Faculty and Staff

Physics Faculty

Dr. Andrew G. Baruth, Associate Professor, joined us in July 2012. Andrew's research interests include directed self-assembly of block copolymers for nanolithography, nanomagnetism and magnetic heterostructures, as well as developing low cost, earth abundant, sulfide-based photovoltaic thin films. He studied at Doane College and the University of Nebraska - Lincoln. He did post-doctoral work at the University of Minnesota. He is currently teaching General Physics, Introduction to Solar Energy, History and Technology in the Modern World, Installation and Maintenance of Photovoltaic Systems, Convection and Passive Solar Energy Systems, Seminar in Engineering, and Introduction to Photovoltaic Materials.

Dr. Gintaras Duda, Professor (and department chair) joined the faculty in 2003. Dr. Duda became chair of the physics department in 2016. His research interests are in the field of astro-particle physics, an interdisciplinary field which attempts to solve problems in astronomy using particle physics solutions. He is interested in such problems as the characterization and detection of dark matter, high energy cosmic ray showers, and the physics of massive neutrinos, all of which are explored through computer based calculations as well as pencil and paper theory. Gintaras is currently teaching general physics and quantum mechanics. Gintaras studied at UCLA.
 
Dr. Andrew Ekpenyong

Dr. Andrew Ekpenyong, Assistant Professor. Fr Andrew joined the faculty in 2014. He teaches Quantum Mechanics, Radiation Dosimetry, Nuclear Instruments and Methods as well as General Physics. His research is in the field of biomedical physics with a translational focus. For instance, he has developed microfluidic mimetics enabling in vitro modelling of the human pulmonary microcirculation with potential impact on the clinical management of lung diseases, inflammatory disorders and cancer metastasis. A Creighton alumnus, Fr Andrew earned his PhD from the University of Cambridge, UK, and did postdoctoral work at Technische Universität, Dresden, Germany.

Dr. Gabel
Dr. Jack Gabel, Associate Professor, joined the faculty in 2006. He teaches astrophysics, electricity and magnetism, general physics and astronomy.  His research field is astrophysics, with his recent efforts focused on quasar accretion and outflow processes using ultraviolet, optical and infrared spectra from the Hubble Space Telescope and large ground-based observatories.  He is the director of the Creighton Robotic Telescope Facility.  Jack did his graduate studies at The Catholic University of America and undergraduate studies at Creighton.
Dr. Michael G. Nichols, Professor. Mike teaches physical optics, optics lab, laser physics, physics in medicine, and introduction to biological physics. He has been Director of the Graduate Program since 2011. His research interests include biophysics, medical physics and the application of lasers and physical optics to problems in medicine and biology. He studied at Harvey Mudd College and the University of Rochester, and was an NIH Postdoctoral fellow at Cornell University prior to joining the faculty at Creighton.
 
Dr. Janet E. Seger, Professor was the Department Chairperson from 2006-2016, having been co-chairman for the department since 2000. Janet teaches general physics, modern physics and is part of the high energy research group. Recently her research effort has been focused on ultra-peripheral heavy ion collisions measured by the STAR collaboration at RHIC. She studied at Grinell College and the University of Wisconsin, Madison.

Dr. David L. Sidebottom, Professor. David joined us in 2002. Before coming to Omaha he was an Associate Research Professor at the Univeristy of New Mexico and Sandia National Labs. David is currently the Assistant Chairman, and teaches general physics and electricity and magnetism and is active in his material science research lab. His research efforts concern the material properties of glasses, including the fundamental dyanmics of the glass transition and the technological application of glasses. David studied at Kansas State University.

Dr. Patricia Soto, Associate Professor. Patricia joined Creighton in August 2007. Her research interests are focused on understanding the biophysical principles that govern protein dynamics by using computer simulations. Patricia did her undergraduate studies in Colombia, her home country; her graduate studies in The Netherlands and post-graduate training at University of California-Santa Barbara.

Dr. Wong
Dr. Thomas G. Wong, Assistant Professor. Tom joined the department in 2017, and he teaches general physics and quantum mechanics. His research is on quantum computing, which utilizes quantum systems in order to solve problems faster than traditional computers. Tom completed his undergraduate studies at Santa Clara University, graduate studies at the University of California, San Diego, and postdoctoral research at the University of Latvia and the University of Texas at Austin.
 

Dr. Jonathan Wrubel, Assistant Professor, joined the faculty in 2012.  His research is in the field of ultracold atomic physics and Bose-Einstein condensates.  The BEC is a gaseous state of matter that forms at temperatures less than a millionth of a degree above absolute zero.  Jonathan is interested in the physics of interactions between these quantum superfluids, which are present in what are called spinor BECs.  He is also keenly interested in issues of science and faith.  Jonathan studied at Cornell University, with postdoctoral work at Harvard University and the National Institute of Standards and Technology.

 

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Adjunct Faculty

Mr. David J. Kriegler teaches astronomy. Dave studied at the University of Nebraska at Omaha.

Mr. David R. Stuva teaches general physics. Dave studied at Creighton University.

