5 January 2009 did more than mark the beginning of Winter Quarter 2009 at AFIT. It was also the first duty day for Nancy C. Giles, PhD, the new head of the Department of Engineering Physics at AFIT’s Graduate School of Engineering and Management. Dr. Giles is replacing Dr. Robert L. Hengehold, who, after 25 years, is stepping down as department head and will remain in the department as a faculty member and researcher. Both individuals look forward to the challenges and opportunities that lie in the future for them professionally and for the department with the transition.
Dr. Giles comes to AFIT from West Virginia University (WVU). She joined the faculty at WVU as an Assistant Professor of Physics in 1989, was promoted to Associate Professor in 1995, and became a Full Professor in 2001. She also served as the Associate Chair of the Physics Department starting in 2007. A native of Raleigh, North Carolina, she earned her bachelor’s degree from the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill (1981) and doctorate degree from North Carolina State University (1987), both in Physics. Dr. Giles has focused her research in solid state physics, specifically in photoluminescence, absorption, Raman, electron paramagnetic resonance (EPR), photoluminescence excitation, and time resolved photoluminescence spectroscopies. Her research efforts have focused on electronic states associated with point defects in nonlinear optical materials, laser-host materials, semiconductors, and scintillators.
Dr. Giles comes to AFIT with a strong pedigree of research productivity. She has advised nine PhD and four master’s students. Her research has yielded 160 peer reviewed journal publications. While at WVU, she served as principal investigator (PI) or co-PI on more than $6M grants and contracts executing research supporting agencies such as the National Science Foundation, US Dept of Energy, and the AF Office of Scientific Research. In 1997, she was the recipient of the Outstanding Researcher Award presented by the Eberly College of Arts and Sciences at WVU. She was the recipient of the 2007 Benedum Distinguished Scholar Award awarded by WVU. This award is presented to WVU faculty to recognize excellence in research, scholarship, or creative endevours that is either a single event or an ongoing activity over an ongoing career. During 2006, she spent a sabbatical with Air Force Research Laboratory here at Wright-Patterson AFB.
Dr. Giles has also been recognized for her educational leadership. She was the recipient of the Outstanding Teacher Award, Eberly College of Arts and Sciences (WVU), and the WVU Foundation Outstanding Teacher Award, both in 1998.
Says Dr. Giles, “I am looking forward to working closely with the faculty and students in the Engineering Physics Department at AFIT as we meet the challenges of increasing our enrollments and our research funding, while maintaining our level of teaching excellence in serving the AF mission. AFIT Engineering Physics is positioned well to play a key role in educating the next generation of AF engineers and scientists. I am very honored to have an opportunity to be a part of these activities.”AFIT/ENP looks forward to Dr. Giles’ leadership and support in the execution of the education and research missions of the department. Welcome aboard, Dr. Giles!