After more than a year at Oregon State, married couple Davide Lazzati (Physics) and Catalina Segura (Forest Engineering, Resources and Management) still look back on their story and agree that it sounds like a fairy tale.

The two met in Colorado where Lazzati worked as a post-doc in Physics; Segura studied geography.

The academics were in different stages of their careers and in completely different departments, but they bonded over a love of the outdoors: skiing, hiking and cycling. After Segura finished her Ph.D. the couple had a baby and moved from their first home together in Colorado to North Carolina. Lazzati was offered a tenure-track job there while Segura accepted a postdoctoral research position. Both of them knew the opportunities for her there were slim, and the possibility of ending up at the same institution was next to impossible.

“Family is the most important thing to us,” Segura says. “But you also have to be happy with your own accomplishments.”

If one of them weren’t able to work for an extended period of time, or if the family found themselves split while each of them pursued separate opportunities, Segura says, “It would be a disaster!”

In North Carolina, the family longed for better opportunities out West, closer to where they’d met and closer to the outdoor settings they loved.

After dozens of applications, Segura was thrilled to interview for an assistant professor position at Oregon State in Forest Engineering, Resources and Management. She says she received help from a member of the search committee to know when in the interview process to bring up her partner. Once the University knew about Lazzati and his accomplishments in the fields of astronomy and physics, they began the process of hiring him through the Dual Career Hiring Initiative. This DCHI is funded by dollars allocated for tenure-track hires. When a tenure-line faculty member recruited for a position has partner who is eligible for a tenure-line position at Oregon State University, the Provost will support the partner hire as part of a collaboration with academic units. After completing an interview process, Lazzati was offered an associate professor position.

“It was amazing how fast the process worked,” Segura remembers. “It was so efficient to be able to get two deans, two heads and a provost all on the same page.”

Lazzati has been able to forge new ground in the College of Science as an astronomer studying gamma-ray bursts and the formation of cosmic dust.

“There wasn’t much astronomy going on before I got here,” Lazzati admits. “But everyone in the physics department was so welcoming. They go the extra mile to make space and to understand my needs.”

The couple has two children and love to spend time together outside as often as possible hiking, camping and riding bikes.

“We are very happy,” Lazzati says. “We feel lucky to be here.”

In additional news,  Ethan Minot and Oksana Ostroverkhova have been nominated for the Carter Graduate Teaching award. That makes 4 our our faculty nominated for awards this year. The envelopes will be opened at the annual College Awards ceremony on Tuesday January 12, 2016 at 4:30 PM in the Horizons Room at the MU.   Please consider going to support the Physics Team. RSVP@oregonstate.edu or 541-737-4717 Heidi

Chris Coffin and KC Walsh have both been nominated for the Carter Teaching Award.  The envelope will be opened at the annual College Awards ceremony on Tuesday January 12, 2016 at 4:30 PM in the Horizons Room at the MU.   Please consider going to support the Physics Team.

RSVP@oregonstate.edu or 541-737-4717


Prof. Janet Tate has been named a Fellow of the American Physical Society.

“For contributions to structural, transport, and optical properties of a wide variety of electronic and superconducting materials.”

The American Physical Society is the national representative for the 50,000 industrial and academic physicists in the US.  Only 0.5% of APS members are Fellows of the Society at any given time.

Prof. Janet Tate and graduate student Bethany Matthews.
Prof. Janet Tate and graduate student Bethany Matthews.

On Monday Prof. Janet Tate received the F.A. Gilfillan Memorial Award for Distinguished Scholarship in Science.


Janet Tate receiving the Gilfillan Award
Janet Tate receiving the Gilfillan Award

Her research interests are in thin-film semiconductors for energy-related applications. Her group deposits thin films by physical vapor deposition, mostly pulsed laser deposition, and studies their structural, optical and electrical and thermal transport properties.

Over the past few years her group has created new methods of doping conductors to achieve a wide range of conductivities, with applications from solar cells to transparent transistors and have demonstrated some of the highest conductivities in p-type transparent oxides and sulfide thin films. Such behavior is more difficult to achieve with positive (p-type) carriers, than with negative (n-type) carriers, and her work has been very important in developing the field of transparent electronics, a major technology based partially on basic research done by Prof. Tate and her collaborators at OSU.

For more details on the award, see the College of Science story about the awards ceremony:


For more details on Prof. Tate’s research see her lab site:




Physics faculty Ethan Minot and Janet Tate are part of a team of 6 investigators who have been awarded an NSF grant to acquire a $700,000 instrument for materials science research. The instrument, known as a physical properties measurement system (PPMS), will be located in the Kelly Engineering Building and will support materials research across campus, and across all of Oregon. The PPMS allows researchers to study material properties (electrical/optical/magnetic) at extreme temperatures and magnetic fields.

Instructor KC Walsh has received two awards to support his innovative teaching.

If I flip my classroom, maybe I can do this with animations?
If I flip my classroom, maybe I can do this with animations?

He has been awarded an ESTEME@OSU Action Research
Fellowship and an L.L. Stewart Faculty Development Award to support his research on the effectiveness of flipped classroom materials.

For details on the program please go to http://stem.oregonstate.edu/ad-action-research-fellowship

Congratulations to Janet Tate!

Prof. Janet Tate
Prof. Janet Tate

Physics Prof. Janet Tate is the 2015 recipient of the OSU Alumni Association Distinguished Professor Award.

The OSU Alumni Association Distinguished Professor Award recognizes a faculty member each year for superior academic performance, professional renown, and service to the University and to the public. She will be recognized at several events at the beginning of Fall quarter.

more details on the Award program can be found HERE .