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Interviews with Technical People

Author: John and James

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Interviews with Technical People is a podcast that discusses a unique STEM topic each episode through interviews with people participating in those fields. Join us as we broaden our knowledge horizons through dialogue with experts in various fields, hosted by John Robertson and James Havu. Follow our updates on our facebook page:

If you would like to contact us, feel free to e-mail us at

46 Episodes
Ep 45: 4x4electric

Ep 45: 4x4electric


Today we are joined by Renske Cox and Maarten van Pel, of 4x4electric.  They are now at the halfway point of their journey to drive from the Netherlands to South Africa and back, in an electric vehicle charged with solar.  They share their many insights from the journey so far, and give us an interesting look ahead into their journey, and also the really interesting technology that is powering it.You can also follow their journey at their instagram page and their youtube page.
We are joined by Brice Peters, superintendant of Station Sciences at Duke Energy Corp.  We discuss many aspects of how a nuclear power plant operates.
Today we are joined by Matt Ferraro, head coffee roaster for Black and White coffee.  Join us as we dive us into the various aspects of how coffee goes from a green seed to a delicious beverage.  Follow Matt on instagram at Black and White coffee at at
Ep 42: Carrie Cole: Theater

Ep 42: Carrie Cole: Theater


Thats right!  Interviews with Technical People is going to the theater with Carrie Cole, associate professor of integrative theatre studies in the Department of Theater, Dance, and Performance at Indiana University of Pennsylvania.  We discuss a wide variety of topics related to what goes into putting on shows, from personnel selection to fight choreography to unique effects for sci-fi shows.  
Today we are joined by Cris Hazzard, the Hiking Guy himself, founder of  This website provides turn-by-turn guides to various hikes in the southwestern United States and beyond, and Cris shares how he started the website, how it has grown, and the importance of getting outside.  And of course, we discuss the technology that goes into keeping us informed and safe in the outdoors.For more info on Cris, you can check out his website, and can also check out his youtube page.
What is a spinal implant?  How are they made?  In this episode, we go all into the devices that are designed to fuse vertebrae together, how they are made (via 3D printing), what they are made out of (Titanium alloys), and all of the various fascinating aspects of building these medical devices.  Ben Lewson is the engineering manager at the company Nexxt Spine, a manufacturer of these
Today we are joined by dr. Peter Heuer, a PhD Physicist working on plasma physics and hydrogen fusion for terrestrial energy production.
Today we are joined by Dr. Gisele Calderon, PhD, a research associate at the Hakim lab at Baylor University College of Medicine, where she is working to develop several new technologies related to women's health.  In particular, we discuss the work being done to develop vaginal stents to promote healing of the vaginal tissue after surgery or from vaginal stenosis.  We also discuss her groundbreaking work in developing a "vagina on a chip", a laboratory vaginal analog using real vaginal cells that can be used as a testbed for new therapeutics.Follow her team's outreach instagram @
Today we are joined by Seth Rodebeck for an in-depth discussion about Chatbots.   We explore this fascinating topic, starting with the question "what is a chatbot" and developing their relevance to the world and the internet.   We also learn how the chatbots that Seth develops interact with the cultural concept of Omotenashi in Japan.For more info on Seth, check out his LinkedIn:
Today we are joined by Dr. Doug Chrisey, a modern renaissance man that has published in a wide variety of scientific fields, including materials science and engineering, Biomedical engineering, and physics.  In particular, he takes us through his experiences in the applications of 3d printing of bio materials and tissue, as well as his work in superconductors.  Dr. Chrisey's Tulane Profile: summary of Dr. Chrisey's publications: article referenced toward the end of the episode regarding intellectual property:
Yes, you read that right.  Today's episode features Rabbi Daniel Levine, with whom we dive into several topics related to modern-day Judaism.  Ranging from what it means to be Jewish, to the origins of modern Jewish thought, religion, and culture, we dive into this technical and fascinating conversation.  Daniel grew up as an Orthodox Jew spending several years in Yeshiva (Jewish seminary) and receiving Smicha (Rabbinical degree), living in Israel along the way. Today he identifies as a Jewish pluralist. He also received a BA and MA in Jewish history from UCLA. He has written hundreds of articles about Judaism, the Jewish community, and Israel - and currently serves as the Senior Jewish Educator for Orange County Hillel.For more info on Daniel, you can follow him on Social Media:
