2010

Dr. F Alumni Symposium and Party (May 1)

On behalf of the Robert L. Fenstermacher Alumni Committee, I am hopeful that you will be joining us on May 1, to celebrate Dr. F’s 42 years of service to Drew.  What follows is a list of events, times and other pertinent information.

Academic Symposium: 1:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.
Hall of Science 4 (formerly Hall of Science 104), off the rotunda

Welcome by Robert Weisbuch, President of the University

Keynote by Dr. Leonard C. Feldman C’61, Rutgers University Director of Advanced Materials, Devices and Nanotechnology and Vice President for Physical Science and Engineering Partnerships

Open House with Physics Faculty: 4:00 p.m. – 5:30 p.m.
Hall of Science physics offices, labs & rooftop observatory

Campus Tours: 4:30 p.m. – 5:15 p.m.
Departing from Hall of Science main entrance

Party!: 5:30 p.m. – 10:00 p.m.
Mead Hall

Please note that, due to the enthusiastic response, the party will be held in Mead Hall rather than the Fenstermachers’ home, to accommodate the multitudes!

Attire:  Mindful that many are attending both the Symposium and the party without changing clothes in between, the appropriate attire throughout the day and evening is “nice casual” or “festive.”  This is not a black tie event, but it’s not sneakers and jeans, either.

Contact Information:
David McGee, Professor and Chair of Physics:  973/408-3081; dmcgee@drew.edu
David Terdiman, C’89, Major Gifts Officer: 973/408-3899;
dterdima@drew.edu

We look forward to welcoming you back to the Forest!

Safe travels,
Anne Jacobson, C’75 (“Mrs. Dr. F.”)

2007

Physics students inducted into Sigma Pi Sigma and awarded annual departmental prizes.

The department held its annual awards banquet and Sigma Pi Sigma Honor Society Induction on Thursday, April 16. Three students were inducted Varun Makihija, Brian Kelly, and Michael Jokubaitis are spending the summer working with Dr. David McGee as part of the Drew Summer Science Institute (DSSI). Students earn a research stipend and receive campus housing while they spend 8-10 weeks working with a faculty member in his or her lab. The students, along with those in other disciplines, meet weekly to share details of their work with each other, and all present posters of their results in the fall at the DSSI Poster Session.

Michael, who just finished his first year at Drew, is learning LabView graphical programming techniques. He will be writing code to computer automate optical and laser experiments. He is also learning how to measure the refractive index and thickness of novel organic thin films using prism-coupling techniques.

Brian, a junior for the coming year, is making optical thin films by spin-coating polymer solutions onto conductive glass electrodes. He will then measure their stability against laser-induced degradation by monitoring changes in their optical absorption while being irradiated with a helium neon laser.

Varun or “Mac”, a senior in the fall, is building an experiment to measure the frequency-doubling of laser light in nanostructured optical thin films. His experiment will measure the intensity of second harmonic generation while the films are subjected to large electric fields.

 

Physics students participate in Drew’s Summer Science Institute.

Varun Makihija, Brian Kelly, and Michael Jokubaitis are spending the summer working with Dr. David McGee as part of the Drew Summer Science Institute (DSSI). Students earn a research stipend and receive campus housing while they spend 8-10 weeks working with a faculty member in his or her lab. The students, along with those in other disciplines, meet weekly to share details of their work with each other, and all present posters of their results in the fall at the DSSI Poster Session.

Michael, who just finished his first year at Drew, is learning LabView graphical programming techniques. He will be writing code to computer automate optical and laser experiments. He is also learning how to measure the refractive index and thickness of novel organic thin films using prism-coupling techniques.

Brian, a junior for the coming year, is making optical thin films by spin-coating polymer solutions onto conductive glass electrodes. He will then measure their stability against laser-induced degradation by monitoring changes in their optical absorption while being irradiated with a helium neon laser.

Varun or “Mac”, a senior in the fall, is building an experiment to measure the frequency-doubling of laser light in nanostructured optical thin films. His experiment will measure the intensity of second harmonic generation while the films are subjected to large electric fields.

 

2002

Tom Zielinski Wins Goldwater Science Scholarship

Junior Tom Zielinski has been awarded a 2003-2004 scholarship by the Goldwater Scholarship and Excellence in Education Foundation. The 300 Goldwater scholarship winners were selected on the basis of academic merit from a field of 1,093 students who were nominated by college faculties throughout the nation. The one year scholarship will cover the cost of tuition, fees, books, and room and board up to a maximum of $7,500 per year.

Tom is a major in physics and computer science and for his application chose to write about his summer research here at Drew last summer. The work was part of the Drew Summer Science Institute and an NSF RUI Grant obtained by Dr. David McGee. Tom worked with Dr. McGee to characterize the electro-optic effect in thin polymer films. Such films may find applications in modulating laser light for communications.

The Goldwater Foundation is a federally endowed agency established by Public Law 99-661 on November 14, 1986. The Scholarship Program honoring Senator Barry M. Goldwater was designed to foster and encourage outstanding students to pursue careers in the fields of mathematics, the natural sciences, and engineering. The Goldwater Scholarship is the premier undergraduate award of its type in these fields.

Drew is able to nominate up to four students per year for the scholarship, two sophomores and two juniors. Physics was well represented this year with the sophomore nominees being Christina Aragona and Katie Rolfe. Our congratulations to them as well for being nominated by Drew and participating in the lengthy application process. The fourth Drew nominee, junior Holly Kuzmiak, also won a scholarship. Holly is a biochemistry major. All in all, it was a very good Goldwater year for Drew!

2001

McGee Awarded NSF Grant

The Drew Physics Department is pleased to announce that Associate Professor David McGee has been awarded a National Science Foundation (NSF) grant for continuation of his research in the area of nonlinear optical polymers. Competition for the grants is keen, with only 30% of all submitted proposals receiving funding. The 3-year $135,000 award is earmarked as a Research in Undergraduate Institutions (RUI) grant. The RUI program was initiated by NSF in an effort to foster fundamental research at mainly undergraduate degree granting institutions. RUI proposals must demonstrate that students will be employed as research assistants for the duration of the grant, and that they will benefit from the experience.

The research supported by the grant will involve the fabrication and testing of novel nonlinear optical polymers that exhibit what is referred to as photorefractivity. By illuminating the polymer with laser light, it is possible to control the propagation speed of subsequent light beams through the material, creating in effect light-controlled diffraction gratings. While these polymers have the potential to steer optical beams and store holographic images, it has been a challenge to develop materials that have the response time and long shelf-life necessary to be compatible with modern high-speed electronics. In coming years, McGee hopes to make strides that will aid the fabrication of increasingly efficient and stable photorefractive materials.

Perhaps those who stand to benefit most from the RUI grant are present undergraduates and incoming students. Funds from the grant will be able to support physics and chemistry students seeking to conduct independent studies or honors theses in this area of research. McGee will mentor six students over the next three summers with students receiving free housing at Drew and a $3500 stipend over the course of an 8 to 10 week period. It is expected that results from this work will lead to publications in peer-reviewed research journals, and presentations at professional meetings.