Olin Hall 120
+1 (508) 8315000 x5420

Douglas Todd Petkie

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

It is my pleasure to work with students and colleagues to elevate the impact WPI has on the world. WPI has a dynamic and energetic environment with a strong focus 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 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’). I strongly believe in the integration of research and teaching and collaborative relationships between academic, industry, and government labs. I am currently helping to lead an effort, in collaboration with Quinsigamond Community College and AIM Photonics Academy, in support of AIM Photonics, a Manufacturing USA institute. I also strongly support the K-16 physics education community and closely follow the Physics Education Research (PER) community in the creation of evidence-based pedagogies as we learn how to create environments that are more effective for student learning. The nexus of these efforts has led me into the areas of Physics Innovation and Entrepreneurship and the Entrepreneurial Mindset Learning.

Scholarly Work

Coutu, R.A.; Medvedev, I.R.; Petkie, D.T. Improved Sensitivity MEMS Cantilever Sensor for Terahertz Photoacoustic Spectroscopy. Sensors 2016, 16, 251.
N. E. Glauvitz, R. A. Coutu, I. R. Medvedev, D. T. Petkie, “Terahertz Photoacoustic Spectroscopy Using an MEMS Cantilever Sensor”, Journal of Microelectricalmechanical Systems, 24, 216-223 , (2015). DOI: 10.1109/JMEMS.2014.2327916
N. Jacquinet-Husson, et al., “The 2009 edition of the GEISA spectroscopic database,” Journal of Quantitative Spectroscopy and Radiative Transfer, 112(15), 2395-2445 (2011). DOI: 10.1016/j.jqsrt.2011.06.004
S. R. Murrill, E. L. Jacobs, C. C. Franck, D. T. Petkie and F. C. De Lucia, "An enhanced MMW and SMMW / THz imaging system performance prediction and analysis tool for concealed weapon detection and pilotage obstacle avoidance", Proc. SPIE 9651, Millimetre Wave and Terahertz Sensors and Technology
M. Bischoff, L. Owens, A. Cooney, D. T. Petkie, J. A. Deibel, “Characterization of composite materials using millimeter-wave techniques,” 36th International Conference on Infrared, Millimeter and Terahertz Waves (IRMMW-THz), 2-7 Oct. 2011, Houston, TX. DIO: 10.1109/irmmw-THz.2011.6105151
M. C. Moulton, M. L. Bischoff; C. Benton, D. T. Petkie, “Micro-Doppler radar signatures of human activity,” Proceedings of SPIE: Europe Security and Defence: Millimetre Wave and Terahertz Sensors and Technology, 7837 (Toulouse, France, 20-21 September 2010).