We are joined by our old friend Helen Hernandez, who founded the company KAL Research Initiatives as her platform to work with the rare disease community.  We dive into some of the challenges facing the rare disease community, and also go through several examples.  Follow Helen on Twitter out KAL Research Initiatives website:
Today we are joined by Dr. Allison Feibus, a urology resident at UF Health: Jacksonville.  Join us as we dive into what it means to be a urologist, and how modern urologists perform their surgical procedures.  In particular, we discuss the Da Vinci "robot", a surgical tool that enables robotic surgery controlled by a surgeon on a console.  Urologists were among the first to adopt this tool, and it is an interesting glimpse into the state-of-the-art of surgical techniques, as well as a preview of what future surgical innovations will look like.  Follow Dr. Feibus on twitter: in urology?  Check out the American Urological AssociationCheck out some videos below on the Da Vinci Robot, amazing technology:Da Vinci Surgery: How it WorksDa Vinci Robot Stitches a Grape Back Together
Today we are joined by Vince Romanin, CEO of Gradient, a company developing an innovative new wall-mounted heat pump system that aims to address climate change in three key ways: by replacing fossil-fuel based heating mechanisms with electrical-based heating, by using less harmful refrigerants, and finally by mitigating the effects of climate change (more extreme temperature) by providing climate control to our buildings.  All of this, while focusing on the consumer and placing the wall-mounted heat pumps in a unique form factor that gives users their windows back.  Listen in as Vince patiently walks us through our questions on thermodynamics and how heat pumps work, and as we learn about this tremendous opportunity to both combat climate change and mitigate its effects.Check out Gradient's website here: this kind of innovation sounds interesting to you, they are hiring! can also follow the team on social mediaWhen you're done listening to the episode, be sure to spend at least 10 hours staring at the Sankey diagram on  This is the one that we talk about toward the end of the show that tracks the energy flow of the entire nation in one convenient plot.
Buckle your seatbelt for another math-heavy episode.  Today we are joined by Dr. Paul "Connor" Whitaker, who dives into his research into group theory and its application to atomic physics.  
Today we welcome our former professor and department head, and current associate dean of the Embry Riddle Aeronautical University, Dr. Terry Oswalt!  Dr. Oswalt is a renowned astronomer, and he catches us up on the current state of astronomical research, developments, and strategies, including his own research on binary stars and planet hunting.  John also has the chance to ask his burning question.... why do planets have magnetic fields?  Dr. Oswalt's Faculty Profile: summary of Dr. Oswalt's work:
In this Episode we are joined by Dr. Daniel Codd, who takes us through the variety of technologies that he has worked on throughout his diverse career.  He explains how he was able to use his mechanical engineering and design background in applications ranging from Medical Devices to Renewable Energy and Advanced Manufacturing. Dr. Codd is currently an associate professor at the University of San Diego.Further info about Dr. Codd can be found here: out some of Dr. Codd's publications here
Today we are joined by the one and only Dr. Gordon Patterson, professor of history at the Florida Institute of Technology and one of the world's experts on the history of Mosquito control, especially in Florida.  We talk about Mosquitoes, the long quest to control them, and how Dr. Patterson found a treasure trove of information about the history of this campaign right here in Florida.  Plus, a bonus conversation about what its like to teach humanities to a bunch of engineers.More information on professor Patterson:Master Teachers philosophy Credit: Gordon Patterson
We are joined by Joseph Prezioso, a multimedia photojournalist and photographer who has been on the front lines of some of the most significant events of our nation for the past few years.  In this episode we start with a discussion of camera technology, accessories, history, and technique, and move on to some of Joseph's experience photographing a huge range of events, including various protests, the January 6 storming of the United States Capitol, sporting events, and sea turtle releases.  Join us as we discuss the joys, struggles, and dangers of being a modern photojournalist.Follow Joseph on Twitter:
Today we are joined by Christian Griffith, who shares his remarkable story of how he got to "know the internet" back in the 90's, and how it led him to a career in digital strategy.  We learn about how things like branding, search engine optimization, and digital content can harmonize to maximize visibility for people looking to use the internet as a tool for their business to thrive.  In addition, we learn how Christian himself uses this craft to share his own story, which has involved running from coast to coast in Run2Heal, health and fitness endeavors, and his own company "Live for a Living".To learn more about Christian's Story, visit his page at
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