Skip to main content

Physicist Schaefer Named Doggett Distinguished Professor

Thomas Schaefer

The College of Sciences has named Thomas Schaefer of the Department of Physics as the Wesley O. Doggett Distinguished Professor.

The professorship was established by a group of physics alumni, led by Norman Banks, David Montgomery and Lawrence Ives, to honor the late Wes Doggett, one of the first graduates of NC State’s Bachelor of Nuclear Engineering program and member of the physics faculty for 35 years. The donations were supplemented by a match from an endowment established by anonymous donors to the college. It supports the activities of a full professor in the Department of Physics.

Schaefer is a prominent physicist who joined the NC State faculty in 2003. He studies quantum chromodynamics and the behavior of matter under extreme conditions, which is relevant to the early universe and formation of stars. He is also known for his work on topological objects, instantons, color superconductivity in quark matter and effective theories of dense matter.

“The college is pleased to honor Thomas Schaefer, who is doing important work to help advance the field of physics,” said Chris McGahan, dean of the College of Sciences. “We are grateful to the generous donors who help us make the college a supportive home for such innovative researchers.”

Schaefer has been awarded nearly $4.6 million in research grants over the course of his career. He has authored or coauthored 150 scientific publications, including articles in Physical Review Letters, Reviews of Modern Physics and Science.

Schaefer has been a fellow of the American Physical Society since 2006. He received a Feodor Lynen Fellowship from the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation in 1992 and an Outstanding Junior Investigator Award from the U.S. Department of Energy in 2002. He has served on the International Advisory Committee of the Institute for Nuclear Theory and advisory panels for the U.S. Department of Energy, National Science Foundation and National Academies of Science. He also served as a divisional associate editor and member of the editorial board for the journal Physical Review Letters.