Department of Physics and Engineering Physics - Oxley College of Health & Natural Sciences

Department of Physics and Engineering Physics

Physics is the most fundamental of the sciences. From large questions such as dark energy and the origin of the universe to the science underlying solar cells, the GPS in the car and the iPhone in your pocket, the importance of physics is readily apparent.

Physics majors obtain a solid foundation in physics and mathematics in preparation for a technical or scientific career. Our students can study theoretical topics in fields such as quantum mechanics and condensed matter physics, as well as gain experimental experience in fields such as nanotechnology, optics, lasers or solid-state physics.

Engineering Physics majors receive the professional, multidisciplinary, ABET-accredited, engineering education that is in strong demand by today’s industries. Instruction from both physicists and professional engineers incorporate engineering standards and realistic constraints to prepare our students for careers in industry, government and higher education while instilling a desire for lifelong learning.

Students are encouraged to join TU’s local chapter of the Society of Physics Students (SPS), and those with outstanding academics are selected for membership in the organization’s honor society, Sigma Pi Sigma.

  • Sigma Pi Sigma Student Organization

    Sigma Pi Sigma honors outstanding scholarship in physics, encourages interest in physics among students at all levels, promotes an attitude of service of its members toward their fellow students, colleagues, and the public, and provides a fellowship of students who have excelled in physics. Sigma Pi Sigma’s mission includes the four dimensions of honor, encouragement, service, and fellowship along with a permanent goal of professional achievement and career success.

    The Society of Physics Students was formed in 1968 with the union of Sigma Pi Sigma and the American Institute of Physics student sections. Today, Sigma Pi Sigma is housed within the SPS.

    Founded in 1921, Sigma Pi Sigma is a member honor society of the Association of College Honor Societies. With 75,000 historical members, election to the organization is a lifetime membership.

    Sigma Pi Sigma chapters are restricted to colleges and universities of recognized standing that offer a strong physics major. Membership involves undergraduate and graduate students, faculty members, and a few others in closely related fields. Students elected to membership must attain high standards of general scholarship and outstanding achievement in physics.

    Certain high numerical standards for admittance are established by chapter bylaws and the national constitution. Undergraduate candidates must be in the upper one-third of their class in general scholarship to meet the minimum standard that chapters may use. A higher minimum average is often established for physics courses. Undergraduate candidates must have completed at least three semesters of full-time college work and at least three semester courses in physics that can be credited toward a physics major. Graduate students and faculty members may be elected at any time. Students who are not physics majors can be elected, provided that they meet the standards and demonstrate an interest in physics.

    For more information, please contact:
    Jerry McCoy
    Applied Professor of Physics
    Keplinger Hall 1235

  • Alumni

    Our physics and engineering physics graduates receive a strong foundation in their particular major but, just as importantly, they also learn how to think. This places them in high demand as flexible problem solvers. After earning their undergraduate degree, many alumni pursue advanced degrees in physics, engineering or multidisciplinary programs (such as nanotechnology or material science). The high acceptance rate into law and medical schools of physics graduates has led others to successful professional careers.  Many of our students begin their careers at some of the country’s top companies including Google, Intel, Caterpillar, Lockheed and ConocoPhillips. Others choose positions in government such as the U.S. Armed Forces or Federal National Laboratories.

  • Outreach

    Our department also has a long history of educational outreach to the public. Our faculty have conducted many state-funded workshops to train K-12 educators in teaching science and math and have hosted other events such as fun and educational physics shows. The TU Physics Journal Club, often cited as TU’s most successful outreach program, draws well over 100 physics aficionados monthly to discuss the latest progress in physics.

  • Physics and Engineering Physics Advisory Board

    Eddie Abbott – B.S. Eng. Physics 1971, M.D.; Retired OBGyn; Tulsa, OK

    Dan Alpert – B.S. Eng. Physics 1995, MS Knowledge Management 2007 (University of Oklahoma); Utilities Power Transmission & Distribution Project Manager, Actalent Services; Tulsa, OK

    Craig Baucke – B.S. Eng. Physics 1984, M.S. Electrical Engineering 1988; Retired Chief Engineer, GE Aerospace; Loveland, OH

    Brent E. Bennett – B.S. Physics 2009; M.S. & Ph.D. Materials Science and Engineering 2011, 2015 (University of Texas at Austin); Policy Director, Life:Powered, Texas Public Policy Foundation; Austin, TX

    Kevin M. Ezzo – B.S. Eng. Physics 1987, M.S. EE Electro Optics 1990 (Tufts University), MBA 2007 (Rivier University); Sr. Director Product Management, Teledyne FLIR Defense – Surveillance; Merrimack, NH

    David B. Gill – B.S. Eng. Physics 1985; Sr. Manager, Biometric Program Management Office, HID Global; Dallas, TX

    Jim S. Johnston, Jr. – B.S. Eng. Physics 1990; VP & Chief Technology Officer, McElroy Manufacturing, Inc.; Tulsa, OK

    Erin S. Lamb – B.S. Physics 2010, M.S. & Ph.D. Applied Physics 2012, 2015 (Cornell); Member of Technical Staff, OFS Laboratories; Somerset, NJ

    Abdulah Mahayni – B.S. Physics 2016, M.D. 2022 (UT Southwestern Medical Center); Artificial Intelligence Medical Research Fellow, Mayo Clinic; Rochester, MN

    Darcy McGinn – B.S. Eng. Physics, (Rice University); Chief Technology Officer, NGC Advanced Weapons; Los Angeles, CA

    Tyler Miller – B.S. Physics 2005; Faculty, Cascia Hall Preparatory School; Tulsa, OK

    Justin C. Mitchell – B.S. Physics 2003, Ph.D. Physics 2011 (University of Arkansas); Software Engineering Manager, Intel; San Jose, CA

    David N. Otte – B.S. Eng. Physics 1978, MBA Finance 1995 (University of Houston); Primary Research and Publisher, Spears and Associates of Tulsa, OK; Fort Worth, TX

    Jared A. Seay – B.S. Eng. Physics/Aerospace Engineering 2010 (University of Oklahoma), M.S. Physics 2012; Optical Engineer, L3Harris Aeromet; Tulsa. OK

    Clara E. Seaman – B.S. Eng. Physics 2009,  M.S. & Ph.D. Mechanical Engineering 2013, 2014 (University of Notre Dame); Mechanical Engineer, Sierra Space; Madison, WI

    Maureen Wilson – B.S. Eng. Physics 1989, M.S. Engineering & Technology Management 1994; Community Volunteer; Tulsa, OK