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Physics & Astronomy

College of Engineering and Physical Sciences

2022-2023 Department News

TeYu Chien received the Graduate Council's 2022-23 Mid-Career Graduate Faculty Mentor Award.

Chip Kobulnicky received the Graduate Council's 2022-23 Distiguished Graduate Faclty Mentor Award. 

Shawna McBride, director, Wyoming NASA Space Grant Consortium was recognized at the sixth annual Own IT! Awards Ceremony Feb. 21,2023 for Service: A woman who demonstrates service, leadership and mentoring among her peer group

Megan Candelaria, associate director, Wyoming NASA Space Grant Consortium was recognized at the sixth annual Own IT! Awards Ceremony Feb. 21,2023 for overall: A woman who is deserving of celebration

Graduate Student Kiana Henny was selected as a member of the 2023-2024 LAMP class. 

Tera Swaby has been accpeted to attend the APS CUWiP conference this January at the Univeristy of Iowa. 

Let's Congratulate Danny Dale for another $175K raised from the Windy Ridge Foundation, which includes $100K for the Vaughan Professorshop, $50K for Astro Camp 2023 and $25K for the Natve American Summer Institute. Together, Danny has ~$3M from them going back to 2013! 

Congratulations to our former PhD students Josh Heiner and Subash Kattel and former postdoc Joe Murphy for their new NSF SBIR grant!  SLD Photonics has recently been awarded an SBIR NSF grant of $256K.  The owners of SLD Photonics are Subash Kattel, Joshua Heiner (two PhD graduate students from our department) and Joseph Murphy - a former post doc in our department.  SLD Photonics is a start-up company seeking to further develop research that was originally performed in the Physics department at the University of Wyoming.  The innovation is a single broadband detector - using the spin Seebeck effect - that can span from 390-2200nm with a featureless quantum efficiency.  They are based here in Laramie.  Feel free to follow their LinkenIn page.

The University of Wyoming Department of Physics and Astronomy is hiring a Lab Coordinator to lead our instructional Laboratories team. This is a full-time position to serve as teaching support in the introductory lab courses offered by the department. Click here to apply!

Assistant Professor Jifa Tian receives NSF grant to study, bloster Quantum Information Science and Enginnering, click here to read the article.  

Dr. Michael Brotherton will host the 2022 Public WIRO Observatory Open House on October 14. Sign up at

2021-2022 Department News

Spring 2022 Physics/Astronomy Newsletter

Dr. Michael Brotherton will host the 2021 Public WIRO Observatory Open House on October 22. Sign up at

Friends and family of Joseph Hafele and Glen Rebka held a 50th Anniversary Celebration of the Hafele-Keating experiment with guest speaker Dr. Michael Pierce

Ph.D. Candidate William "Buck" Scougale was one of 65 Graduate students nationwide selected to the DOE’s SCGSR Program. His research will examine the band structure of thin flakes of 2M phase tungsten disulfide

Congratulations to Dr. Jinke Tang, who is a Co-PI on a 2-year $500K DOE award with Maohong Fan (PI) for generation of rare earth metals from rare earth oxides using microwave plasma.  Other Co-PIs include scientists from Ames Lab and Colorado School of Mines.

A memorial service for former UW Physics professor Dr. Henry Lee Schick took place on July 17th to commorate a bench outside the Physical Sciences building in his honor. You may read his obituary here 

Congratulations Dr. Kobulnicky for a $281,543 three-year NSF grant "Collaborative Research: Mass-Loss Rates for OB Stars Driving IR Bowshocks"

Dr. Daniel Dale will be receiving time on Cycle 1 of the James Webb Space Telescope for seven projects, three of which will bring grant funding to UW. Dr. Dale will be presenting a special Harry C. Vaughan Planetarium show on the telescope on Oct. 29. Get tickets here

Dr. Kobulnicky will be recieving time on Cycle 29 of the Hubble Space Telescope for "Obtaining the UV Reddening Curve of Extreme-Rv Highly Polarizing Dust Irradiated by Zeta Ophiuchi"

Congratulatons to Dr. Aysenur Bicer, the 2021 recipient of the WyDEC (Wyoming Distance Education Consortium) Innovative Teacher of the Year Award

Congratulations Dr. Adam Myers on receiving a $240,000 DOE Grant to fund dark energy research

Daniel Dale, local science teachers, and student counselors hosted the 2021 Windy Ridge Foundation Astro Camp for 7th and 8th graders from WY, CO, NB, and SD in July

Chip Kobulnicky directed the 16th Teton STEM Academy for Wyoming highschoolers in July

Ph.D. Candidate Ashley Piccone received the NASA FINESST graduate fellowship for "A First Measurement of the Milky Way Extra-Planar Extinction Curve"

UW Physics & Astronomy Newsletter Spring 2021

UW Researchers Resolve Controversy Over Energy Gap of a Van der Waals Material.  See cover art for the article here!

