Faculty & Staff

Doug Petkie
Professor and Department Head, Physics

Phone: +1 (508) 8315000 x5420

I am pleased to work with students and colleagues to elevate WPI's global impact. WPI has a dynamic and energetic environment that focuses on experiential learning and interdisciplinary research. The balance between theory and practice and the passion everyone shares for the WPI Plan and the Project-Based Curriculum makes this a truly unique place where you get degrees for project accomplishments rather than courses completed. I joined WPI in 2016 as the Department Head and Professor of Physics following 14 years at Wright State University, where I served as Department Chair of Physics and ...

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Padmanabhan Aravind
Professor, Physics

Phone: +1 (508) 8315000 x5559

In my 25 plus years at WPI, I have been actively engaged in teaching and research at a variety of levels. Our Projects Program is the place where these two activities naturally come together, and the Major Qualifying Projects (or senior theses) I have guided over the years have been among my most rewarding experiences. In the mid 1990s, I became interested in the field of Quantum Information Science, whose goal is to store information in quantum objects, such as single atoms or photons, and explore ways in which it can be harnessed to perform tasks beyond the scope of today’s computers. My own ...

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Nancy Burnham
Professor, Physics

Phone: +1 (508) 8315000 x5365

Nancy Burnham graduated from the University of Colorado at Boulder in 1987 with a Ph.D. in Physics. Her dissertation concerned the surface analysis of photovoltaic materials. As a National Research Council Postdoctoral Fellow at the Naval Research Laboratory, she became interested in scanning probe microscopy, in particular its application to detecting material properties at the nanoscale. After three years as a von Humboldt Fellow in Germany at Forschungszentrum Julich, she spent another six years in Europe, principally at the Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne in Switzerland, all the ...

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Germano Iannacchione
Professor, Physics

Phone: +1 (508) 8315000 x5631

Germano Iannacchione is a Professor in the Physics Department at WPI, joining the faculty in August 1998, with an area of expertise in thermo-physical property experimental research on order-disorder phenomena in condensed matter, with a focus on soft-matter materials, colloids/composites, and emergence far-from-equilibrium.  To date, there have been 11 Ph.D., 14 M.Sc., and 121 B.Sc. (senior thesis or MQP) physics students who have matured and graduated at WPI under his mentorship.  He served as a Program Director of the Condensed Matter Physics Program (2017-2020), Biomaterials ...

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Snehalata Kadam
Assistant Teaching Professor, Physics

Phone: +1 (508) 8315000 x5302

My goal as teacher is to bridge diverse disciplines such as Physical and Biological Sciences. Learning and teaching bears no geographical obstacle and my academic career has taken me across three different continents, from Asia through Europe to United States of America. This experience has taught me the virtues of adaptability, which I encourage my students to learn.I embrace the reward of being a teacher as I get to oversee how learning happens. It gives me immense pleasure that I bring a positive change in student’s lives. My primary responsibility is not only to create an atmosphere ...

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Hektor Kashuri
Associate Teaching Professor, Physics

Phone: +1 (508) 8315000 x5419

One rewarding and exciting aspect of an academic position is the opportunity to teach and mentor students. My teaching experience started in my native country, Albania; although the two countries and systems are different, my interaction with the students is very much the same. I want to teach my students how to use physics in analyzing facts. The emphasis is on the understanding of the underlying ideas and concepts rather than the memorization and usage of formulas. At WPI, I have also been actively involved in research. Practically, I have been working on experimental investigation of liquid ...

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David Medich
Professor, Physics

Phone: +1 (508) 8315000 x6569

I perform experimental and computational (Monte Carlo) research in the field of applied nuclear physics with a focus on Medical and Health Physics. Presently my research group is investigating: 1) developing a unique technique to enable ultrahigh-resolution in-vivo functional imaging using neutrons, 2) adapting Gen. IV micro-reactors as the core of a next generation research nuclear reactor which also can supply carbon-free energy to a campus,  3) developing a 169Yb brachytherapy source to enable localized intensity-modulated radiation therapy, and, 4) analyzing the ...

