Physics & Engineering

Our B.S. in Applied Physics utilizes a hands-on approach with lots of labs. Physics graduates are employed at Aerodyne, the Bechtel-Bettis Nuclear lab. EPIC systems, Fischione Instruments, General Dynamics, Mon Power, the National Energy Technology Lab, the Naval Surface Warfare Division, Oak Ridge National Lab, Osiris Therapeutics, Thrasher Engineering, and more.

The Dual-Degree Physics/Engineering program enables our students to earn degrees in engineering by studying three years at Wesleyan, followed by two years at either WVU or Marshall University. Students earn Wesleyan’s physics degree and an engineering degree from the university. Students can finish two degree in only five years because many of Wesleyan’s courses count toward both degrees.

Dual-degree graduates are employed as aerospace engineers, chemical engineers, civil engineers, electrical engineers, industrial engineers, and mechanical engineers. They work at Bechtel Plant Machinery, Bell Helicopters, Chemours, Dupont, Dynetics Aerospace, the Federal Highway Administration, General Motors, Jacobs Engineering, Kichler Lighting, L3Harris Technologies, NASA-Glenn, NASA-Langley, Peraton Aerospace, Pratt & Whitney, Raytheon, Rockwell Automation, Toyota, and the WV Division of Highways.

Medical physics is an option for physics graduates. Medical physicists are licensed professionals who use radiation to treat cancer. They must complete a graduate program in medical physics. Our graduates work at Kettering-Grandview Hospital, Cabell-Huntington Hospital, United Hospital Center, Wright-Patterson Hospital, Mercy Cancer Center, and the Medical University of South Carolina.

Graduate schools. Students have completed advanced degrees in physics or engineering at Clemson, Duke, Embry-Riddle, Georgia Tech, Lehigh, Marshall, Ohio State, Penn State, Pitt, Purdue, Stanford, Virginia Tech, WVU, and more.

Major equipment. An electron microscope that can see atoms in metals.

A cryogenic refrigerator that uses liquid helium to study superconductors.

A high-power atomic-force microscope for non-metals, a 14-foot wind tunnel, a heat pump system, high-power carbon-diode laser, a hyperfine laser spectrometer, an industrial tensile tester, a plasma physics apparatus, an ultrasound apparatus, a proton beam apparatus, a magnetic resonance apparatus, X-ray crystallography apparatus, and more.

Summer internships: Cleveland Clinic, Columbia University, Cornell, NASA, NIST, Rutgers, Stanford, Walter Reed Medical Center, Wesleyan, WVU, and more.

Program Learning Outcomes

  • Faculty

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

    Tracey DeLaney, Assistant Professor
    B.S., Physics with Astrophysics Option
    M.S., Physics New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology
    Ph.D., Astrophysics, University of Minnesota

    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
    B.S., Physics, University of Connecticut
    Ph.D., Physics, West Virginia University

    Areas of Instruction: General Physics, Engineering Mechanics, Analytical Mechanics, Mechanics of Materials, Materials Science, Physical Science, Advanced Engineering Math
    Email: reynolds_e@wvwc.edu
    Phone: 304-473-8333

    Dr. Joseph Wiest, Professor
    Email: wiest@wvwc.edu
    Phone: 304-473-8062

  • 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!