Engineering and Physics Faculty and Staff
E-town faculty and current students help first-year students transition to college life.
Sara Atwood, PhD
Associate Professor of Engineering & Physics, Chair
Mechanical Engineering, Biomaterials
Sara Atwood received a B.A. and M.S. in Engineering Sciences from Dartmouth College and a Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering from the University of California at Berkeley. She is passionate about engaging underrepresented students in engineering education, teaching engineers in a liberal arts setting, and encouraging students to use engineering skills to make the world a better place.
Dr. Atwood believes that: students are capable of more than they think, when simultaneously challenged and supported; students are motivated to learn when the material is connected to their life experiences and interests; and students learn best when offered multiple opportunities for active practice with effective feedback. To accomplish these goals, she creates a classroom environment that engages students in activities, demonstrations, problem solving, and discussions of case studies and current events. She has won several teaching awards at Elizabethtown, including Faculty Merit for Teaching and Advising, Student Senate Engaging Educator nomination, Center for Civic and Community Engagement Faculty Award, and Emerging Scholars Faculty Mentor.
Her research interests in engineering education, biomedical design, and societal impact are implemented in and out of the classroom by bringing creativity and real-world examples into lectures and design projects, as well as offering undergraduates the opportunity to do research. Her engineering education research involves creativity in engineering education and retention, pedagogical methods to improve the confidence and performance of underrepresented students including women and first-generation individuals. Other research centers on materials and designs used in orthopaedic devices, and simple engineering solutions to help the disadvantaged, such as a vibrating therapy vest for cerebral palsy patients and mechanical devices to help the elderly. She has received over $750,000 in funding from the National Science Foundation, and has published multiple articles in the top engineering education and biomaterials journals.
Jean Batista Abreu, PhD
Assistant Professor of Engineering & Physics
Office: Esbenshade 161-C
Jean Batista Abreu earned his Ph.D. and M.S.E. at the Johns Hopkins University, M.S. at the University of Puerto Rico, and B.S.E. with Honors at the Pontificia Universidad Católica Madre y Maestra, all in Civil Engineering. Prior to joining Elizabethtown College, he served as a Visiting Assistant Professor of Mechanical and Civil Engineering at Bucknell University, and worked as a Structural Engineer at Acero Estrella.
In his courses, Dr. Batista constantly encourages, helps and challenges students to become engineering experts ready to face and solve real-world problems. He believes it is essential to help students connect the theories and principles discussed in class settings with realistic engineering projects and state-of-the-art research. Beyond the classroom, he enjoys mentoring students interested in developing their skills and willing to make contributions through engineering or multidisciplinary research projects.
Dr. Batista’s research focuses on understanding the response of metal structures under extreme conditions, such as elevated temperatures during a fire, or lateral loads due to wind. He uses experimental work and computational models to evaluate structures and subsequently develop analysis-based design recommendations and methods. His work has been published in prestigious engineering journals including Thin-Walled Structures and the Journal of Structural Engineering. Also, he regularly serves as a reviewer of manuscripts considered for publication.
He is originally from the Dominican Republic, and enjoys exploring nature, listening to live music, and helping others make effective plans to achieve academic and professional goals.
Kurt DeGoede, PhD
Engineering & Physics Professor
Program Coordinator for ABET-Accredited BS Engineering
Mechanical Engineering, Biomechanics
Kurt DeGoede completed his Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering at the University of Michigan, where his dissertation was recognized for Outstanding Research in Applied Mechanics and as a Distinguished Dissertation (top 1% among dissertations university-wide). Prior to entering the PhD program, he spent three years as a project manager at Ford Motor Company.
Dr. DeGoede has focused his research around multidisciplinary biomechanics projects, mentoring paid undergraduate research students each summer in basic science and applied research. The research team collaborates with colleagues in Occupational Therapy and local physicians. They have presented their work in human movement and injury biomechanics at the American Society of Biomechanics. Others have helped develop two clinical rehabilitation tools, with clinical trial results presented at the Hand Society of Hand Therapists and the Neuro-Developmental Treatment Association. The team collaborates with the College’s Social Enterprise Institute exploring opportunities to license these tools to rehabilitation clinics.
Dr. DeGoede has also developed a study abroad program in West Africa built around collaborative social enterprise projects. E-town students are partnering with students at the University of The Gambia to develop appropriate technologies and accompanying business plans for launching local start-up social businesses in West Africa. As of 2016, our first social enterprise pilot is up and running in The Gambia – selling affordable PV phone charges in rural Gambia.
An innovative educator, Dr. DeGoede has published several papers on teaching methods in engineering mechanics and capstone projects. He has been recognized multiple times for Faculty Merit Awards in all three categories: Teaching, Scholarship and Service, and several other service and mentoring awards. He mentors individual students through the college-wide leadership mentoring program and is the faculty mentor to the E-town student chapter of the ASME, the College Cycling Club, and the E-town Cross Country team.
