HUNTSVILLE, Alabama — Forget the key card to your office building? Just wave your hand at the door, and you're in. "You don't have to stop at a station. Nobody checks your ID. You just walk through," explains Clemson-educated physicist Joel Burcham of his new Huntsville company called IDair.
IDair makes a machine that Burcham says can photographically capture a fingerprint from as far away as six meters in enough detail to match against a database. Add facial and iris-recognition technology, Burcham said, and you have the basis for a good biometrics system that can control access to any building or room within a building.
“I never set out to be a professor and researcher; I sort of stumbled into that job. However, I always wanted to know more about nature because I loved animals, rocks, planets, stars, fish, etc. So, in school I took a lot of science courses and along the way I just kept narrowing my focus as I found out what areas of science I liked.” —Dr. Kim Caldwell
“Fall in love with biology, chemistry, math and computer classes early. I use my degree every day. Biology–specimens/cell division; chemistry-mixing and usage of reagents in our protocols; math–measuring DNA; computers–capturing and karyotyping chromosomes.”
“I choose this career because I really enjoy the fast pace changes of science and genetics and I like to help people. I wanted a career that would allow me to be in healthcare but I was not interested in being a physician or nurse or working in a research laboratory setting.”
“I travel independently throughout the community to inspect food processing plants, hotels, restaurants, day care and nursing home food service facilities, jails, schools, night clubs and even body art facilities. Every day I am out meeting new people and seeing different things.”
“As a medical epidemiologist working at a state health department, I have investigated acute disease outbreaks; reviewed and analyzed data from reported, notifiable disease cases; and planned and implemented intervention measures to reduce the occurrence of preventable communicable diseases.”
“Computational biology is an exciting interdisciplinary field of research that integrates concepts from statistics, mathematics, computer science, and physics to solve problems in biology and biomedical research.”
“As a biochemical geneticist, my work specifically focuses on the diagnosis of inherited metabolic disorders, which typically afflict infants and young children, and often cause severe, even life threatening symptoms.”
“Did I choose the career or did the career choose me? That is an interesting question. I have always been interested in science, and grew up on a farm. So the marriage of science and agriculture was a natural for me.”