Meet the Russ College’s new crop of faculty and staff members this year in this series of interviews, and stop by their offices to greet them in person.
After a stint in private industry, Assistant Professor John Staser will continue his electrochemical engineering research into ways to reduce reliance on fossil fuels through energy conversion and storage. He may also log some miles running on the bike path.
Where are you from, and how did you make your way to these parts?
I’m from Coshocton, OH. I did my undergrad at Case Western, where I worked in the Yeager Center for Electrochemical Sciences and was a co-op at DuPont Fuel Cells, then attended graduate school at the University of South Carolina. I’ve since worked for a small electrochemical research company in Boston and as an assistant professor in chemical engineering at the University of Puerto Rico in Mayaguez.
Where did you prepare for your profession and what was special about it?
I went to Case Western (B.S.) and the University of South Carolina (Ph.D.). The special part about those schools was the strong focus on electrochemical engineering, which got me started in my field and which I continue today at Ohio University.
Was there a moment or time you knew you'd become an engineer?
I guess I knew I wanted to become an engineer in high school, when I really liked chemistry but also wanted a job when I graduated from college.
What will you teach and/or research at the Russ College?
I’ll be teaching Material Balances, and continuing research in electrochemical engineering for energy conversion and storage.
What would you say is your greatest professional accomplishment?
My greatest accomplishment was actually going to graduate school. It was a tough decision to spend a few more years as a student instead of getting a job, but it was well worth it.
At the Russ College, we "create for good." You'll be hearing this a lot because it's true. How will you "create for good" while you're at the Russ College?
I’ll be creating new ways to convert and store energy using electrochemical processes. I hope that eventually these processes can compete favorably with fossil fuel-based routes and really lead to reduced environmental impacts of energy consumption.
What's the weirdest/coolest thing about Athens so far?
All the brick roads “uptown.”
What’s the best local food you've had?
Sol has pretty good food.
What do you do when you're not creating for good?
What’s your top travel destination?
I always liked going to Cedar Point and Kelly’s Island, just because I like being on the lake.
What's something you would tell your students heading into fall semester?
Just study hard and come to class; you should be fine.