Tomás Estrada, PhD
Associate Professor of Engineering & Physics,
Electrical Engineering, Control Systems
Office: Esbenshade 160-A
Phone: 717- 361-3755
Tomás Estrada, Associate Professor of Physics & Engineering, received a B.S. in Electrical Engineering from Universidad de Costa Rica in 2002, a M.S. in Electrical Engineering from the University of Notre Dame in 2005, and a Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering, also from the University of Notre Dame, in 2009.
Dr. Estrada firmly believes the faculty member needs to be a well-rounded teacher-scholar. He is deeply committed to fostering multi-disciplinary and holistic thinking in his students and to exemplifying it through his own scholarly work. His research interests include Systems and Controls, Engineering Education, Technology Entrepreneurship, and Sustainable Engineering Applications. He also serves as the advisor for FEAST (Future Energies and Sustainable Technologies) and the associate advisor for the Robotics and Machine Intelligence Club.
Dr. Estrada explains his approach to teaching by using concepts from engineering, presenting the educational process as a feedback control system. From this perspective, one can visualize the value of constant improvement, effective communication, robustness and flexibility, as well as holistic thinking in education. Dr. Estrada hopes his enthusiasm and commitment to his teaching vision will allow him to help his students develop not just into better professionals, but into more insightful thinkers and more well-rounded people.
Outside of engineering, Dr. Estrada enjoys writing novels and short stories. An avid soccer fan, Dr. Estrada serves as Academic Liaison for the Etown Men's Soccer Team and loves to participate in college intramurals.
Bill Gordon, DBA
Industrial Engineering, Supply Chain Operations
Office: Esbenshade 161-C
Phone: 717- 361-1563
Dr. Gordon graduated from Millersville State College in 1969 with a BA in mathematics and studied business management at LaSalle Extension University during the early 1970's. He obtained a MS degree in quality systems management from the National Graduate School of Quality Systems Management in 2011 and a DBA from American Meridian University in 2017. He attained quality engineering and six sigma black belt certifications; completed US Army courses in operations research and construction engineering; and completed a Masters Certificate program in Human Performance Improvement at PSU.
He began his career as a construction inspector and as a Quality Engineer. He held positions in manufacturing, business planning, international operations, marketing, and project management before returning to the quality field in 1997. While working with the PA Department of Transportation, Dr. Gordon gained practical experience with ISO 9001 and 14001, reengineering, and the Malcolm Baldrige Performance Excellence model. Assigned as the Quality Assurance Manager at the Construction Materials Testing Laboratory, he also co-led an asphalt industry collaborative where he spearheaded a research effort to investigate the process capability of asphalt production plants and paving operations.
>Dr. Gordon’s research interests include the application of experiential learning theory in engineering education, performance improvement in the Healthcare Industry, and the application of statistical process control to improve the management of processes.
Ilan Gravé, PhD
Associate Professor of Engineering & Physics
Electrical Engineering, Applied Physics
Office: Esbenshade 161-E
Phone: 717- 361-31563
Professor Gravé graduated in Physics and Electrical Engineering at Tel Aviv University, and received a Ph.D. in Applied Physics from Caltech in Pasadena, California. Prof. Gravé has worked for a number of years in high tech over the world, leading advanced projects in the aerospace and communication industries in Israel and in Europe. He has performed research in a number of fields in Physics and Engineering, publishing experimental and theoretical works in superconductivity, nonlinear optics, semiconductor quantum devices, infrared detectors, semiconductor lasers, medical signal processing and more. He has taught in Israel and at the University of Pittsburgh before his current appointment at Elizabethtown College.
"Teaching, together with research, is the great passion of my life. I usually teach topics that represent a strong challenge for students at all levels: such topics include Electromagnetism, Electronic Circuits, Quantum Mechanics, Semiconductor Devices and Optics. Students usually spend a lot of effort and time in reading, thinking, solving problems and proposing design solutions in these courses. Yet the rewards are gigantic! Learning and understanding the most important and advanced theories, the backbone of human scientific knowledge; mastering the latest tools in engineering design and technology; gaining proficiency in advanced mathematical methods… and more. And for us, the teachers, there are also many rewards: to see these young people, who just left their parents' home, start their big independent journey through life; explore their interests; push for their limits; find their professional path and their social place.”
"…. Who would have believed four years ago that this young student, sitting in that first-year class, silent and maybe afraid of asking questions, would complete such a thoughtful, complex and beautiful senior project? Who could have foreseen this professionalism, this self-assurance, this optimism, and this confidence? Yet the miracle keeps repeating itself year after year, and being a small part of that is for us, the teachers, the greatest reward…”
Nathaniel Hager III, PhD
Nathaniel Hager III, Research Scientist in the Department of Physics & Engineering, is originally from the Lancaster area. He received his B.S. from Lehigh University and M.S./Ph.D. in Physics from State University of New York at Binghamton. He was a Research Scientist at Armstrong World Industries research and development in Lancaster for 12 years. In 1994 he founded his own company, Material Sensing Instrumentation, Inc., and has since been working in research and high-tech product development under the US Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program.
