Sean received his PhD in Physics in condensed matter experimental physics in May 2012 from Kansas State University where he worked with Dr. Bruce M. Law. While there, Sean conducted diverse surface science experiments that ranged from measuring the slip length parameter of liquids on smooth hydrophobic interfaces using colloidal probe Atomic Force Microscopy (AFM), to measuring the line tension and contact angle of submicron particles at frozen polystyrene interfaces using AFM, to using AFM techniques to determine the spring constants of nanowires for use in biological experiments. Sean also developed a new technique while at K-State, which he expects to become the standard technique, to accurately determine the AFM spring constant for use in colloidal probe AFM experiments by the scientific community. Sean was selected by the Kansas State Physics department to receive the Outstanding Graduate Research Award for his AFM work.
In May 2012, postdoctoral scholar Sean McBride then joined Professor Heinrich Jaeger’s group at the James Franck Institute (JFI), Gordon Center for Integrative Science, University of Chicago. The James Franck Institute is the premier institute in the U.S. for interdisciplinary research at the intersection of physics, chemistry and materials science. Sean’s current research within the Jaeger group at JFI will focus on the self-assembly of chemically modified nanoparticles at liquid-air interfaces for use in filtration membranes. For this nanoparticle research, Sean divides his time between working at JFI and working closely with collaborators at Argonne National Laboratory, where synthesis work for his current research project is performed. Sean states, “The project I am working on is really cool and will have a large impact. I have to keep it under wraps for now, at least until the patents and papers are filed and published, respectively. Hopefully there will be a high profile paper from this work in the near future.”
"The physics department at Miami University influenced my career in science in numerous ways. As a graduate student, I was able to experience the devotion and passion for teaching by faculty members, and how it influenced my desire to learn and understand. As a teaching assistant, the physics department provided me with the valuable opportunity to become a successful laboratory instructor with the same devotion and passion for teaching as the faculty. As a researcher working with Dr. Herbert Jaeger, I was able to further develop the skills necessary to become a successful scientist." Sean McBride, MS Physics 2005