Daniel Koshar graduated in the Spring of 2022 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Physics. During his time at Michigan Tech, Daniel was a member of the Society of Physics students, worked as a coach at the Physics Learning Center, and took advantage of multiple research opportunities.
Daniel aided Dr. Piret (Math) in developing a simulation of COVID-19 spread through a small city to help inform Michigan Tech policy. He worked in Dr. Yap’s laboratory researching cost-effective methods of producing BNNT Nanotubes, and assisted Dr. Mazzoleni and Dr. Borysow in engineering a device for detecting aerosols related to air quality and climate change, with a particular focus on soot and black carbon.
In your time at Michigan Tech, what was it like to be a member of the Physics Department?
My time at MTU was a great experience for me. I gained many practical skills — both from the classroom material and college life — as well as met some amazing people. Professors were generally supportive and genuinely cared about your success, the lounge provided a great place for me and my peers to work together on studying and homework, and research opportunities were always easily accessible.
Can you talk a little bit about the research you performed at Tech and what it was like to get hands-on experience?
I began researching at Tech as soon as my sophomore year, and opportunities were pretty easy to come by. There were always professors looking for students to help with their projects, and simply asking around was enough to get started within a couple weeks if even. I even got paid for some of my research. Working alongside professors and other students while also developing incredibly useful career skills was an amazing experience, and I’d highly recommend getting involved as soon as possible.
What is it that you are doing now?
I work at Ovshinsky Innovation in Hancock, MI, just across Portage Lake from Michigan Tech itself. It’s a start-up company focused on the invention and development of new technologies with an emphasis on energy science. Currently, my job primarily deals with prototyping, assembling, and programming various devices we use for experiments, but will soon expand into managing and running some of these experiments myself.
Do you feel like your experience at Michigan Tech helped prepare you for what you’re doing now? If so, how?
My time at MTU taught me skills that I use all the time, both at work and in general. Clear communication, collaborating with others, learning new concepts quickly and effectively, how to conduct effective research- these are all skills I learned while getting my degree that I have to use all the time alongside the material I learned in the classroom.
Do you have any advice or words of wisdom for those who are thinking of becoming a physics major?
Make friends within physics and don’t try to do the degree all on your own. No matter what field you’re in, STEM is all about collaboration and working together with your peers. It’ll still be tough at times but having people to study and bounce ideas around with improve your college life by a lot. Also, get involved in research as soon as possible. You’ll gain a lot of practical experience, get to know great people, and it looks fantastic on a resume.