Emeritus and Retired Faculty

Dr Michael G. Cherney, Professor. Mike taught general physics, nuclear physics, and quantum mechanics. He retired in Spring 2016 but continues his research as the head of the high-energy research group. He studied at Marquette and the University of Wisconsin, Madison.

Dr. Sam J. Cipolla, Professor Emeritus was the director of our physics graduate program from 1981 - 2011. Sam retired in 2011, after 42 years of service to the physics department and Creighton University. Sam taught general physics and nuclear instruments and methods, and does research in atomic physics. Most recently this has included modeling of solar proton-induced x-ray production on inter-planetary bodies. He studied at Purdue University.

Rev. Thomas S. McShane, S.J., Assistant Professor, retired. Fr. McShane taught electronics for many years before he retired in 2013. He is part of the high energy nuclear physics research group. His diverse research interests include Cosmic Ray Astrophysics and Cellular Automata. He studied at St. Louis University.

Dr. Thomas H. Zepf, Professor Emeritus. Tom retired at the end of the 2001-2002 academic year after 40 years of service to the physics department and Creighton University. Tom chaired the physics department from 1963 to 1973 and from 1981 to 1993. From 1975 to 1981 he was chief health professions advisor for the College of Arts and Sciences. Tom received Creighton University's Distinguished Faculty Service Award in 1987 and the Dean's Award for Excellence in Teaching in 1997. His research focused on condensed matter physics and laser optics. During retirement Tom served 3-year terms as president and as vice president of the Creighton Retirees Organization and as the representative for retirees on the University Benefits Committee. Tom did his undergraduate studies at Xavier University in Cincinnati and his graduate studies at Saint Louis University.

 

Staff

Jolene Peterson
Jolene Peterson Administrative Assistant, returned to us in 2014 as the contact for both the Physics Department and the Energy Technology Program.

 

Brad Walters
Mr. Brad D. Walters, Science Research Technician since 1990.

 

Some Old Friends

Here you will find our "old friends" who have helped guide and shape the Physics Department over the years. Many were on short term contracts until additional tenure track positions could be made available. We are deeply indebted to the service of these individuals:

Ms. Katherine E. Becker (1988-1997) is retired in Omaha.

Mrs. Nancy Blazek (1996-1998)

Dr. Jan T. M. Chrin (1994-1999) is now at the Nuclear Research Institute in Switzerland.

Dr. K. Michael Davies (1969-1992) is engaged in osteoporosis research at the Creighton Medical School.

Dr. Alan J. DeWeerd (1996-1998) now teaches at the University of Redlands.

Dr. Donald N. Gideon (1949-1953) works at Battelle Memorial Institute.

Mr. Jeffrey J. Gross (1995-1996) is now a computer controls engineer in Des Moines, IA.

Dr. Tyler Gruber (1998-1999) works at Columbian Chemicals Company in Marietta, GA.

Dr. Phuoc Ha (2001-2003) now teaches at Towson University in Baltimore, MD.

Dr. Lenore Horner (1999-2001) now teaches at southern Illinois University at Edwardsville.

Dr. P. K. John (1963-1964) is at the University of Western Ontario in London, Ontario.

Mrs. Bonnie J. Kelley (1975-2003) has now retired. Bonnie was Department secretary for 28 years.

Dr. Semih S. Kumru (1996-1997) is an assistant professor of physics at the U.S. Air Force Academy.

Mr. Basil N. Lazure (1946-) is retired in Omaha.

Dr. Roger Loucks (1998-2001) now teaches at Alfred University in NY

Dr. David P. Maloney (1977-1987) is at the University of Indiana-Purdue in Fort Wayne, Indiana.

Dr. Hai Nguyen (2016-2017) is at Tennessee Wesleyan University.

Mrs. Michelle Pope (2003-2011) is now an administrative assistance in Classical and Modern Languages.

Rev. John M. Scott, S.J. (Summer Sessions in the 1950's and 1960's) lives in the Creighton University Jesuit Community where he continues to be a prolific author of popular books and articles on science and religion.

Dr. Dion W. J. Shea (1966-1968) is in the department of graudate development for CUNY.

Mr. Robert F. Stoffel(1968 - 2010) is retired and living in Iowa. Bob started as Physics Shop Technician in 1968 and then served as laboratory manager from 1987-2010.

Dr. Paul E. Wack (1947-1950) is at the University of Portland in Portland, Oregon.

Rev. Clarence M. Wagener, S.J. (1959-d.2000)

Dr. Robert J. Whitaker (1959-1960) is at Southwest Missouri State University at Springfield, Missouri.

Dr. Scott Williams (2015-2017)

Rev. M. John Wymelenberg, S.J. (1962-1977) lives at the Creighton University Jesuit Community and does pastoral work.

Dr. Yuri Gorbunov ( -2011)

Dr. Kithsiri Jayananda ( -2011)

Energy Technology Program Faculty and Staff

Mr. Larry Hopp, Director of Energy Technology Program, joined us in January of 2014 following a 41 year career as a civil engineer in the construction industry.  Larry teaches the sustainable energy senior capstone classes, sustainability in the built environment, internship, and seminar in engineering.  Larry studied at Iowa State University.

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