National Aeronautics and Space Administration

Glenn Research Center

Jacob Patrick Poldruhi

Jacob Patrick PoldruhiWest Virginia Wesleyan College
Buckhannon, WV
B.S. in Physics, Math minor, ‘14

NASA Academy Research Project

  • Photocatalysts for Mild Decomposition of Organic Raw Materials

Principal Investigators

  • Dr. Aloysius F. Hepp
  • Dr. Michael J. Kulis

Hometown: North Royalton, OH

Philosophy

An old Greek proverb says “A society grows great when old men plant trees whose shade they know they shall never sit in”. Whatever I do with my time here on earth, I want it to impact the world in a positive way, especially future generations. I want what I do to have an impact, whether it’s starting work on a space elevator to give the world a new reason to look to space, or teaching physics to get people interested in science at a young age. Space is the final frontier, and in a world wrought by war, hunger, and other problems, I see space as a solution. If the world could continue to work towards projects like the International Space Station, and exploring our galaxy, who knows what would happen.

Education

This coming year I will be a junior at West Virginia Wesleyan College. I am a Physics major with a Mathematics minor. So far I have covered several courses such as Light and Atomic Physics, Calculus, and Nuclear Physics. I was awarded a NASA scholarship my freshman year as well as Freshman of the Year in Physics and Engineering. I was awarded a research grant for my sophomore year to research magnetic and mechanical hysteresis. Magnetic hysteresis involves running electricity through a wire coiled around a non-magnetic material that has magnetic properties such as iron. This creates an electromagnet, but when the power is shut off, there is residual magnetism. Mechanical was a similar idea with rubber bands and weights showing that after being stretched, the bends became increasingly elastic. I also received Sophomore of the Year in Physics and Engineering. I look forward to finishing my degree and whatever higher education that may lie ahead.

Interests

Since I work as a Resident Assistant on campus and volunteer quite a bit for my community service scholarship, I have little free time. When I get a chance, I like to play Frisbee or watch movies with my friends. I used to run cross country and track but now I just run for fun off the team. I enjoy most outdoor activities such as rock climbing, canoeing, skiing, or hiking. I also like to play video games, chess, and reading. I am currently trying to learn Japanese and piano. I suspect my Japanese roommate who plays piano may have influenced this somehow. I want to travel all over the world and learn many other languages eventually.

Future

I am still unsure of what I want to do with my career. If I can find something I will really enjoy and that I fit well in right after school, I’ll take it. If I need more school to do something that I feel I should be doing then that is the path I will take. I like the idea of working with NASA or another company on space exploration. However, I also think I would enjoy teaching physics. I hope that my time at NASA will help me decide on a career path so I can focus in on what I am going to be doing for the rest of my life.