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Engineering | Undergraduate Research

John McCrea, FURI researcher

John McCrea, FURI researcher

What research do you do?

High Velocity Impact Damage Localization and Quantification in Fiber Reinforced Composite Structures.

How did you find your faculty mentor?

For a Barrett research class, I had to write a mock thesis proposal so I toured Dr. Chattopadhyay‘s lab and found it very interesting. I reached out a year later to actually start the process of gaining her as a mentor.

What have you learned from conducting research?

I have learned much about the scientific process and about persistence. If at first the results are not as desired, you keep trying until you either gain the desired results or your different results are validated, and then you take a different approach. From there, it also teaches flexibility. I have also gained professional development in communicating ideas clearly and presenting to people of different educational backgrounds.

What are some of your proudest accomplishments?

I won the Air Force ROTC Cadet Research Award. Out of approximately 30 applications around the entire nation, a board selected four finalists and passed their names onto the Chief Scientist of the Air Force, and I was selected as the sole winner of the research award. It was a great honor!

I’ve gotten to participate in research at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory two summers, first studying Nanoscale Material Testing of Polishing Pads for Improved Understanding of Slurry Particle-Pad Interactions and then studying Additive Manufacturing of Hierarchical Optimal Lattice and Multimaterial Structures using Projection Microstereolithography. I was even featured in the lab’s Newsline as the first feature Summer Student Spotlight.

What advice would you have for students wanting to do research?

Get out and look for an advisor! Look on ASU’s research website for those looking for research, or approach an appropriate teacher with your own idea. Just get out and start doing it. If at first you don’t succeed, try and try again.

What are some other activities you like to do, in addition to being a rockstar researcher?

I am in Air Force ROTC and plan to commission as an Air Force officer in May 2016. I also am a member of Arnold Air Society, an Air Force service fraternity, and an alumni of Sigma Tau Gamma, an ASU fraterntiy. I love serving in the community, especially with Feed My Starving Children! I love serving sophomore students as a VIP Suite Sophomore Success Coach with the First Year Success Center. Lastly, on my spare time, I enjoy exercise, watching TV, and most of all, spending time with my girlfriend of four years.

Fun Fact about yourself?

I was a cheerleader in high school. It was a great and fun outlet to pursue further gymnastics from my childhood. I earned All-Tournament and All-Europe awards, so fortunately it was also something I was good at!

Thoughts for Fellow Students?

“All of our dreams can come true, if we have the courage to pursue them.” – Walt Disney

This is my favorite quote and helps shape my actions every day. Never give up on your dreams.



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