Some people strive to continue family tradition, while others prefer to cut their own path. Patrick Linford, grandson of prestigious electrochemist Henry Linford, happens to be stepping into his grandfather’s shoes merely by coincidence.

“If you’d rewind my life to last year, I had no idea what electrochemistry actually was,” says Linford.

Linford, current graduate student at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and U.S. Army Officer, was always fascinated by science and the technical side of things. Despite Linford’s grandfather dying a few years before his birth, their academic and career paths have many similarities.

More Sustainable Energy

Currently, Linford is conducting research in alternative energy—specifically, thermogalvanic batteries to power wireless sensors using waste heat.

“This work has tremendous applications in both the military realm and on the civilian side,” says Linford.