Todd J. Anderson, Ph.D. 1990


1990 Ph.D., Physics

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

"I received my PhD at the end of the Cold War which brought massive cuts to the R&D and Defense budgets resulting in the elimination of many conventional physics jobs in the private sector and a reduction of NSF, DOD grant funding, so I was forced to reinvent my career as an entrepreneur. The prestige and credibility of being a Duke graduate was very helpful in raising investment capital on both a regional and national level."

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

"Think outside the box of conventional academic career paths, there are just not that many tenure track faculty positions in the country and federal research lab staffing is relatively static. Some of my peers have had rewarding careers as "eternal post-docs"/senior researchers, but the low pay, funding uncertainty, and absence of job security sucks. There's a lot of opportunity for interesting, creative and challenging work in both the defense and non-defense tech sector."

Todd J Anderson