Each week, we will be getting to know our faculty members a little bit better. This week, we will be getting to know Dr. Aaron Hawkins.
Dr. Hawkins not only teaches Optoelectronic Devices and Intro to Semiconductor Devices, but he is also chair of the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering. In addition, he directs research for BYU’s cleanroom, where he creates objects on the micro and nano scale, such as “lab on a chip” devices.
Outside of work, Dr. Hawkins has been working on a passion project you might not expect from an engineering professor: writing a collection of ironic short stories. 500 Ironic Stories is a passion project that, though started just recently, has come out of a long-term love for writing. A published author, Dr. Hawkins writes a new story every week that taps into the universal delight of irony and follows an altogether new narrative, focusing on bringing everydaylife alive. He posts these stories for all to read or hear on his website as well as on podcast streaming sites such as Spotify, Apple Podcasts, and Amazon Music.
Noting the personal nature of writing, he explained that this form of publishing is particularly vulnerable since you don’t have the type of validation you would receive from being chosen by a traditional publishing house. You take out the middleman, and share your creation directly with the world.
Although he has already had a novel published, when asked what one thing he would like to achieve in his lifetime would be, he said it would be to do it again. To get another novel published by a traditional publishing house has “become a sort of white whale for me,” he explained. “Everyone wants to be an author, so it’s incredibly competitive.”