These student bios are in different formats depending on student preference.

Heather Fryhle
Track: Polymer Science
Undergrad: University of Puget Sound, Tacoma, WA - Chemistry
Internship: Nike IHM
Currently at Nike IHM.

At the end of my senior year, I remember feeling like my post-grad options were very limited. At the time, I was under the impression that the only two options for chemistry majors were Ph.D programs, or finding jobs in industry. Not knowing what industry was like or if it would be a good fit for me, I was hesitant to apply for a full-time position...more

 

Darlene Reid
Track: PV/Semiconductor
Undergrad: Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, PA - Chemistry
Internship: Center for Advanced Materials Characterization in Oregon (CAMCOR)
Currently at Analytical Answers, Inc.

One of the embedded skills of the program was key to my success: 1)Quickly evaluating a situation and what needs to be done- by asking the right questions and knowing/figuring out the right tools to use...more

 

Eric Ireland
Track: Optics
Undergrad: Carthage College, Kenosha, WI - Physics & Math
Internship: ESI
Currently at ESI

Taking a job right after my bachelor’s degree would have given me temporary satisfaction, but this program has given me a more permanent peace of mind knowing that I have the tools and means to navigate the job market in the long term so that I can land a more satisfying career... more

 

Christy Cunningham
Track: Optics
Undergrad: Northern Arizona University, Flagstaff, AZ - Physics & Astronomy
Internship: Areté Associates
Currently at Areté Associates

When I was in high school, my dream was to get my Ph.D in Astronomy and do as much research as I could. After getting my bachelors in physics and astronomy I realized that academia wasn’t what I wanted and that I should start looking for a job I could progress with. I worked at a telescope for 3 years and realized how much I loved working hands-on and troubleshooting with the telescope equipment...more

 

Alycia Stuart
Track: Optics
Undergrad: Willamette University, Salem, OR - Physics, Math Minor
Internship: FEI
Currently at FEI

At first I was hesitant to change my plan from a 3-2 engineering program at Columbia to the Industrial Internship Program; however, my undergrad research wound up involving ultrafast pulsed lasers, and UO happened to have a strong optics program. For me, the program’s largest draw was the opportunity for experience in industry. I wasn’t interested in academia, and I wanted a fast track into a technical research position. This program offered that in spades...more

 

Bruce Johnson
Track: PV/Semiconductors
Undergrad: DePauw University, Greencastle, IN - Physics
Internship: Brewer Science
Currently at Brewer Science

I first heard of the UO program when completing my bachelors at DePauw University, thought it was a good idea, but didn’t pursue it much further. A year after graduation, I finally realized I needed further education. The UO program offered a unique timeline that could quickly push me into the professional world with a surprising success rate. It was a perfect match since I did not want to spend much more time in academia...more

 

Winnie Liang
Track: Optics
Undergrad: UC Merced, Merced, CA - Physics
Internship: Moxtek
Currently at Moxtek

Professors didn’t provide much guidance throughout the summer (because they want you to figure it out yourselves), but it really shifted my academic mindset to the industrial mindset where I have to find my own solutions to problems. The internship program during the summer went through a lot of topics without going too deeply into it. This allowed us to know a little bit of everything about optics and was really all we could do in the short period of time we had to work with. But, knowing just a little about a specific topic really helped me when I had to look up information I needed - at least I knew where to start looking...more

 

Neil McIntyre
Track: Optics
Undergrad: Willamette University, Salem, OR - Physics
Internship: nLight
Currently at nLight

I realized that I wanted to defy the statistics of unemployed college grads by getting a job that would lead to a career immediately after graduating. I was told the MIIP at the University of Oregon would do just that, and it did... more

 

Marcus Kienlen
Track: PV/Semiconductor
Undergrad: Pacific University, Forest Grove, OR - Physics/Math
Internship: TriQuint Semiconductor
Currently at Intel

The program for me was perfect for my internship. My role was as a defect reduction engineer where I worked on optical defect imaging equipment and worked with varying modules to try to eliminate defects. Thus the broad lab coursework and knowledge helped me out perfectly as I worked hand in hand through the whole semiconductor process. I was able to immediately go in and discuss varying equipment sets and processes with very little training... more

 

Carina Luck
Track: Polymer Science
Undergrad: University of Rochester, Rochester, NY - Chemistry
Internship: Arsenal Medical
Currently at Wolfe Labs

