Jennifer Steele, Ph.D.
- Professor , Physics and Astronomy
Although I was not born in Texas, it's seems that Texas wanted me to be here. After completing all my advanced degrees just down the street in Houston, I spent a year in California as a postdoctoral researcher. Although I miss the food and weather terribly, I am happy to find myself in my adopted state once again.
I have always been interested in scientific questions that exist between the boundaries of traditional science disciplines, so I was naturally drawn to nanotechnology in graduate school. My research group was filled with chemists, engineers, biologists, and other physicists all working together on a set of problems in nanophotonics -- or how light interacts with nanometer sized structures. I believe that this is often the best approach to solve complicated research questions, and that all disciplines can learn from each other. One of the things that drew me to Trinity was that the same interdisciplinary spirit is evident in the research programs across all the science departments.
I am also delighted that Trinity allows me to focus on teaching in the liberal arts as well as research. One of my favorite classes to teach is "Introduction to Nanotechnology" -- a course designed for non-science majors. It is important for all students to obtain basic scientific literacy, and in my course I try to give students an understanding of what is happening in nanotechnology today, what types of technology they will encounter in their daily life, and the societal and environmental impacts of this emerging science.