1981-1985 BS physics at NCSU (Raleigh NC)
NCSU was where my love of physics was first encouraged. I met amazing people there; Worth Seagondollar, Chris Gould, and many others that would forever influence my career.
1986 Graduate study physics at URI (Kingston RI)
My first try at physics graduate study was at this terrific little program at URI. I was tutored briefly by Peter Nightengale in phase behavior / renormalization / finite size scaling, etc. and made some wonderful friends: Hart, Dejardins, and others. But, theory wasn't where my heart was and at the time, that was the strong suit of the program. Reluctantly, it was time to move on.
1987-1993 PhD physics Wesleyan University (Middletown CT)
This small program is in Middletown CT, the classic New England small town. A friend of a friend (Dale Doering) had just taken a position there as a new assistant professor, and was moving into areas that today we call Nanosciences. The small/personal size of the program, the personalities like Lindquist, McIntosh, and Baierlein, and the amazing surroundings of New England gave this place the feel I wanted. Yale was nearby, and NYC only an hour and a half drive.
1994 Postdoc at University of Pennsylvania (Phila. PA)
I will never be able to thank Dawn Bonnell enough for the chance to work at Penn in her group. I learned to be a scientist there.
1995-1997 Research Associate at Max-Planck-Institut fur Metallforschung (Stuttgart Germany).
If I learned to be a scientist at Penn, I found myself and my interests at MPI. It is this training that I most strongly identify with as a scientist today. I consider my work to be a direct line from Prof. Ruhle, Dr. Roth and the dozens of others at MPI that took the time to teach me. I still visit yearly to pay homage, and probably always will. It is the finest research institution that people have been able to achieve I believe and I was lucky to have been there for a short time.
1997-2003 Tenure in Physics and Materials Science (joint) Clemson University (Clemson SC)… then...
2003 Associate Professor Wake Forest University (WS NC)
I loved Clemson and still do, but I am from Winston-Salem, a very special city. And, my family helped to move WFU from Wake Forest NC to this city. So when the chance came, it was obvious.
Professor of Physics at Wake Forest University
Director of the Center for Nanotechnology and Molecular Materials at WFU
Fellow of the American Physical Society
MPI-Stuttgart (~1956) my favorite place on earth
LRSM at UPENN
NANOTECH at Wake
So, if you are thinking about becoming a scientist, this tale of mine is pretty common. There will be many moves, many influencers, many twists in the plot. In the end, you don't know where you will end up. But by making the most of each step in that journey, and appreciating each mentor for what they are, it can be an absolutely amazing life.
OPVs, OLEDs, FIPELs, TPEGs, etc.
1981 - 1985
North Carolina State University
2D Materials and Low Dimensional Quantum Electronics
Quantum computing, Quantum information theory
Ionic Seebeck devices for biomedical apps
Emergent Properties in Materials
Perovskites, time crystals, topological systems
1986 - 1993
1993 - 1994
University of Pennsylvania
Why all the Astro-Pics?
I fell in love with stars and telescopes at Wesleyan's famed Van Vleck Observatories. Aside from condensed matter physics, it has remained my other great passion.
Shown left is the "Clark Refractor" of Van Vleck Observatories. I worked there as an observer for some years doing parallax measurements and avoiding sleep. This beautiful old instrument has more than a hundred years of star history.
The radio telescopes above are from the Very Large Array in New Mexico.