When senior year rolled around, I was very conflicted with what I wanted to accomplish after graduation. I knew I wanted to pursue some form of advanced degree, but wasn’t convinced that committing to a 5 year PhD degree was for me... more

 

Kerry Olivier
Track: Optics
Undergrad: Central Washington University, Ellensburg, WA - Physics/Math
Internship: Moxtek
Currently at Timbercon

The professors made a point of letting the students perform labs with minimal help or supervision. I originally found this slightly annoying, but after having other classes where professors helicopter over students in labs, I appreciated that these labs were left to the students and the students alone... more

 

James Ranney
Track: PV/Semiconductor
Undergrad: University of Oregon, Eugene, OR - Chemistry
Internship: FEI
Currently at FEI

During my final years of undergraduate at the University of Oregon I was faced with the difficult question of what I wanted to do after college. I had spent the last three years doing research in a chemistry lab as an undergraduate with the intention of applying to a PhD program after graduating. As senior year rolled around and I was forced to address this question with more seriousness, I began to realize that I was having doubts about the path I had been following...more

 

Ben Cook
Track: Polymer Science
Undergrad: University of Idaho, Moscow, ID - Chemical Engineering
Internship: Chicago Bridge & Iron
Currently at Chicago Bridge & Iron

I feel like the program did an excellent job preparing me for a job. Especially during the final lab, it puts you in a mindset that we were working for a company, and our team had a responsibility to deliver quality results within a tight schedule... more

 

Chris Funch
Track: PV/Semiconductor
Undergrad: St. Lawrence University, Canton, NY - Physics
Internship: IBM
Currently in Phd Program at Oregon

I got an in-depth education in semiconductor physics and the tools involved in device fabrication, but I also honed my skills as a group leader, problem solver, and public speaker... more

 

Chelsea Saldivar
Track: Optics
Undergrad: University of Oregon, Eugene, OR - Physics
Internship: nLight
Currently at nLight

The program attracted me because it had a completely different end goal than most graduate programs that appealed to someone who was not interested in staying in academia for another 4-8 years. Most graduate programs are geared towards PhD’s, academic research, post-docs and usually (eventually) teaching. My goal was never any of these things. I wanted to take my knowledge and apply it to real-world problems where funding and academic prowess (although still favored) was not the main concern. Rather innovation and progress was the main concern... more

 

Richmond Hollen
Track: PV/Semiconductors
Undergrad: University of the Pacific, Stockton, CA - Engineering Physics
Internship: Nanosolar
Currently President at Hollen Innovation

I was one of the lucky ones. I was hired right out of undergrad at an up-and-coming solar startup. The exact company I wanted to join – Nanosolar. I was working with extremely smart, motivated individuals and we all believed our company would make a lasting positive impact on the world. In two years I had learned and grown exponentially. So why did I choose to continue my education? ... more

 

Nick Gurnon
Track: PV/Semiconductors
Undergrad: Bates College, Lewiston, ME - Chemistry
Internship: SolarWorld
Currently at Polaris Battery Labs

My path to the solar industry was not direct.  After graduating from Bates College in 2001 with a BS in Chemistry, I landed a job as an analytical chemist in the pharmaceutical industry.  I enjoyed my career, but over the years I developed a nagging interest in renewable energy... more

 

Tyrone Morato
Track: Polymer Science
Undergrad: Western Oregon University, Monmouth, OR - Chemistry
Internship: Arclin, Springfield, OR
Currently at Arclin

My hope prior to hearing about the program was to find a low-level lab job, perhaps at a university, and apply to graduate programs the following year. After hearing about the program I quickly realized that it was perfect for me... more

 

Kristen Norton
Track: Optics
Undergrad: Willamette University, Salem, OR - Physics
Internship: ESI
Currently at Radient Zemax

The UO program is a fantastic way to get your feet wet in industry (my initial intention), but it is also sets you up for success in your field of interest. The hardest part of landing a job in industry is getting your foot in the door... more

 

Ken Gross
Track: Optics
Undergrad: Univeristy of Oregon, Eugene, OR - Physics
Internship: nLight
Currently at nLight

The first project I was placed on was designed to perform an in-depth investigation of various misalignments of our PEARL diode laser with fibers of various designs, and how the misalignment affects beam quality at the output of the fiber... more

 

Julia Miller
Track: Organic
Undergrad: Grinnell College, Grinnell, IA - Chemistry
Internship: WR Grace
Currently in Medical School

