WVU Space Plasma Physics Job OpeningThe West Virginia University Department of Physics and Astronomy is seeking applications for a Assistant or Associate Professor faculty position in Space Plasma Physics with a specialization in experiment and/or instrumentation.
Submit an application for the position at this link.
This webpage serves to provide you with additional information about the position, the department, and some local flavor. Whether you have previously been to Morgantown before or not, we think you’ll find something to surprise you!
The Current WVU Space Plasma Physics Research Program
Plasma Physics page with list of Faculty and Research Areas
WVU Plasma and Space Physics Current Postdocs, Graduate Students, and Undergraduate Students
WVU Plasma and Space Physics Alumni
WVU Plasma and Space Physics Theses and Dissertations
WVU Plasma and Space Physics Internal Reports
WVU MAE's Piyush Mehta Website
Available Laboratory Facilities
White Hall has a 750 square feet of laboratory space ready for immediate occupancy for a new hire (pictured below). In addition, a clean room bay is immediately available for building space flight instruments in a high cleanliness environment. An existing laboratory space is currently in use for fabrication of sub-orbital rocket payload instruments and CubeSat instruments. That laboratory includes a flight-certified soldering station for electronics assembly and test equipment for space flight instrumentation. WVU has successfully launched over a dozen instruments through the RockSat program and two instruments on the STF-1 CubeSat mission (launched in 2019).
Plasma Physics Courses at WVU
Recently, the curriculum
was changed to better suit the needs of the students, which has vastly expanded
in space sciences. Computational plasma physics is now incorporated into the
MHD and kinetic theory courses. This allowed 782 to be switched out, and
special topics courses on Plasma Diagnostics and Partially Ionized Plasmas were
offered. In Fall 2018, a special topics course called Solar and Space Physics
was offered. The first time it was offered, there were 20 students in the
course. Additional information about the plasma curriculum are at the link below.
Morgantown is centrally located and regularly makes “Best Place to Live” lists because of its good schools, excellent health care, low unemployment rate, low crime rate, and abundant recreational opportunities.The Morgantown entry on "Top 100 Best Places to Live" list
Diversity, Equity, and Inclusivity (DEI)
Departmental Achievements in Diversity
Departmental Activities in Equity and Inclusivity
The APS Bridge Program
The APS Bridge Program is
“an effort to increase the number of physics PhDs awarded to
underrepresented minority (URM) students, including African American, Hispanic
American, and Native American students” (quoted from their website).
Institutions aspiring to conform to best practices in admissions, mentoring and
advising of URM, etc., may apply to be a Bridge Program. There are two levels
for this – a “Member Institution” and a “Partnership Institution”. A Member Institution is one that is “actively
working to improve diversity in the physics community,” supports the Bridge
Program mission, and commits to providing annual diversity data to APS. In
March of 2019, the WVU Department of Physics and Astronomy was named a Member
Institution. Partnership Institution status is for departments “that have
demonstrated that they will provide a supportive, bridge-like treatment of
students,” including active mentorship. The Department of Physics and Astronomy
has submitted an application to become a Partnership Institution.
University Initiatives in DEI
WVU obtained a $3.8M NSF ADVANCE Institutional Transformation (IT) grant in 2010. The NSF ADVANCE program “seeks to develop systemic approaches to increase the participation and advancement of women in academic STEM careers.” The project ran with NSF support through 2018, when the WVU Office of the Provost began fully funding the WVU ADVANCE Center, an interdisciplinary research and practice unit for faculty equity. The center has an innovative direct engagement approach to institutional change that has yielded the following achievements: (1) The creation of an institutional culture of systematic data collection and sharing, and tracking institutional trends to inform organizational decision-making, (2) institutionalized policies and resources that support work-life integration, (3) transparent and inclusive recruitment and evaluation practices, (4) better mentoring of faculty, (5) leadership programs that promote and sustain diversity, (6) significant improvements in the hiring of female faculty in targeted STEM and social and behavioral science (SBS) units, (7) significant increases in the number and percentage of female faculty in STEM and SBS disciplines who have reached the rank of Professor, (8) the development of Dialogues, a replicable, cost effective, and efficient facilitation process promoting gender equity and diversity through collective engagement, increased inclusivity, team-building, productivity, and effectiveness for members of academic work units, and (9) an active social science research team generating new knowledge around each of the core initiatives.
The WVU ADVANCE Center continues to expand initiatives promoting an inclusive, diverse, and equitable academic community, to grow institutions and faculty members involved in Dialogues, collaborate with other institutions on issues of broadening participation, and pilot and assess the impact of new initiatives, and engaging faculty members, groups, and leaders in ways that enhance organizational capacity.WVU ADVANCE Center
History of the WVU Space Plasma Physics Research Program
Brief History of WVU and the Physics DepartmentShortly after West Virginia became a state, the
Agricultural College of West Virginia was founded in 1867 using the 1862
Morrill Land-Grant Colleges Act [Pavlovic,
2011]. The following year, it was renamed WVU. What is now called the Eberly
College of Arts and Sciences (ECAS) formed in 1895; what is now called the
Statler College of Engineering and Mineral Resources formed in 1887. The
graduate school was established in 1930. The research output of WVU has
steadily increased; in 2016, WVU was named an R1 school in the Carnegie
Classification of Institutions of Higher Education, indicating the highest
level of research activity, accomplished by only 115 institutions that year.
WVU’s R1 status was reaffirmed in 2018, moving into the top 90.
Physics became a separate department in 1897, and
its Ph.D. program began in 1958 [Wright,
2008]. In 2013, the department was renamed the Department of Physics and
Astronomy. Mirroring the rise of the research profile of the institution, the
department has steadily increased research activity since 1958. The department
now hosts over 30 faculty, nine of which are fellows of major organizations, with
research specialties in condensed matter, astronomy, plasma and space physics,
physics education research, and biophysics. The Department’s US News and World
Report ranking is 100, but the department reached 59th nationwide in
federal research expenditures in 2018 according to the Higher Education
Research and Development Survey compiled by NSF.
Did you know?
The Senator who created the National Science Foundation (NSF) was from West Virginia and attended WVU’s law school?
Hidden Figures, the true story of African American scientists making crucial contributions to NASA missions, has an interesting connection to WVU – Katherine Johnson helped break the color barrier as a student at WVU and Dorothy Vaughn went to elementary school at a building across from WVU.
Golden delicious apples were developed in West Virginia.