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Bradford Harris

I have always been fascinated with the history of science and technology. I believe that this particular historical field coheres many different academic disciplines and transcends many traditional historiographical boundaries (geographical, temporal, etc.), providing its students with a uniquely comprehensive view of human behavior through the ages. Since arriving at Stanford in the fall of 2008, I have focused my research on the historical relationship between materials engineering and design, business, and environmental and health concerns. My dissertation will explore the historical trajectory of plastics engineering, illuminating shifts in the major plastics feedstocks from bio-based materials through about 1940, to petroleum through the turn of the twenty-first century, with a current shift back to bio-based materials. Resource logistics, policy, and profit projections have all influenced these shifts, and my dissertation is likewise designed to appeal to historians and engineers, policymakers and businesspeople. Studying and working at Stanford has also afforded me the opportunity to enjoy the adventurous and cosmopolitan vibe of the Bay Area. Sailing, dancing, camping, and sports are some of my favorite activities in and around my home in San Francisco.

Brad has won the SHOT 3 minute dissertation video contest, earning him a free trip to the conference of his choice. Congratulations Brad!