Dr. Hager's research interests are in ultra-fast sensor analysis of materials. His dissertation was in low-temperature physics, using ballistic heat-pulse propagation to probe fundamental heat-transfer in liquid helium. His recent work involves Time-Domain-Reflectometry (TDR) Dielectric Spectroscopy, using TDR to probe molecular rotations in materials to monitor material processing. Specific projects include using TDR to monitor cure of composite polymers for the aerospace industry and hydration of concrete materials for the construction industry. In these areas he has received SBIRs from the US Army, the US Department of Commerce, and the National Science Foundation. Follow-on work has been pursued with Boeing, Bell Helicopter, W.R. Grace and others, as well as consulting with Armstrong, Halliburton, and companies in the display-technology, pharmaceutical, materials science, and wireless communications industries.
Dr. Hager teaches introductory Physics I and II and advanced electromagnetic theory. He regularly shares research in class, both to extend concepts developed during classroom discussion and to demonstrate the excitement in doing research. He also provides research opportunities for students in advanced undergraduate projects, which is often their first experience in solving problems with real-world implications. In additional to technical skills, students gain experience in business and funding issues necessary for real world occupations. Outside of work, Hager enjoys skiing, hiking, and photography.
Brenda Read-Daily, PhD, PE
Associate Professor of Engineering & Physics
Environmental Engineering, Civil, Water Treatment
Office: Esbenshade 160-D
Phone: 717- 361-1348
Brenda Read-Daily received a B.S. in Civil Engineering at Bradley University, a M.S. in Environmental Engineering at the University of Notre Dame, and a Ph.D. in Environmental Engineering also at the University of Notre Dame. During her graduate studies, she conducted multidisciplinary research combining microbiology with engineering design.
Her research interests include optimizing biological nutrient removal processes in agricultural drainage and wastewater treatment processes in order to mitigate pollution. She is currently developing undergraduate research opportunities examining nitrogen removal in tile drainage systems. She also has general interests in sustainable water resource management and engineering education.
Dr. Read-Daily believes that studying engineering and physics provides students with an exciting and unique lens through which to view the world. Given the many engineering challenges facing our global society, her desire is to show her students how they can use their scientific and engineering skills to make a difference. Her goal is to show students how to master small steps so that they can solve big problems.
Michael A Scanlin, PhD, P.G.
Professor of Engineering & Geosciences
Geophysics and Engineering
Office: Esbenshade 184
Phone: 717- 361-1323
Michael A. Scanlin, Professor of Geosciences and Engineering, received an A.B. in Physics from Franklin & Marshall College, and M.S. in Geophysics, and Ph.D. in Geosciences from the Pennsylvania State University.
He is a licensed Professional Geologist in the commonwealth of Pennsylvania. He was formerly a senior executive at R.E. Wright Environmental Inc., UGI Corporation, and Chevron USA where his primary responsibilities were in the areas of resource exploration and environmental project management.
His current academic research interests include: delineation of the subsurface structure and tectonic mechanisms of the Appalachian fold-thrust belt using seismic imagery, and the utilization of near-surface geophysical methods for engineering & environmental site characterization.
He teaches earth system science and engineering geophysics. His personal teaching philosophy emphasizes an understanding of the context and relevance of scientific inquiry and development of critical observational and thinking skills.
W. Mark Stuckey, PhD
Professor of Physics
Physics and Cosmology
Professor Stuckey earned his PhD in physics from the University of Cincinnati in 1987. His PhD thesis was in general relativistic cosmology, which is the field he published in until 1994 and occasionally referees in to this day.
