October 13, 2022

FMU professor receives international physics award

FMU professor receives international physics award

A Francis Marion University physics professor has received an Excellence in Education Award from the American Physical Society, an internationally recognized physics organization.


Dr. Larry Engelhardt, professor of physics, was one of the recipients of the annual award given to exceptional individuals or teams for “sustained commitment to excellence in physics education.” Engelhardt is part of a six-member team working on an integrated computation in undergraduate physics education project funded by the National Science Foundation.


The American Physical Society (APS) is a nonprofit membership organization working to advance and diffuse the knowledge of physics through its outstanding research journals, scientific meetings, education, outreach, advocacy, and international activities. APS represents more than 50,000 members, including physicists in academia, national laboratories, and industry in the United States and throughout the world.


The citation for the award says Engelhardt and the group were recognized for “developing an active, inclusive, and supportive community of physics educators dedicated to integrating computation into their instruction; creating, reviewing, and disseminating instructional materials; and generating knowledge of computation in physics curricula and of effective practices.”


“This is the perfect recognition for one of our finest teachers,” said Dr. Fred Carter, president of FMU. “Since he arrived at the university in 2006, Larry has been the consummate scholar. Through his efforts, and those of his colleagues, our physics and engineering programs continue to grow in regional and national prominence – both for instruction and research.”


“This is a significant honor for Dr. Engelhardt and we’re proud of what he has achieved and continues to do for the FMU Physics and Engineering Department,” said department chair Dr. Derek Jokisch. “Dr. Engelhardt’s accomplishment demonstrates that our students are benefiting from the best professors in their fields.”


Francis Marion’s physics department produced its first cohort of mechanical engineering graduates in spring 2022. The department is awaiting a new $1 million workshop facility to be constructed on FMU’s main campus within the next year.


Engelhardt earned his undergraduate degree from Gustavus Adolphus College in St. Peter, MN in 2000, followed by a Ph.D. in Condensed Matter Physics in 2006 from Iowa State University, where he was a teaching assistant and worked as a lab assistant in Ames National Laboratory. In addition to teaching introductory physics courses and labs at FMU, Engelhardt also teaches quantum mechanics and computational physics.


He received FMU’s Distinguished Professor award in 2020, and the university’s Award for Excellence in Research and Scholarship in 2014.