2020 Department News

Dr. Jifa Tian and his Co-PIs, Dr. TeYu Chien, Dr. Jinke Tang, Dr. Brian Leonard and Dr. John Ackerman, have secured a 3-year $750K DOE National Laboratory Partnerships grant for "Exploring Nontrivial Topological Superconductivity in 2M WS2 for Topological Quantum Computation"

Five faculty members received the A&S Faculty Research and Creative Activities Grant: Jifa Tian, Adam Myers, Mike Brotherton, Mike Pierce and Jinke Tang

Dr. TeYu Chien's research team, Professors Brian Leonard and Maohong Fan, graduate students Rabindra Dulal, Joann Hilman, Chris Masi, Teneil Schumacher, and post-doctorates Gaurab Rimal and Bang Xu recieved recognition for  "Converting Raw Coal Powder into Polycrystalline Nano-graphite by Metal-assisted Microwave Treatment".

Noah Cowper and Jacob McLane both received a NASA Space Grant Graduate Research Fellowship

Cinnamon Undergraduate Scholarships were awarded to Jarred Louis Grant, Tim Faltermeier, Isabella Pope, and Michael James Lindman

A&S Outstanding Graduating Senior Award: Bryant Beau Jerome and Aylin Marie McGough-Peker.

Jacob McLane and Noah Cowper were awarded Outstanding TA's

UW Students Compile Largest-Ever Catalog of Quasars

Dinesh Baral received A&S Dean’s Graduate Scholars proposal, “Visualizing the Spin Texture in EuO/Fe3 GeTe2 Heterostructure” has been selected for funding ($2000)

Dr. Michael Brotherton spoke at the Wyoming Stargazing “World Above the Tetons” speaker series in Spring 2021

Newly Discovered Comet Could Be Brightest in Decades

Congratulations to Dr. Aysenur Biser for being awarded Top Professors of 2020 by UW Cap and Gown Chapter of Mortar Board!

Congratulations to Dr. TeYu Chien for recieving a Thumbs Up award from the A&S Dean's Undergraduate Council!

UW Physics & Astronomy Spring 2020 Newsletter

2019 Department News 

UW Research Group Advances Microscopic Understanding of Electric Field Treatment

UW's Fisher Innovation Launchpad Announces 10 Finalists

UW Study Shows Ability to Detect Light from UV to the IR Optical Regimes Using Spin Currents

UW Study Significantly Advances Alignment of Single-Wall Carbon Nanotubes Along Common Axis

Three-Year Grant to UW Promotes Computer Science Education in Wyoming.  Associate Professor Adam Myers is a co-PI on this $1M grant.

UW Scientists Receive DOE Grant for Memory Storage Research.  Associate Professor TeYu Chien and four other faculty members in UW’s Department of Physics and Astronomy recently were awarded a $750,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE).

Cristilyn Gardner, a first-year doctoral student in physics with a focus in astronomy, was among five UW students who received NSF Graduate Research Fellowships.

2019 UW Physics & Astronomy Department Newsletter

2018 Department News

Connor O’Malley left us at the end of December.  He has taught most of the algebra-based general physics for us for the last two and half years.  We thank him for his service and wish him the best.

Congratulations to Jessica Sutter, Dylan Kloster and Riley Jordan.  Their team was selected as participants in the 2018 John P. Ellbogen Faculty Summer Institute on Developing Research through the Scholarship of Teacing and Learning.  The Summer Institute was held May 21-23, 2018.

Congratulations to Hannah and the SPS leadership team (Nick Trimble, Aman Kar, Ryan Parziale, and Jesse Winner) for earning the designation of a Society of Physics Students Notable Chapter!

Noah Cowper and Logan Jensen were selected as the 2018 Outstanding Graduates of the "College of Engineering and Physical Sciences".

Jesse Winner, William Scougale, Anh Nguyen and Bryant Jerome were awarded Cinnamon Undergraduate Scholarship.

Brad Lyke, David King and Riley Jordan received Outstanding TA awards.  

A&S Board of Visitors Student Service awards were presented to Dani Schurhammer and Jordan Turner.

Aman Kar was selected to receive the SPS Leadership Scholarship.

Graduate Student Aaron Wang received an Outstanding Poster Award at the Front Range Advanced Magnetics Symposium (FRAMS) held in Colorado Springs, CO in August. 


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