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Professor Mohindar Singh Seehra Retires

After 47 year service as a faculty member at WVU. Prof. Seehra has retired effective August 16, 2016. During this period, he directed the research of 65 students (14 Ph.D. dissertations, 29 MS theses and 22 postdocs) using funds provided by over 50 research grants and published over 300 research papers, many of them jointly with his students. Broadly, his research focus has been in magnetic, dielectric and nanomaterials and their applications. The above photograph was taken at the May 2016 commencement with his last 3 Ph.D. students (L to R: Dr. Zhengjun Wang now postdoc at Georgia Tech, Prof. Seehra, Dr. Kelly Pisane now employed at Nokomis Inc., and Dr. Vishal Narang, now a postdoc at CUNY, NY). Prof. Seehra has an enviable ability to produce exceptionally successful graduate students and postdocs. Many have gone on to win national research awards, succeed in faculty positions, and rise to significant positions in industry.

Professor Seehra received his early education in India (B.S. degree: Punjab University; M.S. degree: Aligarh University). He joined WVU as an Assistant Professor of Physics in July 1969 after receiving his Ph.D. from the University of Rochester, Rochester (NY). He was promoted to an Associate Professor in 1973 and to full Professor in 1977. In January 1992, he was appointed as an Eberly Family Distinguished Professor of Physics. His honors based on excellence in research and scholarship include: Alfred P. Sloan Foundation Research Fellow (1974-1976); Fellow of the American Physical Society (1984-present); Fellow of the Institute of Physics, United Kingdom (2001-present); and “Outstanding Referee” Award of the American Physical Society in 2010. From WVU, he received the Outstanding Researcher Award of the College of Arts and Sciences in 1985 and the Mary Catherine Buswell Award in 2015 for advancement of the careers of women graduate students and postdocs under his mentorship.

A superb educator, he taught courses at all levels: Engineering Physics; undergraduate courses in Thermodynamics, Classical Mechanics, Quantum Mechanics, Modern Physics, Modern Lab and Introductory Solid State Physics; Graduate level courses in Classical Mechanics, Quantum Mechanics and Solid State Physics; and Special Topic Courses in Phases Transitions, X-ray Diffraction, Magnetism and Magnetic Resonance. His ability and willingness to teach a variety of courses at the undergraduate and graduate levels combined with his mentorship of many graduate students and postdocs in research contributed greatly to the advancement of the graduate research program of the Physics Department over the years. As an example of his passion for research and graduate education at WVU, in 2012 he generously established an endowment for the Seehra Research Award which is now given annually to one or two graduate students who have published high quality research papers in peer-reviewed journals.

As an Emeritus Professor, Prof. Seehra continues to remain active in some research and writing. He is now editing two books, the first on “Spinels” and the second on “Nanostructured Materials”. The books are due for publication in 2017. We wish Professor Seehra a wonderful and enjoyable ‘retirement’ with good health and happiness.

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