Coe’s chapter of the Society of Physics Students honored

Extra: Rod Pritchard, Director of Marketing and Public Relations
(319) 399-8605 or

2011-04-12 08:38:59 - General

The National Society of Physics Students has selected the Coe College Chapter of the Society of Physics Students as an Outstanding Chapter for the 2009-2010 school year. Those chapters that are honored excel in physics areas such as research, public science outreach, tutoring programs, representation at physics meetings, and social interaction of chapter members.

The Coe Physics Department is known worldwide for its accomplishments in glass research and resulting discoveries. In the last decade, the department has received more than $2.1 million in external grant funding for equipment and programs. During that time, more than 80 articles have been published by Coe physics faculty and students in peer-reviewed publications, with over 250 student and faculty presentations at more than 70 scholarly conferences.

More than 20 Coe physics students participate in summer research each year, working on projects normally reserved for graduate students. Coe physics students have the opportunity to travel around the world for research and conferences. Recent destinations have included China, Japan, England, Germany, Bulgaria, Greece, France, Italy, Canada, Arizona, Hawaii, Florida, Illinois and Maryland.

Coe physics graduates are sought-after candidates at graduate schools and in industry. The commitment of professors coupled with funding for equipment and research helps Coe physics students advance to highly regarded graduate programs and professional positions. About 80 percent of the graduates from the program have moved on to quality graduate schools in physics, materials science, an allied science or mathematics.

Nationally, only about 5,000 students graduate with a degree in physics annually. The Coe physics program currently serves approximately 40 students majoring in physics, making it one of the largest physics programs in the state of Iowa.

Created as a professional society for physics students and their mentors, The Society of Physics Students (SPS) helps to network and connect physics students to the professional community. Each academic year less than 10 percent of the total SPS chapters are nominated for this award that recognizes the depth and breadth of SPS activities nationwide.