Robert T. Engelhardt, M.A. 1990, Ph.D. 1995

Lecturer in Physics, Tennessee Tech University – Cookeville, TN

1995 Ph.D., Physics; 1990 M.A., Physics

How has being a Physics graduate from Duke helped shape you personally and/or professionally?

"The reputation of the research group and advisor that I had while completing my Ph.D. certainly opened doors for me to get my first post-doc position outside of Duke, as well as opportunities for a second position. I suppose the struggles to survive the first two years of classes, qualifying exams, gather useful data, complete my dissertation and defend it, all strengthened some resolve to make use of all the effort and setbacks. My career path has certainly not been smooth, in part due to being in a dual Ph.D. partnership, but in retrospect, I am satisfied with the result (currently a Lecturer in Physics)."

What advice would you give students in Duke's Physics programs? 

"Take all of your courses seriously. You may have a planned research direction at the moment, but opportunities may come your way that you never anticipated. Don't try to go it alone. Physics is a difficult subject and seek out help from fellow students, TAs, and Professors when you have tried to understand something, but it just doesn't click. Sometimes, a little nudge from another viewpoint can help make things clear."

Robert T Engelhardt