Current position: R&D engineer, Marvell Nanofabrication Laboratory, UC Berkeley (http://nanolab.berkeley.edu/)
Career path: Clarkson moved to the Bay Area in 2011, after receiving a Ph.D. in materials science from the University of Rochester. After looking for a position for several months, he started his own company, Lumlit, building high performance LED lighting systems. He worked with architects and builders to help design and fabricate special-purpose lights, “a nice mix of engineering and the arts.”
That led him to call on the Marvell Nanofabrication Laboratory, UC Berkeley, which was in need of his services. He was subsequently offered a job filling in for someone on medical leave for five months. He’s been in his current position since 2012.
Clarkson is responsible for supporting more than 400 academic, government, and private sector researchers, advising them in the areas of device and material characterization, design and layout, photolithography, and process development.
“I have contributed to projects that have discovered distant galaxies in outer space, help us better understand neural pathways in the brain, and the creation of the smallest robots in the world.”
“It’s an exceptionally dynamic position. I’ll never get bored.”
On the Bay Area: “I never, never imagined I would end up here. But I couldn’t be happier. I have my dream job.”
Another bonus: easy access to a variety of outdoor environments: beaches, mountains, desert, redwood forests.
Remembering RIT: Clarkson calls his co-ops “formative.” They include work at Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory and two co-ops with the U.S. Army Research Laboratory in Adelphi, Md.
“As a junior undergraduate, I knew I wanted to be a researcher.”
The appeal: “You can have an idea—just a thought. Then you can do the theoretical work. And then—my favorite part—you can build something and see if it’s real.”
Hometown: Victor, N.Y.
Currently resides in: Oakland, Calif.