Physics & Engineering

Why Wesleyan? Smaller classes, hands-on experiences, well equipped labs, readily available faculty, 94% of recent graduates work in engineering or physics.

Our Physics/Engineering Dual-Degree program involves WVU and Marshall University. Students study three years at Wesleyan and then two years of specialized engineering at the chosen university. Students earn two degrees—Wesleyan’s physics degree and the university’s engineering degree.

Employers: Bell Helicopters, Bechtel-Bettis Nuclear Lab, Cabell-Huntington Cancer Center, DuPont, Federal Highway Administration, General Dynamics, General Electric, General Motors, Lockheed-Martin, NASA, National Energy Technology Lab, Northrup- Grumman, Oak Ridge National Lab, Pratt & Whitney, Thrasher Engineering, Toyota, Vantage Oncology, WV Division of Highways.

Lab Instrumentation: Electron microscope, wind tunnel, 3-D printer, radio telescope, nuclear lab, laser lab, microwave lab, plasma physics lab, magnetic resonance lab, x-ray diffraction lab, heat pump lab, superconductor lab, ultrasonic lab.

Student research occurs year-round at Wesleyan and during the summer at places such as Columbia University, Cornell University, the Federal Highway Administration, Jefferson National Lab, NASA, NIST, the WV Division of Highways, and WVU.

Our NASA affiliation funds NASA Fellowships for students and summer research for students at NASA sites. NASA sponsors our SPACE Club, whose members design payloads that NASA launches on sounding rockets.

Can physics/engineering students participate in performing arts/sports? Yes! Join our 31 students who are presently doing so. Our labs end by 3:50 pm—practice starts at 4:00 pm. (Wesleyan has lots of scholarship opportunities in performing arts/sports.)

Program Learning Outcomes

  • Faculty

    G. Albert Popson, Jr., Department Chair, Professor
    Ph.D., Clemson University
    Office: Christopher 101
    Email: popson@wvwc.edu
    Phone: 304-473-8070

    Teaches General Physics, Electronics, Engineering Thermodynamics, Materials Lab,
    Advanced Engineering Lab, Solid State Physics, Quantum Mechanics

    Tracey DeLaney, Assistant Professor
    Ph.D., Astrophysics, University of Minnesota
    Email: delaney_t@wvwc.edu
    Phone: 304-473-8330

    Areas of Instruction: Engineering Design, The Solar System, Stars and Galaxies, Geology, Physical Science, Electromagnetic Theory, NASA Payload Design
    Email: delaney_t@wvwc.edu
    Phone: 304-473-8330

    Eric Reynolds, Assistant Professor
    Ph.D., Physics, West Virginia University
    Email: reynolds_e@wvwc.edu
    Phone: 304-473-833

    Areas of Instruction: General Physics, Engineering Mechanics, Analytical Mechanics, Mechanics of Materials, Materials Science, Physical Science, Advanced Engineering Math

    Joseph Wiest, Radiation Safety Officer, NASA Representative
    Ph.D., Eastern Illinois University
    Email: wiest@wvwc.edu
    Phone: 304-473-8062

    Teaches Fluid Mechanics, Heat Transfer, Light & Atomic Physics, Nuclear Physics, Laser
    Lab, Journey to the Moon and Mars


    Tim Rollins, Lab Technician

  • Majors
    • Physics - B.S.
      • The student can apply broad knowledge of the branches of physics — mechanics, thermodynamics, sound, light, analog and digital electronics, materials science, solid state physics, electromagnetism, nuclear physics, and quantum mechanics.
      • The student can apply an evidence-based problem-solving method that identifies a physics problem, designs an appropriate experiment, analyzes the data, and communicates the result.
      • The student can use advanced tools and techniques of physics.
      • The student can examine the role of physics in contemporary societal issues.
    • Physics - B.A.
      • The student can apply foundational knowledge of the branches of physics — mechanics, thermodynamics, sound, light, electronics, electromagnetism, and nuclear physics.
      • The student can apply an evidence-based problem-solving method that identifies a physics problem, designs an appropriate experiment, analyzes the data, and communicates the result.
      • The student can use advanced tools and techniques of physics.
      • The student can examine the role of physics in contemporary societal issues.
    • Applied Physics - B.S.

      This program prepares students to use physics to meet the needs of society. Employers value our graduates because they are ready to work with lasers, electron microscopes, nuclear systems, radiation safety, energy efficiency, solar panels, robotics, computation, and airport security systems. In addition, our Applied Physics majors have been accepted to graduate studies in physics, medical physics, and most fields of engineering.

    • Engineering Dual Degree
      • The student can apply knowledge of physics and math to solve problems. (This outcome is related to ABET outcomes a and e.)
      • Teams of students can apply an evidence-based problem-solving method that identifies an applied-science problem, designs an appropriate experiment, analyzes the data, and communicates the result. (This outcome is related to ABET outcomes b, c, d, and g.)
      • The student can use the tools and techniques of applied physics and math. (This outcome is related to ABET outcome k.)
      • The student recognizes a responsibility for life-long learning to apply physics to contemporary ethical and societal issues. (This outcome is related to ABET outcomes f, h, i, and j.)
    • SURE Grant

      SURE & Maier Summer Research Program- Application due March 4 Apply Now

      Do you want to be involved in a long-term research project that has the potential to transform the way you think about science and your future career as a researcher?

      West Virginia Wesleyan College is excited to host the Summer Undergraduate Research Experience (SURE)  and Maier research programs during summer 2022 to offer extended research experiences in the STEM areas (science, technology, engineering, and math). The SURE program will run for 8 weeks between May-July and is available to students from WVWC and other institutions around the state. Students will earn a stipend of $3,500 with free on-campus housing. Students will also be required to present their research at a state or regional scientific meeting (travel funds available).

      Interested?  Click Here!

      1. Consult the list of faculty involved below.
      2. Have a discussion with the faculty member of interest to see what projects they will be working on.
      3. Submit The Application which will include a personal statement and unofficial transcripts.
      4. Application deadline is March 4. Successful applicants will be notified by the end of March.

      Participating Faculty

      Dr. Kim Bjorgo-Thorne

      Dr. Melanie Sal

      Dr. Joseph Niederhauser

      Dr. Matthew Reid

      Dr. Bruce Anthony

      Dr. Caleb Gibson

      Dr. Joseph Wiest

    • The McCuskey Fellowship Program

      Transform your West Virginia Wesleyan Experience with the McCuskey Fellowship!

      Apply now for the McCuskey Family Fellowship in undergraduate research for a scholarship to work with a faculty on a primary research fellowship for three years of study!  You’ll be a part of an unparalleled high-impact practice in designing and creating your research project over three years!

      Learn More Here!