Research in Action

Research in Action is a weekly podcast about topics and issues related to research in higher education from experts across a range of disciplines. Episodes are posted weekly and include guest interviews and occasional solo episodes. Guests are from a range of higher education institutions and share their expertise on qualitative, quantitative, and mixed methods as well as their personal experiences as researchers; research and writing practices; organizational and productivity strategies; and much more. Some weeks, bonus content is also posted. Research in Action is hosted by Dr. Katie Linder, the research director for Oregon State University Ecampus. Show notes with information regarding topics discussed in each episode, as well as the transcript for each episode, can be found at the Research in Action website at There are several ways to connect with the Research in Action podcast. Visit to post a comment about a specific episode, suggest a future guest, or ask a question that could be featured in a future episode. You can also offer feedback about Research in Action episodes or share research-related resources by contacting the podcast via Twitter @RIA_podcast using the hashtag #ria_podcast or emailing Finally, you can call the Research in Action voicemail line at 541-737-1111 to ask a question or leave a comment. The Research in Action podcast is a resource funded by Oregon State University Ecampus – ranked one of the nation’s best providers of online education with more than 40 degree programs and over 1,000 classes online. Learn more about Ecampus by visiting This podcast is produced by the Ecampus Multimedia team.
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Jun 30, 2017

On this episode, Katie is joined by Dr. John Nychka, Associate Professor, Chemical and Materials Engineering, Associate Dean of Teaching and Learning, Faculty of Graduate Studies and Research, Vargo Teaching Chair, and Adjunct Associate Professor in the School of Dentistry at the University of Alberta. John graduated from the University of Alberta in 1997 with a Bachelors of Science in Metallurgical Engineering, then went on to earn his Masters in Engineering from McMaster University in 1999 and his PhD from the University of California Santa Barbara in 2004. He stayed on at Santa Barbara as a post doc, and then moved to become an assistant professor in Chemical and Materials Engineering at the University of Kentucky from 2005 to 2007. In 2007 he returned home to Edmonton to join the University of Alberta. He teaches introductory materials engineering, communication, and capstone design courses, and his research is primarily about structural materials.

Segment 1: Research on Materials [00:00-11:53]

In this first segment, John shares about the different components of his research on materials.

Segment 2: Materials at the Interface [11:54-21:16]

In segment two, John describes the professional philosophy he uses to guide his research, teaching, and service.

Segment 3: Failure in the Research Enterprise [21:17-34:40]

In segment three, John shares about the importance of embracing failure as a researcher.

Bonus Clip #1 [00:00-7:16]: John's CV of Failures

To share feedback about this podcast episode, ask questions that could be featured in a future episode, or to share research-related resources, contact the “Research in Action” podcast:

Twitter: @RIA_podcast or #RIA_podcast


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