Scoring research goals

Your essays have unearthed some great memories about the Nebraska Wesleyan experience. Add your voice to the conversation and compete for each issue’s prize.

And the winner is...
The results are in for our essay contest on undergraduate research projects. Peter Welsch’s (’99) experiment on surface tension served to relieve tension for his fellow physics majors. For that, he wins our prize: a Best Buy gift certificate to fund his next project.

Scoring research goals
-Peter Welsch ('99)

I’m happy to see how research opportunities at NWU are expanding. As a student in the physics department, my own undergraduate experiments and research had a big impact on my education and career after college.

I fondly remember my time in the nuclear lab with (Professor of Physics) Robert Fairchild and (Professor Emeritus of Physics) David Goss. My senior research project doing radioactive carbon dating experiments alongside them helped trigger my interest in the field.

A lot of good came from these experiments- not the least of which were the late night air hockey tournaments with the other physics majors. (It's proof that you never can tell exactly how your research will benefit society.)

I remember another project that involved me fixing up an old air hockey table to run experiments dealing with surface tension. A lot of good came from those experiments—not the least of which were the late night air hockey tournaments with the other physics majors. (It’s proof that you never can tell exactly how your research will benefit society.)

Those early experiences led me to join a research team in graduate school working to create a new kind of neutron detector using Boron Carbide thin films.

Sadly, I never found a way to harness the power of air hockey in grad school. But the research experience and experimental curiosity I gained at NWU stuck with me and steered me to my current career in Minneapolis. I help develop equipment and thin film processes that contribute to making the next generation of computer hard drives.

It’s exciting to be a part of such a rapidly evolving field and I’m grateful for the base of knowledge NWU gave me.