Spring OSAPS at Kettering in 2010

Mar 18, 2010

The Kettering University Department of Physics will host the Spring 2010 Meeting of the Ohio Region Section of The American Physical Society (OSAPS)April 30-May 1, 2010.

The Kettering University Department of Physics will host the Spring 2010 Meeting of the Ohio Region Section of The American Physical Society (OSAPS) April 30-May 1. The meeting theme is “Industrial and Applied Physics—Connecting Theory and Practice.” This is the fifth OSAPS meeting held inMichigansince 1999.

This meeting will bring together some of the most respected researchers and industry professionals currently engaged in Applied Physics and other related research and initiatives from throughout the region. Prior to the start of the meeting, a Physics advisory board meeting will take place the morning of April 30 and run parallel to the board meeting of the OSAPS.

The program kicks off Friday, April 30, at 1:30 p.m. Dr. Michael Harris, Kettering University provost and vice president for Academic Affairs, will deliver opening remarks. Invited speakers for the ensuing plenary session are Dr. Roberto Merlin of theUniversityofMichigan-Ann Arborand Dr. Amit Goyal of Oakridge National Laboratory. A dinner banquet at the Flint Institute of Arts will feature an invited talk by Dr. Pedro Montano of the U.S. Dept. of Energy. A second plenary session will take place Saturday morning and feature invited presentations by Dr. Subhendu Guha of United Solar Ovonics based inOhio and Dr. Theodore Norris of the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor.

Dr. Bahram Roughani, head of the Department of Physics atKettering, said this is the second time that the department and institution have hosted this event. The first meeting atKetteringtook place in 1999 and Roughani, along with Dr. Greg Hassold, professor of Physics, served as chairs. The 2010 Kettering meeting chairs are Dr. Uma Ramabadran, associate professor of Physics; Dr. Corneliu Rablau, associate professor of Physics; and Dr. Yuri Sikorski, associate professor of Physics.

This year, the committee chairs expect approximately 100 to 150 guests. The primary goals of this meeting are to offer researchers in the area a platform to present their work and help create more awareness about recent advances within the discipline. At the same time, the meeting will serve as a focal event (one of several) to mark the 15th anniversary of the Physics program atKettering.

The Department of Physics invites its alumni back to campus for the event to see the growth the department has experienced since the inception of the program in 1995.Kettering’s Physics program started in 1995 with only three students and in the last five years alone, the number of students majoring in this field has doubled. Additionally, in July of this year, there will be more than 60 students pursuing Applied Physics and Engineering Physics.

“In addition to five invited talks, we plan to offer six to eight parallel sessions based on contributed talks during Saturday morning presentations with each session, focusing on diverse subjects that have some connection to the theme,” Roughani explained, adding that researchers who are considering sending abstracts “can be creative. There is a strong possibility that we will craft sessions based on the focus of ideas presented and we strongly encourage those who are perhaps outside of the Applied Physics—including mathematics, applied science and engineering disciplines—to consider sending abstracts if their particular ideas connect to the meeting theme. We are very open to creative suggestions,” he added.

A considerable thrust for subject matter revolves around entrepreneurship. This is of particular interest, since Kettering has been the recipient of major funding through grants made by the Kern Family Foundation of Waukesha, Wisconsin. In 2009 the institution received $225,000 through the Kern Entrepreneurship Education Network (KEEN), a program encompassing 22 universities and colleges across the country. Kettering works to infuse entrepreneurship studies throughout the entire curriculum, since many of the school’s graduates are top leaders or owners of global organizations.

For Roughani, research that offers some connection to the entrepreneurship opportunities within the industry is of particular interest for the conference at Kettering.

“With the support the institution has received for entrepreneurial activities, we feel this could be an interesting aspect of the conference,” he said. “There is an assortment of opportunities for entrepreneurship development within the industry and perhaps we will have presentations regarding these sorts of endeavors,” he added.

Additionally, he hopes that Physics graduates will attend the conference. In 2009, the department sent a questionnaire to graduates asking about their experiences with their Kettering Physics degree program. Approximately 35 percent responded to the survey and gave glowing reviews of the department.

“Many of them felt that one of the best strengths of the program is the relationship students have with Physics faculty,” Roughani said. “We’re very proud of this fact and expect faculty to not only maintain this relationship, but to build on it going forward,” he added.

This is perhaps one reason why the University's Society of Physics Student (SPS) A-Section chapter recently won an Outstanding Chapter Award from its national organization. The Chapter received an "Outstanding Chapter Awards" for 2008-2009 by the national SPS professional association, which is part of the American Institute of Physics. Additionally, the Kettering SPS chapter will host zone-7 of the SPS meeting on Saturday, May 1, after the OSAPS meeting.

For Roughani and the rest of his department, building sustainable, lasting connections with students and graduates is crucial to the healthy development of the Department of Applied Physics. “We are proud of our connection with students and alumni, and fully expect to continue developing and deepening that connection in the years ahead,” he said.  

The spring 2010 Ohio Region Section Meeting of The American Physical Society is April 30-May 1, 2010. For more information, visit http://www.kettering.edu/employers/research/OSAPS2010/index.jsp or contact the Kettering University Physics Program at (800) 955-4464, ext. 7499. You may also check out Physics degree programs at http://www.kettering.edu/futurestudents/undergraduate/appliedphysics.jsp and at http://www.kettering.edu/futurestudents/undergraduate/engineeringphysics.jsp