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Daniel Crain, former U.S. Army specialist

Former U.S. Army specialist Daniel Crain has some advice for his fellow veterans.

“If you are a veteran looking for a degree in engineering, science or mathematics,” he said, “Clarkson offers you the opportunity to get a world-class education.”

The 28-year-old physics Ph.D. candidate said he is grateful to Clarkson for participating in the Yellow Ribbon program. “This allows me to go to a good private institution at a low financial cost.”

Crain said he has gained valuable academic and research experience.  “As a researcher, I feel that I have learned skills that I can use for the rest of my life.  As a teaching assistant, I have been able to gain valuable experience teaching introductory courses in physics. “

While in the Army, Crain was stationed at Fort Drum, NY, Camp Sears in Uijongbu, South Korea, and at Camp Anaconda in Iraq. Officially, he was a 35H Test Measurement and Diagnostic Equipment support systems specialist. “My primary duties were to maintain and repair electronic and physical test equipment,” he said.

Originally from Cincinnati, OH, Crain currently lives in a small town called Sandy Creek in Oswego County where he also attended SUNY Oswego for his BS in Physics. Both are not far from Fort Drum. 

“Clarkson appealed to me because of the quality and type of research that I could do here,” he said.  “I was interested in doing research that could lead to a job in the future.” His primary area of interest is lithium-ion batteries, which are used in many consumer electronics and are being considered for use in electric vehicles. Crain has also been involved in research into the electrochemistry of chemical mechanical planarization, which is used in the production of microprocessors.

By the end of the year, Crain’s research group will have moved on to studying silicon and dye-sensitized solar cells, but he hopes to continue researching lithium-ion batteries.  “As for my long term goals, I hope to finish my PhD by 2012 and from there I hope to get a job as a researcher in industry.”

Clarkson has been a positive experience for Crain. “I like the research that I am able to do as well as the friends you make along the way,” he said. “I will remember my friends and fellow researchers.”