Dal­housie Grad­u­ate Stud­ies: In­no­va­tively re­new­able

How Eric Lo­gan is us­ing small steps in or­der to make big change

The Coast - Career Minded - - SPONSOR CONTENT -

Ca­reer Minded: As a grad­u­ate stu­dent in Physics, you’re work­ing with global thought leader Dr. Jeff Dahn, whose re­search is lay­ing the ground­work for af­ford­able re­new­able en­ergy so­lu­tions. How does it make you feel to be part of some­thing so im­por­tant?

Eric Lo­gan: Re­new­able en­ergy is go­ing to be­come more im­por­tant over the next sev­eral years, and ef­fec­tive en­ergy stor­age is a key piece of this puz­zle. What we’re do­ing is just a small part of the so­lu­tion, but it feels good to be able to make even a small con­tri­bu­tion to solv­ing one of the big is­sues of our gen­er­a­tion.

Dr. Dahn’s bat­tery re­search has re­sulted in an ex­clu­sive part­ner­ship with Tesla Mo­tors. Is it ex­cit­ing to be work­ing on tech­nol­ogy that could have an im­pact at one of the most im­por­tant com­pa­nies of our time?

Tesla has led much of the charge in terms of in­no­va­tions in elec­tric ve­hi­cles and mak­ing elec­tric cars a com­pet­i­tive re­place­ment for gas-pow­ered. We’re start­ing to see more com­pa­nies get on board with elec­tric ve­hi­cles—it’s a very ex­cit­ing time to be in the field.

Dr. Dahn won the Gover­nor Gen­eral’s In­no­va­tion Award. How does it feel to work so closely some­one at the lead­ing edge of their field?

As Jeff Dahn al­ways says, “the most im­por­tant goal is to do work that’s use­ful.” It’s in­cred­i­ble that he has been rec­og­nized for the amaz­ing work he’s done over the years. I think my­self and ev­ery­one else in the lab are keen to con­tinue this legacy and make more mean­ing­ful ad­vance­ments in this field.

Can you de­scribe the grad­u­ate school ex­pe­ri­ence at Dal?

I’ve met a ton of great peo­ple over the last year at Dal. Ev­ery­one in my lab is ex­tremely thought­ful and al­ways will­ing to help out each other with their projects. I think the best part is that ev­ery­one, in­clud­ing the fac­ulty and staff, all gen­uinely want to see you suc­ceed, and will ac­tively help you make that hap­pen. This isn’t to say it hasn’t been dif­fi­cult at times, but it’s nice to know that ev­ery­one is on your side.

Some prospec­tive grad­u­ate stu­dents might think they need to move to dis­tant lo­ca­tions to work with lead­ing schol­ars. Would you rec­om­mend tak­ing a look a Dal be­fore look­ing far­ther afield?

It’s true that Dal may not be nearly as big as many of the big schools in Canada or the US, but the fact is that many of the “lead­ing schol­ars” are right here in Hal­i­fax. The Hertzberg Gold Medal—which was awarded to Jeff Dahn this year—has been won by Dal­housie fac­ulty 3 of the last 4 years. There re­ally is some world-class re­search go­ing on at Dal­housie, so I would ab­so­lutely rec­om­mend con­sid­er­ing Dal as an op­tion.

What will you do when you grad­u­ate?

When I fin­ish my MSc, I plan on stay­ing in Jeff Dahn’s lab to do a PhD. I’ll be con­tin­u­ing some of the work that I’ve been do­ing in my Masters.

What doors will be opened for you by your Dal MSc?

My MSc has given me the re­search ex­pe­ri­ence and knowl­edge to start my PhD pro­gram with con­fi­dence. I’ve learned a lot in such a short amount of time, and I have to thank my su­per­vi­sor for a large part of that.

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