Department news

Katelyn Waters

Stanford Innovation Fellows

Dr. McGurn

Dr. Famiano

Katelyn K. Waters is the Presidential Scholar in Physics

Waters graduated in April and majored in physics with minors in mathematics, astronomy and biology. She plans to pursue a physics career with an environmental focus. Her undergraduate research focused on iron in the Earth’s atmosphere and on yttrium barrier copper oxide—YBCO—crystal growth, which involves high-temperature, superconducting properties. Waters worked with Drs. Bautista and Paulius on her research and was honored with many awards and scholarships during her time at WMU.

Physics major named University Innovation Fellow

Andy Sylvain Hobelsberger is one of four Western Michigan University students selected as a 2018 University Innovation Fellow. The program is run by Stanford University's Hasso Plattner Institute of Design and is designed to empower students to become agents of change on their own campuses and ensure their peers gain the knowledge, skills and attitudes required to compete and make an impact on the economy of the future.

Department of Physics Award Ceremony

On April 19, 2018, the Department of Physics honored undergraduate and graduate students during our awards ceremony. Several different scholarships and awards were given out. More information about the awards can be found on our websiteStudents were selected based on their outstanding work during the 2017-18 academic year. Congratulations to all the winners.

WMU physicist authors new book

A new book by Dr. Arthur McGurn, Nanophotonics, has been published as part of the Springer Series in Optical Sciences. It gives a readable introduction to the important, rapidly developing field of nanophotonics. This is McGurn's second book and he has already started on his third. His new book will consider a general topic of nanoscience, which is not just limited to electrodynamic phenomena. McGurn’s first book, Nonlinear Optics of Photonic Crystals and Meta-Materials, is listed as one of the ten best references in nonlinear optics on the Sanfoundry blog.

Dr. Michael Famiano awarded a Fulbright Award to Japan

Famiano is an associate professor of nuclear astrophysics. After receiving his Ph.D., he worked as a fellow for the Science and Technology Agency of Japan at the Institute of Physical and Chemical Research near Tokyo. He also held a post-doctoral position at the National Superconducting Cyclotron Laboratory in East Lansing, Michigan, before coming to WMU.

Famiano’s primary research interest is in stellar nucleosynthesis. His Fulbright award proposes to evaluate the effects of relativistic electron-positron plasmas on astronomical observables, then taking the results and applying them to advanced computational techniques in which hot stellar environments are simulated.

Dr. Ali Sami Alnaser with John

Dr. Ali Sami Alnaser awarded 2017 Alumni Achievement Award

Alnaser (Ph.D. '02) is a professor and head of the physics department at American University of Sharjah in the United Arab Emirates. Alnaser's research interests are centered around the use of ultra-strong lasers in photographing and manipulating experimentally the structure of matter on extremely short time scale.

He has published more than 60 peer reviewed articles, 70 conference papers and received the Distinguished Arab Scholar Award from the State of Kuwait in 2011.

Dr. Gorczyca

Dr. Thomas Gorczyca awarded WMU Distinguished Faculty Scholar Award

Gorczyca is a first-rate theoretical atomic physicist specializing in the area of photon and electron initiated collisions. His impressive publication record lists more than 110 peer-reviewed articles, as well as more than 30 invited talks. To support his research, he has had continuous funding for more than 15 years, largely from NASA, as the principal investigator. Notably, Gorczyca was elected to Fellowship in the American Physical Society last year, a recognition awarded to less than 1 percent of the active members. You can read more about Gorczyca and his many achievements in WMU News.

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Summer 2017 newsletter

Our department's annual newsletter is now available. Please take a moment to visit our newsletter page and catch up on all our recent news and events. You can also find our previous newsletters archived on this page. We hope you enjoy. If you have any information that you would like included in our next newsletter, please contact us.

past news

Read about our department's prior news and accomplishments.

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