Department of Physics & Engineering

About Our Faculty & Staff

The faculty of the department of Physics and Engineering span an impressive range of disciplines and interests from civil, electrical, and mechanical engineering to optics, astrophysics and cosmology, from atmospheric physics and hydrology to alternative energy and sustainable engineering technologies.

Dr. Christie Chatterley
Assistant Professor of Engineering

Expertise

  • Water Quality Analysis and Treatment
  • On-Site Water and Sanitation for Low-Income Country Applications
  • Contextual Factor Influence on Technology Uptake
  • Monitoring and Evaluation of Water, Sanitation and Hygiene Interventions

Education

  • Ph.D., Civil/Environmental Engineering, University of Colorado - Boulder, 2013
  • M.S., Civil/Environmental Engineering, University of Colorado - Boulder, 2009
  • B.S., Mechanical Engineering, Idaho State University, 2003

Contact:

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Dr. Christie Chatterley is available to comment on topics related to areas of interest or expertise. If you need further assistance, contact Public Affairs at 970-247-7401 or by email.

Dr. Jerry Crawford
Professor of Physics

Expertise:

  • Cryogenics
  • Fluid Dynamics
  • Optics
  • Optoelectronics
  • Solid State Physics
  • Thermodynamics
  • Waves and sounds

Education:

  • Ph.D., Physics, University of Oregon, 1983
  • M.A., Physics, University of Oregon, 1980
  • B.A., Physics, Gustavus Adolphus College, 1979

Contact:

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Dr. Jerry Crawford is available to comment on topics related to areas of interest or expertise. If you need further assistance, contact Public Affairs at 970-247-7401 or by email.

Dr. Ryan Haaland
Chair and Professor of Physics & Engineering

Expertise:

  • Physics 

  • Physics education 

  • Space debris 

  • Space physics and upper atmospheric physics 

Education:

  • D.Phil., Physics, University of Oxford, 1999 
  • M.S., Space Physics, University of California Los Angeles, 1990 
  • B.A., Physics and Math, Concordia College, 1985

Contact:

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Dr. Ryan Haaland is available to comment on topics related to areas of interest or expertise. If you need further assistance, contact Public Affairs at 970-247-7401 or by email.

Dr. Charlie Hakes
Senior Lecturer of Physics & Engineering

Expertise

  • Physics
  • Electrical Engineering

Education

  • Ph.D., Physics, Rice University, 1990
  • M.A., Physics, Rice University, 1987
  • M.E.E., Electrical Engineering, Rice University, 1983
  • B.A., Physics, Rice University, 1981

Contact:

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Dr. Charlie Hakes is available to comment on topics related to areas of interest or expertise. If you need further assistance, contact Public Affairs at 970-247-7401 or by email.

Dr. Jeff Jessing
Assistant Professor of Physics & Engineering

Expertise 

  • Solid state physics and electronics 
  • Device physics 
  • Nanosytems and microfabrication 
  • Microsensors and actuators 

Education 

  • B.S., Electrical and Computer Engineering, Texas A&M University, 1992 
  • M.S., Electrical and Computer Engineering, Texas A&M University, 1994 
  • Ph.D., Electrical and Computer Engineering, Texas A&M University, 1998 

Contact:

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Dr. Jeff Jessing is available to comment on topics related to areas of interest or expertise. If you need further assistance, contact Public Affairs at 970-247-7401 or by email.

Dr. Devin Leahy
Assistant Professor of Engineering

Expertise:

  • Biomedical engineering 

  • Biomechanics 

  • Composite material characterization 

  • Finite element analysis 

  • Injury biomechanics 

  • Mechanical engineering 

Education:

  • Ph.D., Mechanical Engineering, Colorado State University, 2012 
  • B.S., Mechanical Engineering, The Ohio State University, 2004 

Contact:

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Dr. Devin Leahy is available to comment on topics related to areas of interest or expertise. If you need further assistance, contact Public Affairs at 970-247-7401 or by email.

Dr. Yiyan Li
Assistant Professor of Physics & Engineering

Expertise

  • Integrated Circuit Design
  • Embedded Systems/FPGA
  • Microfluidics
  • Microbiology

Education

  • Ph.D., Electrical Engineering, University of Nevada, Las Vegas, 2016
  • M.S., Biomedical Engineering, Chongqing University, 2012
  • B.S., Biomedical Engineering, Henan University of Science and Technology, 2009

 

Contact:

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Dr. Yiyan Li is available to comment on topics related to areas of interest or expertise. If you need further assistance, contact Public Affairs at 970-247-7401 or by email.

Dr. Don May
Professor of Engineering

Expertise:

  • Civil design
  • International development
  • Open channel flow
  • Sanitation system in the developing world
  • Surface water hydrology
  • Water supply adequacy
  • Water supply systems in the developing world​

Education:

  • Ph.D., Civil Engineering, Colorado State University, 1993
  • M.S., Civil Engineering, Colorado State University, 1982
  • B.S., Civil Engineering, Colorado State University, 1978

Contact:

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Dr. Don May is available to comment on topics related to areas of interest or expertise. If you need further assistance, contact Public Affairs at 970-247-7401 or by email.

