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From its origin in 1996 through 2013 the Engineering Physics program had been part of the joint Chemistry and Engineering Physics Department. As of summer 2013, however, the Engineering Physics Department has been established as an independent entity in the College of Engineering, Mathematics and Science. Professor Doyle St.John, who helped to create the EP program, has been elected the inaugural chair of the new Department.
Professor Gokul Gopalakrishnan joined the Engineering Physics department this Fall, and will also contribute to the development of the Microsystems and Nanomaterials program at UW-Platteville. Lecturer Karland Kilian also joined the Engineering Physics department this Fall.
Professor Yan Wu was invited to visit the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) from Aug. 21st to Aug. 22nd to discuss potential collaboration with the Center for Nanoscale Science & Technology in NIST through the Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship (SURF) program. In summer 2013, UW-Platteville student Joe McIlree, was accepted into the SURF program and performed 11 weeks of paid research work at NIST’s site in Gaithersburg, Maryland. Professor Wu introduced the Microsystems and Nanomaterial Engineering program at UW-Platteville and gave a talk on ‘Probing Material Functionality at the Nanoscale Using Atomic Force Microscopy.’
Professor Yan Wu and Dr. Jorge Camacho traveled to Beijing, China to attend the 13th IEEE International Conference on Nanotechnology from Aug. 5 to Aug. 9. Dr. Camacho presented their research on ‘Nanomechanical Characterization of Graphene Platelets in Polypropylene-Based Graphene Nanocomposites Using Atomic Force Microscopy.’ UW-Platteville students Kjerstin Gronski and Robinson Flaig are among the co-authors of the presentation and the research paper. This work was supported by a grant from the National Science Foundation for advancing nanotechnology education and research in UW-Platteville with a multifunctional atomic force microscope system.
A new Reactive Ion Etching system (Nordson MARCH, Model RIE-1701) was installed in the Material Fabrication and Nanoscale Characterization Lab on Sept. 5, 2013. The 2000-square-foot space located in 122 Engineering Hall is used both for undergraduate teaching and research. Laboratory manager Dr. Lee Farina joined the Microsystems and Nanomaterials program this fall and will help to oversee the facilities.
Professor Thomas Scaife presented research findings at the Annual Conference of the American Society for Engineering Education held in Atlanta, GA during June 2013. In the presentation and conference proceedings, Scaife describes how students' preconceptions might interact with particular instructional activities. This dependence suggests that learning might be helped (in some cases) through computer adaptive tutorials.
With the help of a PACCE grant, Lecturer Paul Strycker and EP major Alex Ostrowski are installing an all-sky camera on the roof of Engineering Hall. The camera will automatically capture video of each meteor that passes over Platteville. This data will be made available to the public through the New Mexico State Unversity All Sky Camera Network. Dr. Strycker will be using the videos collected by the camera to investigate change detection in astronomical observations.
Lecturer Elizabeth Holden attended the summer meeting of the American Association of Physics Teachers held in Portland, OR during July 2013. Ms. Holden gave a talk entitled "Transformative Teaching Techniques: A Women's Studies Course for STEM Majors".
Professor Thomas Scaife is serving as the Director for Digital Content for Physics, Engineering, Computer Science, and Trade and Technology for the Higher Education Division of McGraw-Hill Education. In this role, he oversees the development of online, instructional tools that are used internationally by McGraw-Hill customers.
Professor Andrew Pawl was an invited presenter at the 21st International Workshop on New Trends in Physics Teaching, held in Puebla, Mexico, May 23-26, 2013. Pawl gave two presentations on his physics education research efforts entitled "Can (and Should) we Teach Forces First?" and "Using Almost-Free Online Resources to get Students Talking More and Doing More".
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