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Welcome to the OSU Physics Alumni Page!

At last count there were nearly 2500 living Physics Alumni all around the world.  We would love to stay in touch with each one of you and welcome you to visit us in the beautiful Physics Research Building any time you are on campus or drop us a line or email to stay connected.

To honor faculty and staff who have passed away, an In Memoriam page has been created to provide information and a place for past students and friends to share their memories. In addition, you will find an In Memoriam section on the People page.

Learn more about the history of the department here:

Distinguished Alumni


Greg Kestin

Greg Kestin, a 2008 Ohio State alumnus, holds a faculty position at Harvard University, where he conducts theoretical physics research, teaches, and produces educational online content. He earned his physics Ph.D. from Harvard, as a member of The Center for the Fundamental Laws of Nature, focusing on theoretical particle physics and quantum field theory. Over his career, he has also conducted research in nuclear physics, fusion energy, and gravitational wave physics. 

For over a decade he has been involved with innovative educational outreach endeavors, bringing science to both students and members of the public through writing, video, animation, multimedia, and public lectures.

Recently, he has worked with the research team for the PBS program NOVA researching show content, consulting on scientific content, fact checking, interviewing scientists, assisting in short film production, as well as writing documentary storylines, articles, social media content, and grant proposals. He has worked on content ranging from meteorology and technological innovation to math and black holes.


Sailesh Chittipeddi MS Physics ’87; PhD Physics ’88; San Jose, CA

Dr. Sailesh Chittipeddi became Executive Vice President and General Manager of IoT and Infrastructure Business Unit of Renesas in July 2019.  Renesas is a Japanese company involved with research, development, design, manufacture, sale, and servicing of semiconductor products. Before joining Renesas, he served IDT’s Executive Vice President of Global Operations and CTO, with an additional focus on corporate growth and differentiation.  Prior to joining IDT, Dr. Chittipeddi was President and CEO of Conexant Systems and served on its Board of Directors.  Began his career at AT & t Bell labs. Dr. Chittipeddi has earned 64 U.S. patents related to semiconductor process, package and design, and has had nearly 40 technical articles published.







Tim Xia, MS Physics ’86; PhD Physics ’90; Atlanta, GA, Arts and Sciences Deans Advisory Council

Tim Tingkang Xia, Ph.D. devotes his practice to foreign and U.S. intellectual property and corporate matters, devising unique solutions for their matters. Dr. Xia counsels clients in all phases of intellectual property law, including U.S. and foreign patents, trademark and copyright prosecution, patentability, clearance, infringements, validity, licensing, patent portfolio development and management, and litigation. Dr. Xia is a Co-Chair of the Firm's International Transactional Practice where he also focuses on significant international corporate matters.

An internationally known legal strategist, Dr. Xia has represented clients in significant matters involving various U.S. Governmental agencies, including the: Committee on Foreign investment in the United States (CFIUS), Department of Justice (DOJ), Department of Commerce, Office of Export Enforcement (OEE), Internal Revenue Service (IRS), Federal Communications Commission (FCC), U.S. Securities arid Exchange Commission (SEC), U.S. Department of Homeland Security, and U.S. Customs and Border Protection. In particular, Dr. Xia has counseled Chinese clients in the unique issues they face when entering, expanding and sustaining their businesses in the United States. Dr. Xia has prepared and prosecuted more than 5,000 patent applications in a variety of areas, including telecommunications, optics, mechanical and electronic devices, nanotechnologies, liquid crystal display devices, MEMS devices, lasers, quantum spin devices, semiconductors, biotechnologies, medical devices, e-commerce, firmware, software, heavy machinery, toner cartridges and toners, chemical compounds and emerging green energy technologies.


Michael Coughlin MS Physics ’69  MBA ’70  Mission Hills, KS

Mike Coughlin is the founder of ScriptPro, and president, CEO, and CFO of the company.  The company’s initial product, the SP 200 Robotic Prescription Dispensing System, pioneered the use of robotics in community pharmacies. Today, ScriptPro offers a comprehensive line of over 150 pharmacy automation and management system products that have revolutionized pharmacy operations in the U.S., Canada, and many other countries.

  • ScriptPro products operate in thousands of independent, chain, hospital, supermarket, and government pharmacies. Many large pharmacy chains have standardized operations around the ScriptPro robotic model. Leading hospitals use ScriptPro systems to ensure accuracy and patient safety. Hundreds of VA, Department of Defense, and public health system hospitals rely on ScriptPro's robotics-enabled workflow to care for their patients. The DoD deploys ScriptPro telepharmacy equipment at medical facilities around the world to make pharmacists available wherever needed.




Rear Admiral (ret.) Francis W. Lacroix reflects on his time in Physics at OSU in AU 2015 Physics Magazine

Featured in the Physics Magazine, Rear Admiral (ret.) Francis W. Lacroix ('67) shared his pride in his OSU education particularly in Physics.  Read more about Frank's interesting life and career in the U.S. Navy at https://physics.osu.edu/Lacroix.








William R Riley

The William R Riley Excellence in Teaching Physics Award

Norman Gearhart (M.S. '69, Ph.D., '73) and Carolyn Piper Gearhart have again shown their generosity to Physics and Ohio State with the establishment of the "William R. Riley Excellence in Teaching Physics Award" in honor of emeritus faculty member William R. "Bill" Riley.  This annual award will be given to a graduate teaching associate who exemplifies excellence in the teaching of physics.  The inaugural award was given to Daniel Kestner who was unable to attend the ceremony due to teaching a class!

President Gordon Gee stopped by immediately following the announcement of the award at the May 26, 2011 Physics Department picnic.  He is pictured here with Chair, Jim Beatty, William R. "Bill" Riley, Rev. Carolyn Piper Gearhart and Dr. Norman Gearhart).


Caren Undergraduate Research Scholarship Awarded

Drs. Chris (BS '53, MS '54, PhD '61) and Linda Caren were honored at the physics picnic by Chair Jim Beatty to celebrate their generous gift establishing a summer undergraduate research scholarship. Jake Connors and Tom Byvank were selected by the Undergraduate Studies Committee as the first Caren Research Scholars.





McMaster Family Creates Scholarship

The Harold and Helen McMaster Family Foundation  made a $100,000 commitment to support a scholarship in memory of Harold McMaster (MS '39). The Harold McMaster Scholarship Fund will support high-ability undergraduate students from the state of Ohio (where Harold resided the majority of his life) who are currently enrolled in classes and intend to major in physics or students with a currently declared major in physics.

Mr. McMaster received a combined master’s degree in physics, mathematics, and astronomy from Ohio State. He started his own company, Glasstech, which made him the world authority on glass tempering. In 1940 he designed the McMaster Rotary Engine (MRE), which is one-third lighter than the typical car engine. He passed away August 25, 2003.