• An Interview with Edward Kim, a Nanoscientist, Physicist, and Science Geek

    Edward Kim

    Edward Kim, or Eddie, is an undergraduate at University of Guelph — that’s in Canada, for those of you that don’t know. Eddie is studying nanoscience, and is minoring in physics. He hasn’t always been in nanosciences, or even physics. In fact, Eddie has a passion and love of just about every science, and loves talking about them even more. His interests range from math to biology, computer programming to nanotechnology and even some environmental sciences thrown in for good measure.

    I had the pleasure of sitting down and talking with Eddie over Skype to get his insights about his field of science, what he loves most, the challenges they face, and how the general public can help.

    What drew you to your field?

    Eddie admitted to having a bit of a short attention span, so what drew him to nanoscience was the fact that to do it well, you have to do a little bit of everything. “When you train in physics, you’re training to do a little bit of everything. It’s easier to start with physics, then to start with microbiology if you want to do both.”

    What is your favourite thing about working in Nanoscience and physics?

    Without a hesitation, Eddie said he loves working on and with the big machines. His favourite is the synchrotron — a type of particle accelerator.

    Eddie working on a beamline on the Canadian Light Source synchrotron

    If this image of Eddie doesn’t give you an idea of it’s size, which is part of the reason why Eddie’s impressed with the machine, then this one will.

    Canada’s synchrotron at Canadian Light Source.

    What inspires you? (What do you find most exciting?)

    Eddie is inspired by the potential of making materials and devices out of material that we’ve never seen before. There is a lot of potential to take a little of microbiology, a little physics, put it together with something we haven’t thought of yet, and make a whole new material. Then, you can take that material and make more things out of it.

    What challenges you in your field?

    Hands down, safety is the biggest challenge Eddie and his colleagues face. You’re always worried that you’re going to come in tired, then fall and get hurt, then keep working anyway. It’s that easy to get caught up in the research.

    What can the public or citizen scientists do to help you meet the challenges?

    Eddie admits that it’s hard for the average citizen scientist to truly help in the field of nanosciences. However, despite this there is some things the public can do:

    • Be informed.
    • Don’t be afraid of nanotechnology; it’s not your science fiction horror show.
    • Pass on the knowledge to others.

    What advice would you give to people considering your area?

    If you’re interested in joining the nanoscience field, Eddie suggests that you come prepared to embrace every other branch of science along the way. It’s the best way to ensure that you have a lot of options, knowledge, and be the best you can be in your field.

    — Grace

    Want to know more about Edward Kim? Check out his personal blog, where you’ll find information about his research, projects, and a lot more. Eddie is also pretty enthusiastic about talking about science any time, so if you’d like to contact for more information about his field, synchrotron, or anything else science related, send him a message (goes to the contact page on his blog).

    If you’re a scientist and you’d like an interview, please either contact the PR department to set up an Interview (PR at Insanitek dot net) or fill out the questionnaire form.

  • I love it when people get together and share opinions.
    Great website, keep it up!

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