Ryan Norman, PhD

Hometown: De Pere, Wisconsin

Degree earned at WPI: PhD, Physics

Degrees earned from other institutions: BS, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee

Why did you choose to attend WPI?
My research advisor became the department chair of the physics department. I was very committed to my research, so I transferred graduate schools to WPI to finish my PhD.

Present job title and employer:
I currently hold a dual appointment as a research assistant professor in the Department of Nuclear Engineering at the University of Tennessee and as an adjunct assistant professor of physics at Old Dominion University.

How did your experiences at WPI prepare you for working in your field?
My research appointment has me located at NASA Langley Research Center in Virginia, where I conduct research concerning the impact of space radiation on humans and electronic systems. This research is a direct extension of the research I conducted at WPI.

How has WPI’s philosophy of Theory and Practice, and working with teams, prepared you for facing real-world challenges in the workplace or graduate school?
Research, by its very nature, is a collaborative endeavor. Learning how to work within a research team toward a common goal is a skill that is fundamental to being a successful scientist.

Groups or extracurricular activities you participate in at WPI:

  • Graduate Student Soccer Tournament

Academic or professional awards you have received:

  • 2011: NASA LaRC Center Director's Commendation
  • 2010-2011: NASA Postdoctoral Program Fellowship
  • 2005-2008: NASA GSRP Fellowship
  • 2005: NASA Technology Transfer Award
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