Getting to know John!
John McGarrahan is a PhD student working in Dr. Elizabeth Dickey’s group at NC State. His anticipated graduation date is August 2022.
The CDP asked John the following questions to get to know him a little better!
What do you most enjoy about being a part of CDP?
I enjoy the ability to see tangible results from my research and have a better sense of the applications of my work. It is rewarding to know that my project is directly applicable to solving real problems in industry. Additionally, I have enjoyed the opportunity to meet other faculty, students, and industry representatives at the CDP meetings.
My research involves understanding the mechanisms behind accelerated degradation of ceramic multilayer devices when exposed to humid environments. This behavior has been empirically studied by some of the member companies, however we hope to provide a deeper understanding of the physics underpinning the observed phenomena. Specifically, I have looked at barium titanate and the relationship between hydrogen incorporation and the defect chemistry of our materials due to doping. Doping is usually necessary to obtain materials with exceptional properties for use in devices, but they may influence the humidity related degradation of the material as well. It is our goal to find ways to dope a material to obtain the best properties and maintain degradation resistance.
I aim to work as a researcher in industry – it will be exciting to apply the knowledge I’ve gained and expertise I have spent the last several years honing to a new set of problems. I enjoy work environments where I am continually introduced to new challenges and research questions to work toward solving. I really enjoy working in diverse teams, both personally and professionally, to collaboratively work toward a solution that leverages expertise from different disciplines so I can learn about other fields along the way.
I probably have some hobbies that I’ll forget to list here, but recently I’ve been most excited about home brewing craft beer and repairing and working on cars (maybe in the future turning my ’06 Mustang into an EV conversion – some of our capacitor companies might be able to help with that!). I always felt that programming wasn’t really one of my strong suits, so I’ve been making some custom microcontrollers for home automation and monitoring various parameters such as temperature, humidity, utility usage, and light levels, with the goal of practicing programming a bit more and bringing my house into the 22 nd century a little early. As a North Carolina native, I always enjoy going to the beach, mountains, and finding some good spots for fishing at either.
In high school I was a competitive jump-roper with the Cary SuperSkippers; I also did varsity track and cross-country. I can play the French horn from a few years in middle school and high school band. I spent the summer of 2019 in Aachen, Germany working at RWTH Aachen with Roger de Souza and took the opportunity to learn some German.