I'm just excited because I've worked with the university. I got a PhD in materials science and I turned my PhD into a company, NCD Technologies. We give research support and have subcontracts with professors to help with research. I've been working with them on writing grants. I do nanocrystalline diamond coatings. It's important to grow this industry and we need enough data and research.. I often use cellphones as an example. Not only have they gotten smaller, but we've added many features. I see everything that we interact with as being 'smart' and that's just going to improve all aspects of everyone's life. I'm really excited to work with that and continue that.
As I was growing up as a kid, I think I was fighting my neighbor with a plastic sword, and it broke. And I remember thinking, 'I'm going to school and I'm going to make materials better than plastic.' When you go through life, you kind of forget some of those dreams. And when I was shopping around for grad schools, I cam across this project with diamond, and one of my best memories is being able to reconnect with my childhood dream. I just wanted to come up with a superior material that could be used everywhere. I really think diamond can be universally used. We're just using it with micro tools, but I really think diamond can be used for lots of applications.
Wisconsin is a great manufacturing state, and I feel that medicine is a great entrepreneurial environment. I really feel the need to support Wisconsin as much as possible. Not only does it help me, but it helps the state and hopefully it will help students commercialize their ideas. We also support Tandem Press at UW-Madison. It's a really cool program focused on fine art and Kate really likes to support and grow it.
Patrick Heaney (MSMS&E '07, PhDMS&E '09) and Kate Heaney
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