Physics Alumni

Alumni Updates (by submission date)

Fall 2019 - Sarah Hernandez (MS ’09) last fall travelled to Oxford to take her seat at the Miami Physics Alumni Advisory Board. She is a Research Scientist in the Nuclear Materials Group at Los Alamos National Laboratory. Sarah brought her husband Samir and her two kids, Celeste and Maximus, with her for a mini vacation when she traveled to Oxford for the board meeting last October.

Fall 2019 - Nada Masmali (MS ’15) did her MS thesis work under the direction of Khalid Eid and then went back to Saudi Arabia to teach. Recently, she was admitted into the physics PhD program at the University of Malaya, and she now lives in Kuala Lumpur in pursuit of her advanced degree.

Fall 2019 - David Eicher (’83), former Miami Physics major and now editor-in-chief of Astronomy magazine, just published a 3D book of the space race from Sputnik to Tranquility Base. He co-wrote the book with famed astrophysicist Brian May, who may be better known as the Queen guitarist.

Fall 2019 - Andrew Stollenwerk (BS Physics & BA Math ’02) recently celebrated his 10-year anniversary at the University of Northern Iowa, where he is an Associate Professor of Physics. Among others, he teaches introductory quantum mechanics, and mathematical methods for physicists. His research focus is the physics of surfaces and low dimensional material systems.

Fall 2019 - Diane Beamer (MS ’13) finished her PhD in Electro Optics from the University of Dayton last August and since then started a career with L3 Space & Sensors, where she looks at the future of infra-red detection technologies.

Fall 2019 - Alison Huff (MS ’12) recently was promoted to Professor of Physics at Merced Community College District.

2018 - Bob Peirce (Miami ’47) wrote to tell us how he got into physics. Back in the days, he had disagreements over a number of matters with his high school physics teacher. Ray Lee Edwards, the Physics Chair at the time settled the argument in Bob’s favor and invited Bob to attend Miami with an assistantship. After Miami, Bob went on to the University of Illinois, eventually earned an MBA from Harvard, and served as VP for Admission at Florida State University. He does have very fond memories of Dr. Edwards, Dr. Wm. Anderson from the Math Department and others at Miami. He signs off with “Miami is a beautiful school in every sense of the word.”

Fall 2017 - Susan (Spagno) Ramlo (MS '86) was awarded the Best Professional Paper award from the Eastern Educational Research Association in February 2016 followed by the Distinguished Paper Award from the Consortium of State and Regional Educational Research Associations (SRERA) and the American Educational Research Association (AERA) in May 2017 for her paper Student Views Regarding Offering a Physics Course Online. Dr. Ramlo is a Professor of General Technology-Physics and Professor of Physics at the University of Akron.

Fall 2017 - Ryan Perhala (BS Physics '09) visited campus on October 26 and 27 as an honoree of the 2017 Class of 18 of the Last 9, the annual program sponsored by the Miami University Alumni Association and based on the popular “30 under 30” model. Miami's program recognizes 18 Miami alumni who have graduated in the past nine years. Captain Perhala is an instructor pilot at the United States Air Force Weapons School, Nellis AFB, Nevada, where he teaches graduate-level academics and leads combat training missions that provide the world’s most advanced training in weapons and tactics employment. Ryan spent two days in Oxford meeting with students, touring the remains of Culler Hall (now absorbed by Armstrong Student Center) and visiting Kreger Hall.

Summer 2017 - Tim Burt ‘92 visited the department after he and his family traveled to Hopkinsville, Kentucky to view the total eclipse. When news media found out he was a physicist, he gave no less than six different interviews. Now a Senior Staff Scientist at Harris Corporation, Dr. Burt made it onto FOX News, although they only used his picture...looking up. In his words, "So much for my 15 minutes of fame."

Three days later, alumnus Bradley D Paul '91 and his family stopped by the department for a visit. They were returning from their Eclipse trip to Wyoming. Brad works at Harris Corporation with Tim Burt.

