Physics Faculty Research

Learn about the active research projects and programs of Seattle University’s distinguished physicists. Students can also contact these researchers to find out about any openings on their teams.

Physicists Push Boundaries

Our faculty participate in the great endeavor of understanding the universe and all it entails by conducting active research programs.

In addition to answering scientific questions, their research provides students invaluable experience by assisting with ongoing experiments and projects.

Below you can find a list of physics faculty, alongside their research interests. Please contact the professor directly to learn more about their student-researcher openings.

Robin Bjorkquist, Assistant Teaching Professor

[hired 2022 Ph.D Cornell University (Experimental Particle Physics]

David Boness, Professor of Physics

[hired 1990; PhD U. of Washington (Geophysics)]

Experimental and computational geophysics. Most of David's research has involved Earth materials under extreme pressure, both experimentally and computationally. David has taken condensed matter physics data at Los Alamos National laboratory and at the Australian National University. He has also collaborated on a biological physics experiment at UW. Lately, he has worked with SU physics majors on the problem of optical properties of atmospheric aerosol particles.

Paul Fontana, Associate Professor of Physics

[hired 2002; PhD U. of Wisconsin (Physics)]

Experimental fluid dynamics. Paul transitioned from a plasma physics PhD to setting up a 2D fluid turbulence lab from scratch at SU. This lab has a novel design, with a large rotating annulus for studying thin soap solution films with laser velocimetry probes. He has been funded by the NSF, Research Corporation and The M. J. Murdock Charitable Trust. Several students have worked in Paul's lab.

Joanne Hughes-Clark, Associate Professor of Physics

[hired 2004; PhD U. of London (Astrophysics)]

Observational astronomy of globular clusters and dwarf galaxies. Joanne has telescope time at large telescopes around the world in order to study the characteristics of stars in globular clusters and to study elemental composition of nearby dwarf galaxies. SU Physics majors analyze the data and learn astronomical research techniques.

Woo-Joong Andy Kim, Professor of Physics

[hired 2009; PhD Dartmouth College (Physics)]

Quantum vacuum — matter interaction experimental physics. Andy started at SU in fall 2009 after finishing his post-doctoral appointment in experimental physics at Yale University. Andy's experimental work involves sensitive measurements of the Casimir force and of quantum conductance of nanowires.