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Ben Pollard
Assistant Teaching Professor, Physics

Phone: +1 (508) 8315527

Dr. Pollard's research focuses on teaching and learning in physics laboratory courses. He is also involved in community building and organization to promote diversity, equity, inclusion, and social justice in STEM, including as a core organizer in The Access Network. Previously, he was a postdoctoral researcher with Prof. Heather Lewandowski and the Physics Education Research group at the University of Colorado Boulder.

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Richard Quimby
Associate Professor, Physics

Phone: +1 (508) 8315000 x5490

Professor Quimby teaches courses and engages in research in the area of photonics, specializing in lasers, fiber optics, and the optical properties of materials. He particularly enjoys developing and teaching interdisciplinary courses that are relevant and interesting to both science and engineering students. Examples of courses he has developed at WPI include PH2501 Photonics, PH2502 Lasers, and PH2601 Photonics Laboratory. Professor Quimby also oversaw the renovation and equipping of Olin 205 as it was transformed into the IPG Photonics Laboratory, and currently serves as director of the ...

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Izabela Stroe
Associate Professor of Teaching, Physics

Phone: +1 (508) 8315000 x5249

For me, Physics is like a sandbox. It gives me the opportunity to play and discover, test, be creative, learn something new. At the same time, I am passionate about passing the thrill of discovery to my students. Teaching is a two-way street in which both parties get enriched from each other. I welcome and embrace the partnership. I also believe that college is the biggest and best opportunity in one's life to discover one's calling and do something about it and I invite students to take full advantage of it. WPI is the best venue as it provides the access to theoretical knowledge as well as a ...

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Lyubov Titova
Professor, Physics

Phone: +1 (508) 8315000 x5418

  Research efforts of the Ultrafast THz and Optical Spectroscopy Lab at WPI (PI- Lyubov Titova) are focused on three themes: (i) Application of terahertz (THz) spectroscopy to probe dynamics of photo-excited charge carriers in nanomaterials with applications in photovoltaics and solar fuel production; (ii) Using THz pulses and ultrafast optical techniques to study intermolecular dynamics in liquids; (iii) Investigating interactions of intense THz pulses with cells, tissues and their constituents, with a goal of development of novel diagnostic and therapeutic applications. Prof. Titova ...

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Raisa Trubko
Assistant Professor, Physics

Phone: +1 (508) 8316371

Professor Trubko is an experimental quantum physicist who leads the WPI Quantum Sensing group. Her group uses ensembles of Nitrogen-vacancy quantum defects in diamond to image magnetic fields with high spatial resolution. We work both to develop state-of-the-art quantum instruments and to use them to study biomagnetism and magnetic properties of novel materials. Before joining WPI, Raisa was a postdoctoral fellow at Harvard University. She earned her Ph.D. in Optical Sciences from the University of Arizona supported by an NSF graduate research fellowship, and founded the University of ...

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Qi Wen
Associate Professor, Physics

Phone: +1 (508) 8315000 x4932

Professor Wen is an experimental biophysicist who is interested in applying physical methods to understand biological phenomena. By measuring the mechanical properties of living cells and the mechanical interaction between cells and ECM, he aims to understand how cells convert external mechanical signals to internal biochemical signals that govern cellular function, including cell morphology, migration, and differentiation. His research will help to design novel materials for wound healing, tissue engineering, and tumor treatment.Professor Wen is leading a research group with students from ...

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Kun-Ta Wu
Associate Professor, Physics

Phone: +1 (508) 8316057

Dr. Wu is an active researcher with a focus on soft matter and biophysics, which is an interdisciplinary field that encompasses physics, biology, and engineering. His work centers on the study of active fluids, which are a class of soft materials that comprise self-propelling particles capable of generating their own motion without the need for external forces or energy sources. Dr. Wu is specifically interested in the self-organization of microtubule-based, kinesin-driven active fluids into complex patterns of motion and transport. As the leader of a research project funded by the NSF ...