Spring 2017 - Mark Schober (MS & MAT ‘96) received the 2017 Paul W. Zitzewitz Excellence in K-12 Teaching Award at the summer meeting of the American Association of Physics Teachers in Cincinnati. Mark is science teacher and department head at Trinity School in New York City. The award was established in 1993 and recognizes outstanding achievements in pre-college physics teaching. He teaches physics, engineering, and astronomy, and advises a variety of student groups. At Trinity, he uses Modeling Instruction to allow students to use the tools and techniques of science to learn essential science content, and he employs standards-based grading to foster growth mindsets in his students. In addition to this presentation of the Paul W. Zitzewitz Award for Excellence in K-12 Teaching, Schober's teaching has been recognized with the Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching (2007) and the Gene Fuchs Award from the St. Louis Area Physics Teachers (2009).

Spring 2017 - Dr. Calford Otieno (MS ’11) graduated with a PhD from SUNY Binghamton. His dissertation was on Nonlinear Optical Properties of Aluminum-Doped Zinc Oxide. He returned to Kenya where he hopes to secure a faculty position.

Spring 2017 - Jeff Hyde (BS ’07, MS ’09) will be starting as a professor in Baltimore after receiving his PhD from Arizona State.

Spring 2017 - Charlie Baldwin (MS ’11) finished his PhD at University of New Mexico and is doing a postdoc at Los Alamos.

Fall 2016 - Jeremy Hohertz (MS ‘08), having received his PhD at Wake Forest, is now teaching at Elon University in North Carolina.

Fall 2016 - Dr. Robert Lutwak (BS Physics, 1987) was recently elevated to Fellow of the IEEE “...for technical leadership in research, development and commercialization of miniature atomic frequency standards and clocks."

Fall 2016 - The Department of Physics welcomed back Matt Dopkiss '07, BS Engineering Physics, Managing Partner of Dynamit Technologies LLC, as part of the 2016 honorees for 18 of the Last 9, the annual program sponsored by the Miami University Alumni Association and based on the popular “30 under 30” model. Miami's program recognizes 18 Miami alumni who have graduated in the past nine years. This year’s inductees were selected from more than 100 nominees. Matt's agenda included lunch with the Society of Physics Students and a meeting with the Astronomy Club.

Summer 2016 - Alex Brest (BS’14) is living in Madison, WI and works at Epic Systems. Epic develops healthcare software and Alex supports their ambulatory application. He is currently putting together his application for medical school to enter in the Fall of 2017.

Spring 2016 - Todd Van Woerkom, BA '08, MS '10, is pursuing a PhD in applied physics through the Air Force Institute of Technology.

Spring 2016 - Jeffrey Hyde (BS’07, MS’09) is finishing his PhD at Arizona State University and recently published a paper in Physical Review D on the “Sensitivity of Gravitational Waves from Preheating to a Scalar Field's Interactions.”

Spring 2016 - Robert Tolley (BA’10, MS’12), now at UC San Diego, Center for Memory and Recording Research - CMRR, and colleague Alex Phan (CMRR) were the poster winners for the  CMRR Spring Research Review (April 2015). Robert is a PhD student working under the supervision of Professor Eric Fullerton. His poster was titled “Enhanced Kerr Microscopy Systems at the Center for Magnetic Recording Research.”

Feb 2016 - Diane Beamer, MS '13, was on campus recently at Miami's Spring Ice Career Fair, recruiting candidates for Applied Optimization, a company in Dayton Ohio, looking for Applied Math and Computer Science majors, or any engineering, with mechanical as the nominal degree. Diane is pursuing a PhD in Electro-Optics at the University of Dayton, finishing up the last class and working on a research proposal right now.

Nov 2015 - Thomas Jenkins, MS '13, is employed as an engineer for the photonics/nucleonics department at the Air Force Primary Standards Laboratory, Heath, Ohio.

