Academic and Career Accomplishments
Vincent Tondiglia and has worked in the Materials & Manufacturing Directorate at Wright -Patterson Air Force Base in Dayton, Ohio for 33 years as a research scientist. All of that time I’ve been a contractor, first with Science Applications International Corporation, then with Leidos and currently I’m working with the Azimuth Corporation. What that means is every four to five years I get to write a competitive proposal outlining a research plan aimed at solving problems for the United States Air Force. It also means that so far the Air Force has liked my ideas and the results.
For me work began at Wright-Pat after graduating with a master’s degree in solid state physics from the University of Kentucky’s physics program which I entered after getting a B.S. degree in mathematics and physics from Kent State University. My graduate work resulted in two paper publications on the subject of intercalated graphene superconducting materials. Professionally, I’ve left solid state physics behind and spent most of my career in the wonderful world of soft matter physics, where physics meets chemistry, focusing on the optical properties of these materials. I’m mostly known for pioneering work in HPDLC (Holographic Polymer Dispersed Liquid Crystal), a term I actually coined. That’s one of the great things about science, when you discover something new, you get to name it! But more exciting to me has been the response of other scientists, who follow the work and expand our understanding of the topic with their own research.
I’ve been involved in several commercial side projects incorporating the HPDLC technology into prototype products such as spectacle displays, micro projectors and fiber optical switches. More recently I’ve been involved with “Voxelated Liquid Crystal Elastomers”, that work published in Nature magazine in 2015 has created a lot of interest. Of course, there’s been a whole lot of fun science in between ranging from bacterial E.coli forming reflective photonic crystalline structures (that’s right, Biology!) to solvated electron absorption in polar solvents. So far I’ve contributed to over 170 publications (yes, I’ve lost count) and 23 U.S. patents.