Zone 7 Spring Meeting

Share This:

SPS Zone Meeting

April 1, 2017

Flint, MI

Meeting host:

Society of Physics Students


Sally Dagher

SPS Chapter:

On April 1, 2017 Kettering University had the pleasure of hosting the 2017 SPS Zone 7 Meeting. Students from Kettering University, University of Michigan – Flint, Eastern Michigan University, and John Carroll University were in attendance at this meeting. These students participated in a day full of exciting events and networking where they were able to have fun while collaborating with other physics students in the region.

            The day began with registration and brunch where the attendees were able to meet the students from other universities. Following brunch was a networking session in which the students collaborated and analyzed what it is like to be a Physics student. They formed into groups of four and made a list of problems that Physics students typically encounter in their undergraduate experience. These topics ranged from the Physics GRE to a lack of diversity in the field. They were able to compare issues and concerns that paralleled between universities and most importantly, come up with solutions to these issues. This was a great way to connect with other members of the Physics community. In order to solve significant problems in the field of Physics, SPS members need to work together to help them succeed in what they love: physics!

            Next, the meeting attendees attended a Careers in Physics Panel Session with the panelists Professor Gillian Ryan and Nathaniel Mosher. Professor Gillian Ryan is an Assistant Professor of Physics at Kettering University who also enjoys mentoring undergraduate research students. Our other panelist, Nathaniel Mosher, is a Noise, Vibration, and Harshness (NVH) Engineer at Akebono Brake Corporation who pursued an Applied Physics degree at Kettering University. Professor Ryan was able to give us the perspective of an academic career path of a physicist, and Mr. Mosher gave us the perspective of a Physics major who participated in research during his undergrad curriculum but decided to pursue a career in the automotive industry. The students were very engaged and intrigued with the backgrounds of these two physicists; it was a successful panel session where the students were given many pieces of helpful advice for the future.

            The attendees of the meeting made their way to the Longway Planetarium in Flint, MI to watch a planetarium show called “STARS”. With a 52.5 foot dome, this planetarium is the largest planetarium in all of Michigan! The SPS members learned about the beautiful but destructive powers of stars in the universe. It was a great way to explore the city of Flint and learn more about the universe around us.

            The SPS Advisor at Kettering University, Professor Ronald Kumon, led the students into the different Physics labs at the university. They began in the newest research lab where Professor Ronald Tackett explained and demonstrated the functions of the new high-resolution transmission electron microscope (TEM).  The students were then introduced to the Optics and Photonics lab by Professor Cornel Rablau. Finally, they toured through the Acoustics Lab and saw various demonstrations there courtesy of Professor Kumon.

            The day’s activities ended with dinner followed with a plenary talk by Professor Kumon, an associate Physics professor at Kettering University and member of Sigma Pi Sigma. The title of his talk was “In Search of Targeted Cancer Treatment: Magnetic Fluid Hyperthermia and Ultrasound-Mediated Therapies”. His research focused on methods of destroying cancer cells with the use of magnetic nanoparticles. The students were intrigued by the possibilities resulting from the application of physics in the medical field. Professor Kumon thanked the Sally Dagher, Associate Zone Councilor for Zone 7, and the other local officers for their hard work in organizing the meeting. Professor Kumon observed that “The zone meeting was an excellent opportunity for students from the region to come together to network and learn more about Physics in an informal environment.”

            The 2017 SPS Zone 7 Meeting at Kettering University was an activity-packed day full of fun and networking. With the panel session and plenary talk, the students were able to gain knowledge about recent research in the field and achieve a better understanding of the possible career paths for a Physics graduate. Each attendee gained a stronger sense of belonging within SPS and better understanding of the national programs and opportunities SPS has to offer. With this, these SPS members can share the new knowledge and strengthened sense of belonging they gained back to their chapters at their universities. This meeting was a great success, and we hope that this enthusiasm carries over to next year's Zone 7 Meeting!

Attendees at the meeting visited the Longway Planetarium in Flint, MI to watch a show about stars.

Students during the lab tour visited the high-resolution transmission electron microscope (TEM) with the guidance of Prof. Ronald Tackett (Kettering University Physics).

The plenary speaker, Prof. Ronald Kumon, Associate Professor of Physics at Kettering University, spoke about his research on targeted cancer treatment.