Westmont Magazine The Right Chemistry
Christopher Aubuchon ’94 never expected to go to college. Adept at working with his hands, he spent his high school years playing sports, fixing his truck and doing construction. When a friend’s parents encouraged him to go college, he applied to Westmont and USC at the last minute. Much to his surprise, he got into both schools and decided on Westmont.
“Westmont changed my life,” Chris says. “My professors inspired me to study science, and I decided to go on to graduate school. I was a grease-monkey jock, but I became an academic. Going to Westmont was the smartest decision I ever made.”
Chris not only entered a doctoral program in chemistry at Stanford, but he achieved one of the highest scores on the university’s placement exams that year. After graduating, he co-founded Exajoule, a company that designs MicroElectroMechanical systems (MEMS) components for manufacture. To recognize his accomplishments, Westmont has honored him as Young Alumnus of the Year for 2004.
“I have a passion for innovation,” Chris says. “My long-term goal is to teach and to be creative in a scientific way.” His company has obtained multiple patents for the optical MEMS components he has invented.
Fellow alumnus A. Scott Carlson ’94 started Exajoule with Chris. Their products include devices used in business and home-theater projectors and televisions.
Chris also loves teaching and interacting with students. His goal is instilling a love for learning and science, which is what chemistry Professor Niva Tro did for him.
Chris taught students at Stanford while he was working on his degree, and he hopes to get back to the classroom someday. “I want to be a teacher who invents on the side,” he says.
Chris likes people as much as he likes technology, and he combines both interests as director of technology at Church of the Chimes in San Jose, Calif. His other interests include sailing. “I have a frenetic personality,” he says. “I enjoy lots of different things.”