In 1994, Professor Stuckey began study of foundational physics which spawned a new interpretation of quantum physics called Relational Blockworld (RBW). This interpretation has since spawned a new approach to unification and quantum gravity (“theory X” in the foundations community). He has published papers on RBW in Foundations of Physics (2008, 2013) and Studies in History & Philosophy of Modern Physics (2008). RBW has been presented worldwide to include New Directions in the Foundations of Physics, American Institute of Physics (2005), Time-Symmetry in Quantum Mechanics, University of Sydney Centre for Time (2005), Endophysics, Time, Quantum and the Subjective, Bielefeld University (2005), Foundations of Probability and Physics 4, Växjö University (2006), Quantum Structures, Malta (2006), Projective Geometries, Slovak Academy of Sciences (2007), The Clock and the Quantum: Time and Quantum Foundations, Perimeter Institute (2008), The Search for Fundamental Theories, Imperial College (2010), Hiley Symposium, Helsinki (2010), Philosophy of Science Association, Montreal (2010), Retrocausality in Quantum Mechanics, University of Miami (2012), Foundations of Physics 2013, Munich Center for Mathematical Philosophy (2013). Theory X has consequences for cosmology as shown in a paper in Classical & Quantum Gravity (2012). Specifically, theory X suggests a modification of Regge calculus cosmology (MORC) which provides a fit of the Union2 supernova data equal to that of the reigning cosmology model ΛCDM. In contrast to ΛCDM, the MORC universe is decelerating and there is no need for dark energy. This is in direct contradiction to the citation for the 2011 Nobel Prize in Physics which reads, “for the discovery of the accelerating expansion of the Universe through observations of distant supernovae.” An essay explaining this outcome won Honorable Mention in the Gravity Research Foundation 2012 Awards for Essays on Gravitation and was published in International Journal of Modern Physics D (2012).
Professor Stuckey has broad intellectual interests and has taught astronomy, cosmology, philosophy of science, differential geometry, acoustics, science & religion, partial differential equations, numerical methods, and neuropsychology, as well as traditional areas of physics, e.g., introductory physics, advanced laboratory, quantum mechanics, general & special relativity, electromagnetism, and mechanics.
Joseph Wunderlich, PhD
Computer Engineering Program Coordinator (ABET-Accredited BS), Architectural Studies Minor Coordinator
1984 BS Architectural Engineering, U Texas
1992 M.Eng. Engineering Science, Penn State
1996 PhD Electrical Engineering, U Delaware
Additionally, a Physics grad at San Francisco State (1 year), and 39 credits of 2nd BS in Urban Design at UC San Diego.
Dr. Wunderlich's career over the past 30 years spans both Architecture and Computer Engineering, with Architectural projects in Texas, California, and Pennsylvania, and with Computer Engineering experience in IBM supercomputer development, at the University of Trento in Italy as visiting graduate school professor, and at Purdue University as an Assistant Professor.
Dr Wunderlich recently founded Elizabethtown College programs in Environmental Engineering (BS), and Architectural Studies (Minor) ; and has recently combined Architecture and Computer Engineering in publications and presentations in Japan and England.
Associate Professor of Engineering Emeritus
Engineering, Physics, Meteorology
Phone: 717- 361-1392
Students will tell you they hear me say, "The future is now." Our philosophy in Engineering & Physics is to expose students so broadly to the world around them that they will have built an impressive resume before they graduate. Such a philosophy is born of the fact that each of our faculty has relevant experience outside of academics as well as a solid academic background.
My educational background includes a degree in Mechanical Engineering; three graduate residencies at MIT (13 semesters but just short of the Ph.D.) studying with such intellectual giants as Ed Lorenz (the "father" of Chaos Theory); and other graduate studies in business management.
Teaching at Elizabethtown College is, for me, "Career-Three." Career-One was US Air Force officer (operational assignments plus teaching for six years in the Physics Department at the USAF Academy). Career-Two was engineering: having fun with product and machine design, productivity improvement, and engineering management – lots of person-to-person interaction. But now, being at Elizabethtown in Career-Three is absolutely the best: You see, I believe one achieves the greatest of blessings while giving ("It is more blessed to give than receive"), so helping students into academic, social, and intellectual maturity, and mentoring them in professional bearing all provide the ultimate of satisfaction.
Engineering & Physics Administrative Assistant
Office: Esbenshade 160
Phone: 717- 361-1392
Jennifer started at Elizabethtown College in April 2008. Since working at the college, Jennifer was the administrative assistant in the Middle State (college-wide) and ABET (department – Engineering & Computer Engineering) accreditation, both of which were accredited.
On campus she is involved in CAAP, Campus Associate of Administrative Professionals, where she served as President in 2009 – 2010 and Vice President in 2013 - 2014, and served as a member of the EWT, Employee Wellness Team. Prior to working at the college, she worked at a real estate office in E-town as a Client Care Specialist and Realtor. Jennifer earned her earned associate’s degrees in Secretarial Studies and Bible from Lancaster Bible College in May 2004.
Manager of Engineering Laboratories & Student Fabrication
Office: Esbenshade 174
Phone: 717- 361-4769
Mark worked 16 years as a manufacturing engineer, first with the former Raymark Corp., then with RCA – New Products Division, K-D Tools, Universal Friction, and FCI Electronics, all in south-central Pennsylvania.
For the next nine years, he was self-employed as owner of Ground Crew Property Maintenance Inc., a small, full-service lawn/ landscape company operating in the Hempfield and Manheim Township areas of Lancaster County, Pa. He earned a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from The Pennsylvania State University, graduating with distinction in 1983. Mark is registered with the State of Pennsylvania as a Certified Commercial Pesticide Applicator and as an Engineer-in-Training.