As an undergrad, organic chemistry was one of my most challenging classes, but was the one I enjoyed most. I found it fascinating how various chemicals interacted with each other to yield a multitude of products. I had a love-hate relationship with mechanisms and was always in awe of the seemingly endless routes to produce a product... more

 

Lucia Battaglia
Track: PV/Semiconductors
Undergrad: Portland State University/National Autonomous University of Mexico - Chemical Engineering and Chemistry
Internship: Intel
Currently at Intel

Now a development engineer at Intel, Lucia Battaglia was a middle-schooler in Mexico when she got the chemistry bug. “I was doing terribly and my chemistry teacher pulled me aside and tried to explain chemistry to me,” said Battaglia. ... more

 

Greg Stough
Track: Optics
Undergrad: Cal Poly Pomona, Pomona, CA - Physics
Internship: MicroVision
Currently at Newport Corporation

As my final year at Cal Poly Pomona approached, I began to seriously consider graduate work. With so many options- universities, locations, fields in physics- I had to look a little farther in the future and ask myself, where do I see myself after graduate studies? I felt a career in industry would be the best fit... more

 

Jason Wilson
Track: PV/Semiconductor
Undergrad: University of Oregon, Eugene, OR - Chemistry
Internship: Perceptive Pixel
Currently at Microsoft

I ended up being hired on after my nine-month paid internship ended. To my surprise, Microsoft purchased the company two months later. Microsoft required all of Perceptive Pixel’s employees to go through a three-interview process. This was very similar to “interview day” in the master's program, so this was nothing new to me. I now work for Microsoft as a Materials Scientist... more

 

Barrett Unger
Track: Organic
Undergrad: DePaul University, Chicago, IL - Chemistry
Internship: Unilever
Currently at Unilever

Today Unger is a project manager in technology innovation, working across teams to build projects within a brand. He explores new packaging technologies and materials. He talks to engineers and people in the supply chain, purchasing and marketing teams before considering how the company might roll out a new product all over the world – and have it essentially look the same. ... more

 

Kylan Hoener
Track: Optics
Undergrad: Southern Oregon University, Ashland, OR - Physics
Internship: nLight
Currently at Timbercon

The internship didn’t feel like an internship. Right from the get-go I was thrown into the world of manufacturing engineering. At first my responsibilities were minimal and I made a lot of mistakes. Everyone was really nice and I did still have some amnesty as an intern. Gradually I made fewer mistakes and was given more responsibility. When my internship ended I barely noticed (besides being paid much better). I still went to work the next day on the projects I was currently working on... more

 

Luke Hansen
Track: Polymer Science
Undergrad: Pacific Lutheran University, Tacoma, WA - Chemistry
Internship: Bend Research
Currently at Global Strategies Intl.

I had several thoughts about my immediate future after completion of my time at PLU. First, I was determined to not move back in with my parents. Second, I wanted to keep exploring my options in academia. Third, I was not ready to commit to a 5 year Ph. D. program. I wanted the flexibility of entering the chemical industry and also wanted to improve my resume if I did indeed decide that a doctorate degree was right for me in a few years time... more

 

Matti Alemayehu
Track: Polymer Science
Undergrad: Illinois Institute of Technology, Chicago, IL - Chemistry
Internship: Arclin
Currently at ExxonMobil

The part that attracted me the most about the program was the fact that it gives students real industrial experience providing the opportunity to apply what they have learned in theory... more

 

Jared Green
Track: Optics
Undergrad: Willamette University, Salem, OR - Physics
Internship: nLight
Currently at Intel

Summer was intense. My favorite part of the whole experience was the optical projects class at the end of the summer. This project gave me a chance to develop my research and lab skills, and was the key subject I brought with me into my interviews... more

 

Nathan Werst
Track: Polymer Science
Undergrad: Willamette University, Salem, OR - Chemistry
Internship: Bend Research
Currently at Willamette Valley Co.

The program even trained me how to interview well and have a stellar resume. The Institute’s connections with industry quickly resulted in a paid internship for nine months and an offer of full time employment in pharmaceuticals... more

 

Brodie Franklin
Track: Polymer Science
Undergrad: University of Puget Sound; University of Oregon - Chemistry
Internship: Momentive
Currently at Portland State University

Along with the labs, our daily process meetings helped to change my “processing speed”. For example, in undergraduate lab classes I had a week to review what I had done and draw conclusions, but during the summer program I had 8 to 10 hours for the same process. more