FIAP Elections, Nov 13 – Dec 9

The Forum on Industrial and Applied Physics began its annual election of officers on November 13, and it will run through December 9. There are 3 candidates for 2 Members-At-Large positions, 2 candidates for Vice Chair, one (unopposed) candidate for Councilor, and one (also unopposed) candidate for Secretary/Treasurer. The candidates’ biographies and statements are included below. FIAP relies on the work of dedicated volunteers for these positions, and we encourage all members to vote to foster the best leadership team possible.

On November 13 you should have received a personalized email from the FIAP Election Coordinator ( with your customized link to vote. Please check your spam folder if you did not receive that email, and contact Steven Lambert ( if you can’t find it.

Vice Chair Candidates

Todd Brintlinger


Dr. Todd H. Brintlinger is a Research Physicist in the Materials Science and Technology Division at the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory in Washington, DC. He received his B.S. in Physics from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, where he worked on sonoluminescence, and his Ph.D. in Physics from the University of Maryland, College Park, where his research involved the growth, imaging, and electrical transport of single-walled carbon nanotube devices. Remaining in College Park, he moved to the Department of Materials Science and Engineering where his postdoctoral appointment included the development of in situ transmission electron microscopy for nanoscale thermometry, the study of geometrically frustrated artificial spin ice systems, and characterization of magnetoelectronic devices. His 10-year tenure at NRL has continued with research in in situ and aberration-corrected transmission electron microscopy for phase change materials, plasmonic systems, and electrochemical systems. Dr. Brintlinger also has led experiments on the predominant physics and materials mechanisms affecting the performance of an electromagnetic launch system (railgun), for which the group was collectively recognized with an NRL Award of Merit for Group Achievement. The common theme has remained improved performance and behavior of these (mostly electronic) materials in devices for industrial and applied physics. He has published 41 papers in refereed journals with an average of 35 citations per paper and has been serving FIAP for over 8 years, as a Member-At-Large, Editor-in-Chief of the FIAP Newsletter, and as a sorter for the March Meeting. He has also served on the APS Committee for Careers and Professional Development, with a focus on preparing early- and mid-career physicists for their careers.


The Forum on Industrial and Applied Physics is an especially important unit within APS for physicists that do basic research while maintaining a strong focus on subsequent applications or commercialization, and it represents the majority of physicists, those that do work outside of academia. The U.S. Naval Research Laboratory promotes just such this type of research and strongly encourages interactions with Industrial Physics, and I thus have gleaned first-hand experience with the balance between basic science and applications. Acting as Vice Chair, I would be committed to enhancing the role of FIAP as both an advocate for industrial and applied physicists and as a conduit for information, which is two-way: from FIAP to industrial and applied physicists, FIAP can promote awareness about the realities and practices of industrial and applied physics, esp. for young physicists whose highest-likelihood careers will be in industry; from industrial physicists to FIAP, the latest developments from basic physics research can be fed into the industrial and applied physics communities. Federal laboratories occupy a special place for industrial and applied physics, and have unique challenges and capabilities that naturally overlap with the mission of FIAP, incl. unique interactions with industrial physics. I hope to cement and expand upon FIAP’s role at the March Meeting, the single most visible interaction FIAP and APS members have with the Society, and to help young scientists navigate career paths that include industrial and applied physics positions.

Curt Richter


Dr. Curt A. Richter is an experimental physicist and Leader of a dynamic team of research scientists in the Quantum Transport Project of the Nanoscale Device Characterization Division, Physical Measurement Laboratory (PML) at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). The Project conducts basic research to develop the measurement science needed for innovation in future nanoelectronics for quantum and classical information processing. Richter has worked in the Division at NIST, Gaithersburg, MD since 1993.

Dr. Richter received the M.S., M.Phil., and Ph.D. degrees in Applied Physics from Yale University after receiving a B.S. in Physics from The College of William and Mary. After graduating from Yale, Dr. Richter joined NIST directly. Technically, he currently focuses on extracting critical properties of future nanoelectronic devices for use in high performance computing systems. During Richter's tenure at NIST he has strongly engaged with the semiconductor industry through direct collaborations and through joint planning and oversight activities at the Semiconductor Research Council (SRC). Richter is an author of more than 175 technical articles and editor of one book.

Richter has engaged in many leadership and service roles at Conferences, Professional Societies, in public/private consortia, and within the Federal service: for example, Member at Large on the FIAP Executive Committee American Institute of Physics (AIP) Prize Selection Committee, Member of the Technical Program Committee of the Device Research Conference (DRC) and the Electronic Materials Conference (EMC), Former-Chairman of the International Semiconductor Device Research Symposium (ISDRS): Nanoelectronic Computing Research (nCORE) Science Advisory Board (SAB) member, and Nanoelectronics Research Initiative (NRI) Technical Program Group (TPG) member.


