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Physics prof’s new Fulbright award supports STEM connections across the Atlantic

David McGee
David McGee and Berlin Institute of Technology (BHT) Director of International Exchange Olivia Key.

TCNJ physics professor David McGee is making international connections for TCNJ science students, thanks to support from a Fulbright Specialist Program award from the U.S. Department of State and the Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board.

McGee recently returned from Berliner Hochschule für Technik in Germany, where he worked with staff and faculty in putting the finishing touches on an exchange program that will allow German undergraduate and graduate students to study alongside TCNJ undergrads in both countries.

“This partnership is important because science and engineering as a profession is an international endeavor, and TCNJ students get a chance to experience this as undergraduates,” McGee said. “This kind of experience is very unusual for students at non-PhD granting schools and it gives TCNJ students a unique advantage as they move on to graduate school or employment.”

McGee, a researcher in applied optics, has collaborated with faculty and staff at BHT since 2009. The student-faculty research projects have centered on the development of new light-sensitive organic materials for next-generation information display, like in product authentication.

“Many consumer electronic devices are labeled with a small decal that identifies the device as original, and not a cheap counterfeit,” said McGee. “Our most recent research used one of our new light sensitive materials to design a new variety of optical ID tag that presents the viewer with many different colors depending on the viewing angle.”

Max Leven, Daniel Stolz, and Jonas Strobelt
BHT students Max Leven, Daniel Stolz, and Jonas Strobelt work on laser physics experiment as part of Fulbright exchange program with TCNJ faculty David McGee. All three students spent a nine-month residency at TCNJ.

With this new grant, McGee and his colleagues in TCNJ’s School of Science have already expanded the research to biotechnology, with a BHT student working in Professor Jeff Erickson‘s lab in the TCNJ biology department. Research opportunities in electrical engineering and computer science are anticipated in the coming semesters.

“This new award gives us significant additional travel resources to expand our relationship to departments beyond physics and to include all of the sciences and engineering,” he said.

McGee is one of over 400 U.S. citizens who share expertise with host institutions abroad through the Fulbright Specialist Program each year. Recipients of Fulbright Specialist awards are selected on the basis of academic and professional achievement, demonstrated leadership in their field, and their potential to foster long-term cooperation between institutions in the U.S. and abroad.

Learn more about the project here or email McGee for more information.

— Emily W. Dodd ’03



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