All posts by David Robertson

Systems Engineering Director Announced

We are pleased to announce that Dr. Gary Maul will be coming to Otterbein in the fall as Director of our new Systems Engineering program. Gary was for many years a professor in the Industrial and Systems Engineering Department at the Ohio State University. More recently he has been building an engineering program at OSU’s Marion campus. He is a widely known and highly respected engineer and educator. We look forward to building a successful program under his leadership!

Reinhard wins Teaching Award

Prof. Aaron Reinhard of the Physics Department has won the 2013-14 New Teacher of the Year Award! This award goes to an outstanding teacher in their first three years at Otterbein.  It was announced at the Academic Honors Convocation on May 7.

In addition, Tegan Johnson won the department’s Enrico Fermi Award for the outstanding graduating senior.

Congratulations to Tegan, Prof. Reinhard, and all the other students, alumni, and faculty members honored this year!

Westerville Starry Night 2014

Otterbein Physics put on a great show again at the second annual Westerville Starry Night fair on April 6. Junior physics majors Ron “RJ” Smith and Philip Kellogg, and freshman Michael Highman, ran an array of fun demos including van de Graaf generator, spinning bicycle wheels, and shop-vac shrinkwrapping. They also made liquid nitrogen ice cream for about 250 people.  Good fun!

Philip and RJ make ice cream.
Philip and RJ making ice cream…
Michael at the turntable -- mysteries of angular momentum!
Michael (striped shirt) initiates a student into the mysteries of angular momentum…
RJ prepares to unleash the full weight of the atmosphere on a trusting student...
RJ prepares to unleash the full weight of the atmosphere on a trusting student…

OP2: Operation Physics is on again for 2014-15

The Ohio Board of Regents has approved funding for a fifth year of OP2: Operation Physics for Middle Grades Science Teachers. This program brings to Otterbein a group of 30 (mainly) middle school physical science teachers for an intensive course in basic physics principles with lots of hands-on activities.

OP2ers fire golf ball trebuchets.
OP2ers fire golf ball trebuchets at the Science Center windows. Prof. Robertson directs fire.

Cardinal Science Scholars Grant Renewed

The departments of Physics, Chemistry, and Mathematics have been awarded a grant of $629,000 by the National Science Foundation for the continuation and expansion of the Cardinal Science Scholars program (CSS).  The program was begun in 2009 and includes scholarship monies for talented students, as well as support for co-curricular activities designed to help students be successful in their academic and professional lives.  CS Scholars participate in mentoring groups, professional development activities, seminars, visits to local industries and laboratories, living-learning communities, and more.

Scholarships of $6k-10k per year are available to students in physics, engineering, chemistry, biochemistry and molecular biology, mathematics and computer science.  Please contact Prof. Joan Esson (Chemistry/BMB), Dave Robertson (Physics/Engineering), or Adriana Nenciu (Mathematics/Computer Science) if you have questions or would like more information.

Moving Forward with Engineering

The Otterbein Senate voted on November 20 to approve the creation of a new program in Systems Engineering.  This is an innovative, integrated engineering curriculum based on foundational courses in mechanical and electrical engineering, and advanced courses on industrial and complex systems analysis.  Profs. Dave Robertson and Aaron Reinhard of the Physics Department were leaders in this development, and Reinhard has assumed the position of Interim Director of Systems Engineering.  A national search is underway to hire a full-time Director, who will start this coming August.  The goal is to admit our first cohort of students in Fall 2015.

The 3+2 Cooperative Engineering program run by the Physics Department will continue, allowing students the opportunity to pursue areas of engineering other than systems.