John R. Conrad earned a B.S. in Physics from St. Mary’s University in San Antonio, Texas, and a Ph.D. in Physics from Dartmouth College. After 28 years at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, he retired as Wisconsin Distinguished Professor of Engineering Physics Emeritus. His early research focused on thermonuclear fusion plasma physics before shifting to the application of plasma physics technology to surface modification of materials. His patented process, Plasma Source Ion Implantation (PSII), has been applied to automotive and aerospace components, sub-micron semiconductor fabrication, industrial cutting tools and dies, and orthopedic prostheses. After his retirement from UW-Madison, Conrad shifted from graduate research and teaching to full-time undergraduate teaching. He was an adjunct professor of physics for 15 years at Furman University, where he mentored the national award-winning Furman Robotics Club and Drone Club. He retired from Furman in Fall 2021.