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Nanotechnology Applications Specialist
Zyvex Inc.

“Ever since I picked up K. Eric Drexler’s visionary book on nanotechnology, ‘Engines of Creation,’ back in 1991, I have anticipated this next stage of scientific and materials technology development. The ramifications are far reaching as nearly every product and medical procedure we use will be affected.

Superlight body armor, high-efficiency solar and fuel cells, highly effective cancer treatments: the list of applications is endless, and the impact on our lives — both individually and collectively — is very potent.

“I think that while most people understand that DCCCD is a valuable and cost-effective educational experience, they may overlook the networking opportunities that are available. The three best jobs I have ever had (including my current one) I got directly because of my involvement in community college.

“Also, I have met great friends and people who have had an incalculable impact on my life. Even if you don’t know what you want, it pays to take at least one course a semester just to keep yourself in the environment. You will find information and leads that you won’t get anywhere else.

“I earned an associate degree in Electronic Telecommunications at Eastfield College and took Intro to Nanotechnology at Richland College. The skills and knowledge I learned are completely applicable to my job, and it is exciting to have my hands directly on the tools and instrumentation that are forging ahead into new territory. My professors have been very supportive and share their valuable life experience with the students — they are not just ‘book-smart.’ Also, they have been very willing to take the time to explain difficult concepts.

“The Nanotechnology program at Richland is worth looking at for those interested in a high-tech science field with great promise in the 21st century. I don’t see this career choice going away or being subject to downturns in the economy. There are too many profitable products waiting to be developed and not enough skilled and educated people to do it. To quote William Gibson, ‘The future is already here — it just isn’t evenly distributed.’”

Joel-Anthony Gray earned an associate degree in Electronic Telecommunications at Eastfield College and took Nanotechnology classes at Richland College. He is about to finish a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering at the University of Texas at Dallas. In his current position as a nanotechnology applications specialist for Zyvex Inc., he helps to develop new nanotechnology products, probing semiconductor devices for failure analysis at the nano-level.