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Physics & Optical Engineering - Student Opportunities

The Physics & Optical Engineering department offers a variety of opportunities, including our Accelerated Math Physics program for incoming freshman, and undergraduate research projects.

More Research Opportunities

We believe the best way to learn is by doing, so we you’ll be in the lab early and often, with lots of individual attention from your professors. Ourteaching, research, and MiNDs laboratories, and observatory, are stocked with modern equipment. Meet some of our faculty and learn more about their areas of expertise and current projects below.

Dr. Bunch and student work in physics lab.

Dr. Robert Bunch, Optics

Dr. Bunch’s research interests involve the development of optics-based products, optical instrument design, fiber optic components and systems, image acquisition and processing, and the development of a portable microfluidic analysis system to quantify and remove specific heavy metals through the use of a bio-regenerative detector.

Dr. Ditteon teaches in front of a white board.

Dr. Richard Ditteon, Astronomy

Dr. Ditteon’s research interests include asteroid astrometry and asteroid photometry. He is the director of the Oakley Observatory where he oversees student astronomical research.

Dr. Duree talks to a student in a classroom.

Dr. Galen Duree, Ultrashort pulse laser systems

Dr. Duree’sresearch interests involve optically induced waveguides, wavelength dense multiplexing using photorefractive material, and ultrashort pulse laser phenomena.

Dr. Granieri points toward device in laboratory as two men look on.

Sergio Granieri, Optical signal processing

Dr. Granieri’s research include optical signal processing, optical communications, and fiber optic components and applications.

Dr. Joenathan works with male student in optics lab.

Charles Joenathan, Interferometry, Holography

Dr. Joenathan’s research activities include the Interferometry, speckle technique, electronic speckle pattern interferometry, holography, fiber optic sensors, and optical metrology.

Dr. Kirkpatrick works with two male students in optics lab.

Scott Kirkpatrick, Nano materials

Dr. Kirkpatrick’s research interests include nano self-assemblies, carbon nanotube growth, micro-electrical-mechanical systems, vacuum deposition system design and development, and energy scavenging systems.

Dr. Letfullin

Dr. Renat Letfullin, Laser physics

Dr. Letfullin’s interdisciplinary research combines techniques from the fields of biophysics, nanomedicine, nanoscience, wave optics, laser physics, and aerosol physics, including optics of nanoparticles.

Dr. Kirtley manipulates device in physics lab as male student looks on.

Dr. Sudipa Kirtley, X-ray absorption

Dr. Kirtley’s research topics include x-ray absorption near-edge structure (XANES), spectroscopy in complex materials (biological, fossil-fuels) to elucidate chemical structures of hetero atoms, UV-V is absorption and fluorescence.

Department News

Learn about the latest happenings, student research, and more in physics & optical engineering a Rose-Hulman.

physics and optical engineering
The Mars Rover is shown transposed on the Martian surface next to images of Brian Monacelli meeting with students at Rose-Hulman.

NASA Optical Engineer Alumnus Hopes Mars Mission Unlocks Mystery of Red Planet Life

physics and optical engineering

Students Honored for Excellence in Physics, Optical Engineering

physics and optical engineering
Image shows stage of Hatfield Hall with words Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology, 2020 Honors and Awards

Students Honored for Academic Achievements


Nothing in life is to be feared, it is only to be understood. Now is the time to understand more, so that we may fear less.

- Marie Curie

Polish-French chemist, physicist and Nobel Prize recipient

Facilities & Resources

We believe the best way to learn is by doing, so we place emphasis on lab work with a hands-on approach. Our teaching, research, and MiNDs laboratories, and observatory, are stocked with modern equipment. Here, you’ll have the opportunity for hands-on undergraduate research experiences that most schools reserve for graduate students.

Male student wearing goggles aims laser in optics lab.

Research Labs

Our photonics, fiber, acoustics, and semiconductor magneto-optics laboratories are equipped with leading edge technology for undergraduate and graduate research projects.

Two female students work with optics devices in a laboratory as male professor looks on.

Teaching Labs

Our state-of-the-art introductory physics laboratories have modern equipment to help you master the concepts you learn in the classroom.

Three students in clean room-style hair covers, face masks, and lab coats examine items in the laboratory.

MiNDs Lab

Starting as a freshman, our MiNDs laboratory will give you opportunities in the area of semiconductor and micro/nano technology through courses and hands-on experiments in fabrication, characterization and modeling of micro/nano devices and systems. There are numerous professors performing state of the art research with undergraduates within the cleanroom year round.

Large telescope in the foreground pointing at blue sky with other telescopes in background.

Oakley Observatory

Located just east of the main campus, Oakley Observatory is equipped for teaching, as well as conducting research in variable star photometry, searching for supernovae or searching for comets.

Dr. Duree poses with his book Optics for Dummies.

Dr. Galen Duree

Dr. Duree, head of the Department of Physics and Optical Engineering, joined the faculty of Rose-Hulman in 1999. His areas of expertise include photorefractive phenomena, nonlinear optics, laser physics, ultra-short pulse laser phenomena. He authored the book Optics for Dummies an "approachable introduction to optical science, methods, and applications."

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Contact Us

Department of Physics & Optical Engineering
Moench Hall CL106
5500 Wabash Avenue
Terre Haute, IN 47803

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