Physics professor working with a student

Internships & Research

Off-Campus Opportunities

Coe has an exceptional internship program that places students throughout the U.S. and the world. You can spend a semester as an assistant to professional engineers, do research in an industrial laboratory or join a graduate-level research team at a major university.

Student and professor looking at results of a science experiment

Besides individually designed internships, exciting off-campus terms also are offered. Coe physics majors might be especially interested in the Oak Ridge science semester at the National Laboratory in Oak Ridge, Tennessee. A term at Oak Ridge gives you the opportunity to use sophisticated scientific equipment while working alongside professional research scientists.

  • Several physics students have served as interns in Japan, England, China and Canada.
  • Over 100 students have given talks at national and international meetings concerning their research.
  • Coe students have joined labs at Iowa State University, Vanderbilt University, Lehigh University, Indiana University and Brown University while still a Coe undergraduate.
  • Students have opportunities to study abroad and attend conferences.

Some recent internship and research opportunities:

  • Garrett Bohach: Google, California
  • Drew Schmit: Corning, New York
  • Collin Flynn: Nasa , Washington, D.C.
  • Brigette Smith: The Optical Society of America, Washington, D.C.
  • Derek Hammar: University of Birmingham for gravitational physics, England
  • Mary Jane Been: Rochester University for biomedical engineering, Rochester, N.Y.
  • Dahlia Baker: Planetary Resources, Seattle
  • Collin Wilkinson: Max Planck Institute for Gravitational Physics, Germany
  • Scott Michalek: Rockwell Collins, Cedar Rapids

Research at Coe

Most physics students spend summers at Coe doing publishable research. In a typical year, we host 30 summer research students.

California Conference

The Physics Department has six flourishing undergraduate research programs. We are one of the most active undergraduate research programs in the United States. In each case, students extensively use research grade equipment, perform experiments over extended time periods, attend and present at meeting (both national and international), author journal papers, and participate in current scientific research.

  • Jim Cottingham and several students are studying musical acoustics with a particular focus on reed instruments. 
  • Mario Affatigato and his research students study optical properties of solids. They use several kinds of lasers for this work and a newly acquired laser ablation time of flight mass spectrometer. 
  • Steve Feller's group studies physical properties and atomic arrangements of oxide glasses. 
  • Ugur Akgun and the research students working with him are actively involved in developing particle detector technologies for medical and particle physics, as well as homeland security. In his other research area, students model proteins from X-Ray diffraction data and perform data analysis. 
  • Firdevs Duru and her research students study electron density profiles and the effects of the magnetic field on Martian ionosphere, and they study the plasma environment of Mars. 
  • Caio Bragatto’s research is focuses on the ionic conductivity of glasses. The development of new generation of fuel cells based on ionically conductive glasses is the main application of this research.