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Seyed Zekavat
Professor, Physics

Phone: +1 (508) 8315000 x5391

Seyed A. (Reza) Zekavat received his PhD from Colorado State University in 2002. He is the Author of the textbook "Electrical Engineering: Concepts and Applications" published by Pearson, and the editor of the book “Handbook of Position Location: Theory, Practice and Advances,” published by Wiley/IEEE. He holds a patent on an active Wireless Remote Positioning System. Zekavat has also co-authored two books “Multi-Carrier Technologies for Wireless Communications,” published by Kluwer, and “High Dimensional Data Analysis,” published by VDM Verlag; and ten book chapters in the areas of adaptive ...

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Romain Murenzi
Professor, Physics

Phone: +1 (508) 8316960

Romain Murenzi joined Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) as a full professor of Physics in January 2024. His research interests include Wavelets, Groups, Phase Space Representations, Coherent States: Links Between Quantum Physics; and Signal Processing in One and More Dimensions. In addition to STEM, Murenzi is interested in expanding his research to social science and policy. This includes areas such as Science, Technology, and Innovation policy for sustainable development, science for society, science diplomacy, and providing scientific advice to governments.Until November 2023, he served ...

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Collaborative Faculty

Yuxiang Liu
Associate Professor, Mechanical & Materials Engineering

Phone: +1 (508) 8315000 x4829

The overarching theme of my research is light-matter interactions and their applications in microscale and nanoscale. Particularly, my research interests include optical trapping, optofluidics, nanophotonics, cavity optomechanics, and fiber optic sensing systems, with an emphasis on optical actuation, damping, and sensing of mechanics in micro-/nano-scale structures and biological specimens. The potential applications of my research include on-chip disease diagnosis, in vivo disease treatments, motion detection in consumer electronics, health monitoring, and biomechanics. My research has been ...

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L Dana
Lab/Research II-Engineering, Physics

Dana manages the introductory teaching laboratories for the physics department. Previously she worked in the Helena Foundation Teaching Lab at MIT, otherwise known as Junior Lab. Before that she worked in several engineering and physical oceanography labs at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute in Woods Hole, MA. There she developed a love for Matlab and the lifelong skill of getting seasick. Before that she studied at Bryn Mawr College, where she received her BA in Physics.  She is originally from Marshfield, MA, and is very pleased that despite many years in Massachusetts she ...

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2021 Physics Department Retreat


Photo of faculty at the retreat

Photo of faculty at the retreat. Note the appropriate sign in the doorway!

The Physics Department Faculty retreat in 2021 at the New England Botanic Garden at Tower Hill.


Affiliate Professors

First Name Last Name Title Email
Gene Cardarelli Affiliate Assistant Professor - Medical Physics


David DeSantis Affiliate Assistant Professor - Medical Physics


Georgi Georgiev Affiliate Associate Professor


Andrew Karellas Affiliate Professor - Medical Physics


Don-Soo Kim Affiliate Assistant Professor - Medical Physics don-soo.kim@childrens.harvard.edu
Mi-Ae Park Affiliate Assistant Professor - Medical Physics


Professor Emeriti

First Name Last Name Title Email Phone Extension Office Location
Harold W. Hilsinger Professor Emeritus hwh 6057 Olin Hall 213A
Michael W. Klein Professor Emeritus mwklein 6057 Olin Hall 213A
George Phillies Professor Emeritus phillies 6057 Olin Hall 213A
Adriaan Walther Professor Emeritus awalther 6057 Olin Hall 213A
Jerald A. Weiss Professor Emeritus   6057 Olin Hall 213A
John F. Wild Professor Emeritus   6057 Olin Hall 213A