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James McKirahan, Jr.

Assistant Professor

Dr. McKirahan's  Ph.D. is in Technology Management, Manufacturing Systems from Indiana State University. His dissertation entitled, "Processing Research and Development of ‘Green' Polymer Nanoclay Composites Containing Polyhydroxybutyrate, Vinyl Acetates, and Modified Montmorillonite Clay" involved research using various processing and mechanical and flow properties techniques to develop polymer clay nanocomposites (PCN).

In addition to several years of industrial experience in both the chemical and injection molding plastics industry, he taught for several years at the community college level and as an adjunct instructor/instructor at the university level.

His personal interests include travel (pictured above recently at Stonehenge, near Amesbury, England), the impact of technology upon the past, present, and the future, and philosophical aspects concerning technology use.

His professional interests are in plastics manufacturing toward product development applications, and automation.

His office is in Klehm Hall, room 3111.  His office telephone number is 217-581-8535.

Areas of Expertise

  • Nanotechnology
  • Technology


Indiana State University 
-Ph.D. (2013) in Technology Management (Manufacturing Systems).
Eastern Illinois University 
-M.S. in Technology ('95).   
Eastern Illinois University 
-B.S. in Industrial Technology ('87).  
Southern Illinois University 
-A.A.S. in Electronics Technology ('85).

Research Interests

Biodegradable Polymers
Polymer clay nanocomposites (PCN) development
Agile Manufacturing 
History of Technological Development
Theory/Philosophy of Technology -  M. R. Smith, Leo Marx, Jacque Ellul,
Martin Heidegger
, Melvin Kranzberg, James Burke, Kevin Kelly


Contact Information

Phone: 217-581-8535

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