Aaron Reinhard, assistant professor of physics and interim director of the systems engineering program at Otterbein University, said he loves to discover how things work.
“I find the most satisfaction in applying basic ideas in math, physics or logic to understand a complex system,” he said. “I enjoy designing an electric circuit or mechanical part and seeing it become part of a more complex whole. I like using the things I’ve created help me understand something fundamental about the way the universe works.”
Reinhard earned undergraduate degrees in both physics and electrical engineering from Valparaiso University. He then earned his doctorate degree in physics from the University of Michigan, where he studied the interactions among ultracold, highly-excited atoms. He is also a postdoctoral research associate at Pennsylvania State University, studying ultracold atoms in optical lattices, and was hired by Otterbein in 2012.
According to Reinhard, our society needs more technically-competent, broadly-trained workers to address challenges in our world that are becoming more technical in nature. Otterbein’s new systems engineering program, beginning in the fall of 2015, will help prepare students to meet those demands.
“Integrative, multidisciplinary learning is Otterbein’s strength, and our curriculum combines the principles of mechanical, industrial and electrical engineering with our nationally-recognized Integrative Studies program. Otterbein engineers will be technically competent, have broad training and perspective, and will be well-positioned to solve problems in a wide range of contexts,” he said.
Reinhard said he is excited to bring more bright, motivated and technically-competent students to Otterbein’s campus.
“I’m excited that Otterbein will be providing new employment avenues for its students and training them to be leaders in the industry,” he said.