Laser Man

More school is often the last thing college graduates seek. For Chris Aubuchon ’94, however, life after Westmont has meant nothing but school. He has completed nearly six years of graduate work at Stanford University in its world-renowned chemistry department.

His work focuses primarily on the design and development of an ultra-fast laser system. This one-of-a-kind instrument operates in the infrared wavelength range and is used to study molecular bond vibrations. There are many implications for this research, such as assisting doctors in diagnosing cancerous tissue without the danger of human error.

He is excited that developing these laser systems can “aid in a next generation of higher quality and cheaper systems so the experiments we do can be performed at smaller, fund-based research institutions like Westmont.”

As an undergraduate at Westmont, Chris worked extensively with associate chemistry Professor Niva Tro ’85. According to Chris, “Dr. Tro and the other chemistry professors shaped my thirst for knowledge and fun. I will forever be indebted to them.”

Chris says his time at Westmont prepared him very well for graduate school, and he is proud to note that other Westmont alumni in graduate programs at Stanford and other top institutions echo that sentiment.

He is a member of Church of the Chimes in San Jose, Calif., where he has taught Sunday school for 4- and 5-year-olds and created the church Web page. He dedicates his extended lunches on Wednesday to volunteering at the Palo Alto food closet, feeding those in need.

Aubuchon looks forward to graduating in December, and he hopes to pursue his passion of teaching college-level chemistry. For now, however, he is looking to enter the laser industry and take advantage of the gifts and opportunities Stanford has
afforded him.

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