Oct 2015 - Keith Rielage, BS Physics ’92, PhD Physics (Washington University St. Louis) is now the Team Leader of the Weak Interactions/Astrophysics team of the Physics Division at Los Alamos National Laboratory. Keith has worked on several neutrino experiments including serving as the analysis coordinator for the third phase of the Sudbury Neutrino Observatory (SNO) from 2005 to 2008. That analysis independently verified the previous SNO measurements showing that solar neutrinos oscillate. The measurements from SNO led to its director, Dr. Arthur McDonald, being awarded the 2015 Nobel Prize in Physics. Keith is currently working on neutrino experiments that utilize liquid argon detectors at Fermilab and the Majorana Demonstrator experiment searching for neutrinoless double beta decay in South Dakota.

Sept 2015 - Adam Hicks, MS '09, is heading the metals additive research at the University of Dayton Research Institute.

Sept 2015 - Ethan Karp, BS Physics/Biochemistry 2006, and Neil Schick, BS/BA Physics, Zoology, Education, were recognized by the Miami Alumni Association in the 18 of the last 9 - 2015 honorees. Based on the popular "30 under 30" model, the program honors your alumni who are living the values inherent in a Miami education.

April 2015 - Dave Rench McCauley, BS Physics 2007, PhD Physics 2013 (Penn State), is currently working in a less common field for physicists: public policy. Dave is a AAAS Science and Technology Policy Fellow at the Department of Energy, working in the Solar Energy Technologies Office (SunShot Initiative). Dave uses his experience in semiconductor materials physics to help manage technology programs in solar photovoltaics, while also aiding in the development of solar workforce initiatives and professional development opportunities for scientists. In his current role, he is able to explore his interests in applied science and engineering of materials while also developing his passions with regards to helping the scientific workforce achieve its full potential. Dave is happy to discuss his current work with any Miami Physics students that are intrigued by this career path.

April 2015 - Rebecca Farr '80, Engineering SE&I Division at NASA Marshall Space Flight Center writes, "I will be presenting the following paper at AIAA Aeroacoustics meeting in Dallas in June this year, On the Comparison of the Long Penetration Mode (LPM) Supersonic Counterflowing Jet to the Supersonic Screech Jet. Also we received USPTO notification that our second patent No. 9,016,632 will be issued on 4-28-2015: METHOD AND SYSTEM FOR WEAKENING SHOCK WAVE STRENGTH AT LEADING EDGE SURFACES OF VEHICLE IN SUPERSONIC ATMOSPHERIC FLIGHT.

Oct 2014 - Tony Carstens, BS Engr Physics 1993, BS MME 1994, is the owner of Fischer-Backus in Columbus, Ohio, a manufacturer of cable and wire harness assemblies. Tony writes that Fischer-Backus was recently recognized for their work supplying cable assemblies to the CERN project. The CMS Industry Awards are granted to companies who demonstrated their excellence and engagement as well as provide parts or services within specifications. Announced at CERN on October 13, 2014, Fischer-Backus received the CMS Gold Award. "We collaborated with Wayne State University, Northeastern University, University of Wisconsin Madison, and CERN personnel from around the world to complete the ME4/2 muon chambers of the CMS detector at CERN. We are extremely proud that we were selected to work on the project and help complete something that will possibly change the world and how we view it."

July 2012 - Dave Bonner (BS 2002, MAT 2003) who was selected one of 97 teachers nationwide to receive the Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching. He traveled to Washington, D.C. this summer to meet President Obama and accept his award. The Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching is awarded annually to outstanding kindergarten to 12th grade science and mathematics teachers from across the country. The winners are selected by a panel of distinguished scientists, mathematicians and educators following an initial selection process at the state level.

June 2012 - Hope Spangler Strickland (MAT 1993) was selected as Dayton Public Schools' 2012 Teacher of the Year. A teacher at Stiver School for the Arts, Mrs. Strickland serves as coordinator for the Physics Department's annual Stiver School visit, which brings 40-50 students to campus for a day of physics.