Chemistry

JOEL OLSON

Associate Professor of Chemistry

B.S. University of Wisconsin, Madison
Ph.D. University of Wisconsin, Madison
Industrial Experience, Ecolab, Inc., St. Paul, MN
Visiting Faculty, University of St. Thomas, St. Paul, MN
Postdoctoral Fellow, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN

Email:jolson@fit.edu
Phone: (321) 674-7350

Office: 222 Olin Physical Sciences Building

RESEARCH INTERESTS

Materials, Chemistry of Surfaces and Interfaces, Microscopy, Chemical Sensors, Chemical Education

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BIOGRAPHICAL INFORMATION

I was born in Milwaukee, WI and grew up in the upper-peninsula Michigan, and southern Wisconsin. After graduating from James Madison Memorial H.S. in Madison, WI, I enlisted in the US Navy. While in the Navy, I served as a Hospital Corpsman, and later, successfully completed Basic Underwater Demolition/SEAL training. I was assigned to SEAL Team 5 in Coronado, CA. While at SEAL Team 5, I trained at various locations including: Kodiak, AK; Adak, AK; Fallon, NV; Niland, CA; El Centro, CA; Camp Pendleton, CA; and several military installations in and around San Diego. Later, I deployed to the Philippines, Okinawa, Guam, and Malaysia.

After ending my enlistment in the Navy, I attended the University of Wisconsin, Madison, majoring in chemistry. While I was an undergraduate, I enjoyed the opportunity to engage in undergraduate research, which resulted in my co-authorship of an undergraduate research publication and an illustrated guidebook for a solid-state model kit. After completing my B.S. in chemistry, I continued my studies at the UW in their graduate program under the direction of Professors Art Ellis and Bob Hamers In graduate school I scratch-built a scanning tunneling microscope (STM) that I subsequently used in my thesis project. After receiving my Ph.D. in analytical chemistry, I accepted an industrial position with Ecolab, Inc. located in St. Paul, MN. My work at Ecolab included practical chemical analysis, SEM, NMR, IR, optical microscopy, product development, surfactant chemistry, and pool products. While at Ecolab, I decided to pursue a career in education. My next position was as a visiting faculty at the University of St. Thomas, in St. Paul, MN. While at St. Thomas, I instructed two semesters of general chemistry. I then went on to a post-doctoral research fellowship at the University of Minnesota, working with Professor Philippe Buhlmann. At Minnesota, I worked on STM with chemically modified tips, as well as synthesis of carbon nanotubes (CNTs) for the purposes of fabricating a chemically modified, CNT STM tip.

I left the University of Minnesota after securing a faculty appointment with Florida Institute of Technology. I enjoy my wife and two children, playing guitar, hunting, and military history.

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