Olin Hall 120
+1 (508) 8315000 x5420

Doug Petkie

Professor and Department Head
Affiliated Department or Office
PhD Physics Ohio State University 1996
BS Physics Carnegie Mellon University 1990

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 Faculty Vice President. My research is centered on two fields.  The first is on the science and technology in the millimeter and terahertz regions of the electromagnetic spectrum and focuses on spectroscopy, imaging, and radar applications. This research has ranged from the spectroscopic study of interstellar-related molecules to the remote detection of vital signs (i.e., the ‘tricorder’). The second is developing photonic integrated circuits (PICs) for sensing applications with partners of AIM Photonics, a Manufacturing USA Institute. I strongly believe in integrating research with teaching and developing collaborative relationships between academic, industry, and government labs.  As part of that, our Laboratory for Education and Application Prototypes is in collaboration with Quinsigamond Community College (LEAP@WPI/QCC) to support the AIM Photonics ecosystem to co-develop new technologies with the workforce through mentored training programs.  I also support the K-16 physics education community and the physics teacher preparation program at WPI in partnership with the STEM Education Center. I closely follow the Physics Education Research (PER) community in creating evidence-based pedagogies as we learn how to create more effective environments for student learning. The nexus of these efforts has led me into Physics Innovation and Entrepreneurship and a member of WPI’s Value Creation Initiative (VCI). 

Sustainable Development Goals

SDG 4: Quality Education

SDG 4: Quality Education - Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all

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SDG 5: Gender Equality

SDG 5: Gender Equality - Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls

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SDG 9: Industry, Innovation, and Infrastructure

SDG 9: Industry, Innovation, and Infrastructure - Build resilient infrastructure, promote inclusive and sustainable industrialization and foster innovation

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SDG 10: Reduced Inequalities

SDG 10: Reduced Inequalities - Reduce inequality within and among countries

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SDG 11: Sustainable Cities and Communities

SDG 11: Sustainable Cities and Communities - Make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable

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SDG 17: Partnerships for the Goals

SDG 17: Partnerships for the Goals - Strengthen the means of implementation and revitalize the global partnership for sustainable development

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Scholarly Work

Terahertz imaging for non-destructive porosity measurements of carbonate rocks, J Bouchard, SL Eichmann, H Ow, M Poitzsch, DT Petkie, Scientific Reports 12 (1), 18018, 2022.

Terahertz spectroscopic molecular sensor for rapid and highly specific quantitative analytical gas sensing, DJ Tyree, P Huntington, J Holt, AL Ross, R Schueler, DT Petkie, SS Kim, ..., ACS sensors 7 (12), 3730-3740, 2022.

Improved sensitivity mems cantilever sensor for terahertz photoacoustic spectroscopy, RA Coutu Jr, IR Medvedev, DT Petkie, Sensors 16 (2), 251, 2016.

The Massachusetts LEAP network: building a template for a hands-on advanced manufacturing hub in integrated photonics, AM Agarwal, D Weninger, LC Kimerling, G Gu, C Schnitzer, K Kissa, ..., Optics Education and Outreach VII, PC1221307, 2022.