It is a privilege to offer you greetings as Chair of this diverse and talented department! In this first year that I've been here, my colleagues have extended a very warm welcome to me and reciprocally I have come to learn and appreciate what a rich and far-reaching academic life our faculty here has. I'm proud of our many accomplishments and look forward to growing through and finding out where we will be as time goes on.
Of the many changes we went through in the last year, one that hangs in the forefront of my mind is our name change to the Department of Physics, Geology and Engineering Technology. There is a lot in a name, and this important change is a tangible reflection of our identity as a group... Read More
Janet Bertog's paleontology team had a productive year in 2015. Kaitlin Shupert finished her work studying the Jurassic mammals from the Aaron Scott Site and is working on getting her data ready for publication. Juan Maldonado is continuing his work on the sphenodont lizards from the Aaron Scott Site, which includes the discovery of a new species as well as the three most complete lower jaws of an herbivorous variety. Six students attended the site this August Read More
Over the summer of 2015, Dr. Nathan De Lee and three undergraduate research students worked on calibrating the 11-inch telescope in preparation for the opening of the NKU Schneider Observatory. This project used a SBIG ST-7e CCD camera attached to an 11-inch Celestron NexStar GPS telescope to take images of both M57 (the Ring Nebula) and M71. The primary goals of this project were to quantify the depth to which we can get good signal-to-noise (S/N) on our stellar targets and to see how well the 11-inch telescope could track an object over the course of the night. Read More
Baja SAE Competition week provides events representing the responsibilities that engineers would be accountable for through design, development, and production phases. The competition weekend begins with a full safety technical inspection, followed by design review presentation, a sales presentation, and the filing of a cost analysis. Events can include a hill climb, rock crawl, acceleration test, maneuverability test, suspension and traction test, and a mud bog. Read More
ISS-CREAM (Cosmic Ray Energetics And Mass for the International Space Station) is a NASA-sponsored instrument being prepared for installation on the International Space Station. The goal is to better understand the details of how cosmic rays are accelerated out of supernova remnants. ISS-CREAM must be above the atmosphere in order to measure the spectrum of individual atomic elements in the cosmic rays at high energies, where the cosmic ray spectrum shows currently unexplained anomalies. Read More
Dr. Fernando continued to work on research related to black hole physics. She published 6 papers in 2014-2015 and gave a conference presentation at the East Gravity meeting at Rochester Institute of Technology, New York in May 2015. She also gave a talk at the Spanish Relativity meeting in Spain in September 2015. Read More
Thirteen students majoring in biology, geology and environmental science made a trip to South Water Caye on the Belize barrier reef in May, 2015. This trip was the culmination of the âEcology and Geology of Coral Reefsâ course taught by Sarah Johnson and Dr. Denice Robertson in the spring. Students in the coral reefs course arrived on the barrier reef to complete a group project begun in the classroom during the spring semester. Projects included comparing the reef morpholog with coral & algae cover and diversity inside and outside of a recently established marine reserve zone. Read More
In June of 2015, Matthew Zacate and NKU student Nathan Dasenbrock-Gammon, who is majoring in physics and mathematics, spent 8 days at CERN to use the exotic, short-lived radioactive isotope 111mCd to study site-occupation and diffusion effects in Pd3Ga7 via a method called perturbed angular correlation spectroscopy. Read More
NKU finally has an observatory, thanks to the generosity of alums Dr. David and Julie Schneider and other donors! It was constructed over the summer and dedicated on August 26, 2015. Several people asked how long we had worked on it, so I did some checking and discovered that in September of 1998 I called a meeting regarding an observatory to house our 14â Celestron telescope. I wanted to see the telescope in use much more than it had been and I wanted to have experimental work going on in our department and saw this as part of that goal. Read More
Drs. Ramkumar and Bresser continued to do research on testing the structural integrity of ferrites for use as possible pressure sensors and producing carbon nanotubes (CNTs) by a chemical vapor deposition (CVD) technique. We have successfully synthesized ferrite composite materials, (MnZn)xFe3-xO4 using metal oxides and prepared toroids using these ferrite materials. Read More
In 2015, Dr. Zacate was awarded a three-year grant for $154,578 by the Metal and Metallic Nanostructures Program of the National Science Foundation. The main activity supported by this grant will be the use of computer simulations to predict conditions favorable for observing complex diffusion mechanisms experimentally, thereby enriching our understanding of fundamental diffusion processes in intermetallic compounds.
Students in engineering technology, physics and geology all presented their research at the Celebration of Student Research and Creativity event in April, 2105, and the Heather Bullen Memorial Celebration in August of 2015. Read More