Dr. Richard Claus is president of NanoSonic, Inc., located in Blacksburg, Virginia. Dr. Claus responded to questions from students at the ForwardVIEW Academy in North Kingstown, Rhode Island. The students under the guidance of their chemistry teacher, Ms. Catherine Marcotte, were involved in doing many of the activities in the NanoSonic Kit. The following are questions that they addressed to Dr. Claus.
What made you (Dr. Claus) want to study nanotech?
I was teaching engineering at Virginia Tech and one of the students in my group started a small project in the lab. That was in the early 1990s, and I have been interested ever since.
What college did you go to?
Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore.
What was your major?
As an undergraduate, I majored in Arts and Sciences. As a graduate student, I majored in Engineering.
How did you get started in Nanotechnology?
I was working on the faculty at Virginia Tech and doing work with a number of students in the area of optical fibers. We had a project with a company to put magnetic coatings onto a fiber, and the student mentioned above tried a "nanotechnology" process to apply the coating.
When did you get your first idea about starting NanoSonic?
Again, I was teaching at Virginia Tech, and another company came to us and asked us to do a project with them. The university could not approve the legal terms and conditions of the contract proposed by the company, so we went off campus and started our own company to do the work. Our objective was reallyjust to support a graduate student and not to start a company.
Who comes up with all the NanoSonic ideas?
We all do. We currently have 62 people at NanoSonic, and they are a very interesting mix of individuals with very different technical backgrounds and experiences. Most of our ideas are due to the combination of suggestions from our chemists and engineers and production people. One of our key laboratory staff people has a background and education in art, and we depend on her extensively for suggestions.
Does nanotechnology have any impact on your life? Directly, no. But there are lots of parts of my life that relate to nanotech-nology that seem more fun now, like why the sky is blue (really) and how I can prevent the inside of my car windows from fogging.
Was this article helpful?