Development Fellow Scott Bickham describes himself as an independent thinker, a trait that became one of the principal reasons that he decided to pursue a career in physics. He remembered being aided by his middle school teacher, Mr. Phillips, who gave him free rein to work in a fast-paced, independent learning environment. During this time, Scott discovered his passion for solving tough scientific and technical problems.
“[Mr. Phillips] was a strong mentor throughout my younger years, and he helped me uncover the mystery and beauty behind physics and math,” Scott said. “Everybody needs their own “Mr. Phillips,” or someone who they can connect with when they encounter tough technical challenges. Mentors help you avoid working in a vacuum.”
Scott’s influences positioned him to pursue his graduate degrees from Cornell University, which led to his first research positions at the Naval Research Laboratory and the Los Alamos National Laboratory. Scott worked throughout the latter half of the 1990s to hone his skills in modeling, optics, glasses, and the interaction of light and matter, topics that would encompass much of his work in his current role with Corning’s Optical Communications business.
“This agility between multiple areas gave me enough know-how to establish myself as a critical part of the innovation process at Corning,” he said.
Scott’s skills and experience have proven to be the perfect match for Corning. Since 1999, he has been a critical contributor to many optical products and processes. According to Scott, these milestones are due to Corning’s continued investment in development activities and an enabling workplace culture that holds a diverse assortment of knowledgeable scientists, engineers, manufacturers, and more.