Dr. William Nollet
Assistant Professor of Physics & Engineering

Expertise:

  • Chemical & Exotic Rocket Propulsion

  • Nuclear Thermal Hydraulics

  • Space Physics

Education:

  • Ph.D., Nuclear Engineering and Engineering Physics, University of Wisconsin-Madison, 2013 
  • M.S., Nuclear Engineering and Engineering Physics, University of Wisconsin-Madison, 2011 
  • B.S., Space Physics, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, 2009 

Contact:

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Dr. William Nollet is available to comment on topics related to areas of interest or expertise. If you need further assistance, contact Public Affairs at 970-247-7401 or by email.

Dr. Megan Paciaroni
Associate Professor of Physics & Engineering

Expertise 

  • Combustion research 
  • Imaging systems 
  • Optics 
  • Laser diagnostics 

Education 

  • Ph.D., Engineering Systems, Colorado School of Mines, 2004 
  • M.S., Electrical Engineering, State University of New York at Binghamton, 1997 
  • B.S., Electro-Optics, University of Houston-Clear Lake, 1987 

Contact:

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Dr. Megan Paciaroni is available to comment on topics related to areas of interest or expertise. If you need further assistance, contact Public Affairs at 970-247-7401 or by email.

Dr. Randy Palmer
Visiting Instructor of Physics

Expertise

  • Geophysics
  • Nuclear Physics
  • Physics

Education

  • Ph.D., Geophysics, University of Oregon, 1997
  • M.S., Physics, University of Oregon, 1989
  • B.S., Physics, Fort Lewis College, 1987

Contact:

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Dr. Randy Palmer is available to comment on topics related to areas of interest or expertise. If you need further assistance, contact Public Affairs at 970-247-7401 or by email.

Dr. Don Rabern
Visiting Professor of Physics & Engineering

Expertise 

  • Engineering mechanics 
  • Impact dynamics 

Education 

  • Ph.D., Engineering Mechanics, University of Arizona, 1988
  • M.S., Engineering Mechanics, University of Arizona, 1983
  • B.S., Civil Engineering, University of Utah, 1979

Contact:

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Dr. Don Rabern is available to comment on topics related to areas of interest or expertise. If you need further assistance, contact Public Affairs at 970-247-7401 or by email.

Dr. Ryan Smith
Assistant Professor of Physics & Engineering

Expertise:

  • Robotics
  • Autonomous underwater vehicles
  • Control and planning
  • Artificial intelligence
  • Aquatic ecosystems
  • Nonlinear dynamics
  • Single and multi-robot systems
  • Geometric control theory
  • Ocean modeling

Education:

  • Ph.D., Ocean and Resources Engineering, University of Hawaii at Manoa, 2008
  • M.A., Mathematics, University of Hawaii at Manoa, 2002
  • B.S., Mathematics and Engineering Physics, Miami University, 1998

Contact:

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Dr. Ryan Smith is available to comment on topics related to areas of interest or expertise. If you need further assistance, contact Public Affairs at 970-247-7401 or by email.

Dr. Laurie Williams
Professor of Physics & Engineering

Expertise:

  • Energy applications, including alternative energy systems
  • Village Aid Project – meeting basic needs in the developing world
  • Methane emissions
  • Technologies for the developing world

Education:

  • Ph.D., Mechanical Engineering, Colorado State University, 2001
  • M.S., Environmental Policy and Management, University of Denver, 1997
  • B.S., Mechanical Engineering, Colorado State University, 1983

Contact:

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Dr. Laurie Williams is available to comment on topics related to areas of interest or expertise. If you need further assistance, contact Public Affairs at 970-247-7401 or by email.

Dr. Andrew Young
Assistant Professor of Physics & Engineering

Expertise

  • Structural mechanics
  • Inflatable structures
  • Numerical methods in engineering
  • Performance of composite materials

Education

  • Ph.D., Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of Maine, 2017
  • M.S. Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of Maine, 2013
  • B.S. Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of Maine, 2011

Contact:

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Dr. Andrew Young is available to comment on topics related to areas of interest or expertise. If you need further assistance, contact Public Affairs at 970-247-7401 or by email.

Adjunct Faculty

Chuck Carson
Adjunct Instructor of Engineering 
907-259-2699
email

William Atkins
Visiting Instructor of Engineering
email


Staff

CHUCK CARSON Visiting Professor of Engineering Barbara Rosten
Office Manager
970-247-7446

Emeritus Faculty

MARTHA IVERSON, Emeritus MARTHA IVERSON, Emeritus
Professor of Physics and Engineering ( 1992 - 2005)
B.S., Physics, University of Colorado, 1971
Ph.D. Physics, University of Colorado, 1976
TOM D. NORTON, Emeritus TOM D. NORTON, Emeritus
Professor of Physics and Engineering (1973-2003)
B.S., University of Oklahoma, 1966
M.S., Physics, University of Oklahoma, 1967
Ph.D., Physics, University of Oklahoma, 1972
CARLA WILLIAMS, Emeritus
CARLA WILLIAMS, Emeritus
Professor of Engineering (1984-2002)
B.S.S.E., John Brown University, 1969
M.A., University of New Mexico, 1973
Ph.D., Computer Engineering., University of New Mexico, 1991
JAMES M. COSTELLO, Emeritus
JAMES M. COSTELLO, Emeritus
Professor of Physics (1985-2000)
B.A., Doane College, 1959
M.S., University of Nebraska, 1963
Ph.D., Physics, University of Nebraska, 1967