Jordan Vandegrift is a Master of Science student in the Micron School of Materials Science and Engineering. She’s always been a natural problem solver, even as a child. Whether constructing an igloo in her backyard or disassembling the family television to diagnose a problem, she was constantly solving puzzles. This natural affinity for creative troubleshooting influenced Jordan’s future career choice. To launch her career, she applied for admission to Eastern Oregon University where she planned to study biology. She soon learned that her true interest was engineering and, after completing her freshman year at Eastern Oregon University, returned to her hometown. She chose the Micron School of Materials Science and Engineering (MSMSE) based on the diversity and the mix of science and engineering the program offers. Based on Jordan’s accomplishments, she made a wise choice.
Jordan is an avid learner. As an undergraduate, her drive for excellence was proven with an Outstanding Junior in Materials Science and Engineering award and a Distinguished Achievement Award. She was a member of the Tau Beta Pi honor society and later served as it’s treasurer. Jordan actively participates in campus life so she can obtain the best academic experience possible. Always seeking challenging learning opportunities, she joined Dr. Darryl Butt’s research group as an undergraduate researcher. She was fascinated with the group’s projects and thrived in the lab. Now working with Dr. Brian Jaques in the Advanced Materials Laboratory as a graduate student, Jordan is focusing on understanding the high temperature behavior of zirconium alloys for use as nuclear fuel cladding in the Transient Reactor Test Facility (TREAT) at Idaho National Laboratory (INL). TREAT is an air cooled research reactor that was designed to provide a testing platform to demonstrate performance phenomena and limits for advanced and accident tolerant fuel designs under transient conditions ranging from mild upsets to severe accidents. Jordan has presented her research at several professional research conferences and her research on the oxidation of zirconium alloys at high temperatures will be submitted for publication in the Journal of Nuclear Materials.
This past summer, Jordan had an excellent opportunity to participate in a prestigious internship at Micron Technology. Working with the Technology Development Group, she helped develop atomic layer deposition precursors processes and chemical syntheses to aid in the production of state of the art memory concepts. She credits her research experience with giving her the edge in obtaining the position. “I applied for the position in 2014, but was told that I needed to get research experience first and was advised to join a research group on campus. This is what led me to apply to be an undergraduate research assistant in Dr. Butt’s group. Now, four years later, it’s come full circle and I get to expand my knowledge through this internship while pursuing my Master’s degree.” says Jordan.
Jordan’s journey to success has been fueled by her enthusiasm for learning and her desire to achieve the best. She firmly believes that being active in the Micron School of Materials Science and Engineering has been a key factor in her success. She encourages fellow students to get involved by signing up for volunteer events, joining the MSE club, and getting hands-on lab experience with one of the great faculty-led research groups. “I guarantee all of these things will help you get the most out of your time in the program,” Jordan says.
After obtaining her M.S. in Materials Science and Engineering, Jordan plans to pursue a career in industry. Her goal is to find a position that will allow her to continue conducting challenging research. She looks forward to using what she has learned at Boise State to aid in the development of new and unique research applications.