If elected as Vice Chair of the FIAP Executive Committee, I will strive to improve the value that FIAP and the APS provides to industrial members without losing connection with applied physicists in the academic community. As the largest Forum or Division, FIAP can be influential within the APS and improve the direct relationship between industry and the academic community. The FIAP must continue to strongly support the education and training of young applied physicists to ensure that the academic community continues to deliver a skilled technical workforce for our industrial partners. In addition, I will use role in the FIAP to remind the industrial community of the creativity and flexibility of a highly -educated, well-trained physicist. Combining physics and ingenuity can lead to industrial innovation that will enhance economic security and improve our quality of life.

Being an applied physicist at NIST, which is in the Department of Commerce, gives me a rare perspective on the relationship between academic researchers, federal government lab needs, and industrial applications and goals. I believe strongly in public/private organizations that combine the strengths of industrial partners with those of the federal government to identify, inspire, and fund important applied research topics. I would hope that I can use the platform of the FIAP to help enable the formation of more such public/private partnerships.

Member-At-Large Candidates

Abram L. Falk


Abram Falk is a research staff member at the IBM T. J. Watson Research Center in Yortkown Heights, NY, where he studies quantum optics in solid-state systems. Prior to joining IBM in 2014, he completed a B. A. from Swarthmore College, a Ph.D. from Harvard University, where he was mentored by Hongkun Park, and a postdoctoral research position at the University of California Santa Barbara, where he was mentored by David Awschalom and won the Elings Prize in Experimental Science. His research accomplishments include the engineering of plasmon-to-electrical transduction in nanophotonic circuits and nuclear spin polarization in silicon carbide. More recently, at IBM, he discovered the coherence of carbon-nanotube plasmon resonances, and the intrinsically ultrastrong nature of plasmon-exciton coupling in crystallized nanotube films.


As a member-at-large of the NY American Physical Society, I have enjoyed opportunities for educating undergraduate and graduate students as a member of industry. I organized a conference last year at IBM on “The Physics of AI,” where we had over 75 local students attend, and I have frequently enjoyed opportunities for mentoring students in my own research. Finding new ways for students and industry research staff members to interact is an important and mutually beneficial activity that I will continue to pursue as a member-at-large of the APS FIAP committee.

Ali Gokirmak


Ali Gokirmak has received his BS degrees in Electrical Engineering and Physics from University of Maryland at College Park in 1998 and received his PhD in Electrical and Computer Engineering from Cornell University in 2005. He has served as a postdoctoral research associate at Cornell for one year in the same group. He joined the Electrical & Computer Engineering Faculty at University of Connecticut in 2006 as an assistant professor. His research focuses on nanoscale electronic devices with an integrated effort in electrical characterization and finite element modeling. His current interests include thermoelectric transport in nanoscale devices experiencing extreme electric fields, temperatures and thermal gradients, phase change memory devices and field effect transistors.


I am mainly interested in micro/nanometer scale condensed matter devices, behavior of materials and unsolved scientific problems that relate to industrial electronic devices and processes. My research is at the intersection of physics, materials science and electrical engineering. We have been collaborating with IBM T J Watson Research Center to perform fundamental studies on electronic and thermoelectric transport that directly impact operation of phase change memory devices, which is now a main-stream memory technology. I find it very rewarding to design and perform experiments to understand physical phenomena that directly impacts a current technology and question the assumptions made to arrive at conventional wisdom and their applicability to extreme conditions achieved in nano / micro scale devices. Our interaction with the industry is critical to get access to state of the art electronic devices, exchange ideas and train our students. Acting as Member-At-Large, I will help strengthen the interaction of academic researchers with the industry, look for opportunities to enable collaborations and educational opportunities for young scientist and help solve scientific problems that can enable new technologies.

Nathan D. Orloff


Nathan (Nate) D. Orloff received the B.S. degree in physics with high honors and Ph.D. degree in physics from the University of Maryland (UMD) at College Park, College Park, MD, USA, in 2004 and 2010, respectively. His doctoral thesis concerned the study and measurement of microwave properties of Ruddelsden-Popper ferroelectrics.

In 2011, he was a Dean’s Postdoctoral Fellow with the Department of Bioengineering, Stanford University. In 2013, he joined the Materials Measurement Laboratory, National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), Gaithersburg, MD, USA, as a Rice University Postdoctoral Fellow. In 2014, he joined the Communications Technology Laboratory at NIST in Boulder Colorado. Dr. Orloff is currently the Project Leader of the Microwave Materials Project in the Communications Technology Laboratory at NIST in Boulder, Colorado. His research focus is three-fold: materials-by-design for communications, microwave materials metrology, and bridging the gap between optical and microwave on-wafer measurement science.

Dr. Orloff was the recipient of the UMD Dean's Award for Excellence for Teaching, the 2010 Michael J. Pelczar Award for Graduate Study, the 2014 Distinguished Associate at NIST, a Senior Member of the IEEE, and the 2019 Karl Schwartzwalder-Professional Achievement in Ceramic Engineering Award. He has published more than fifty peer-reviewed articles and proceedings. He holds a U.S. Patent on measuring material properties in roll-to-roll manufacturing.


As an applied physicist at the National Institute of Standards and Technology, part of my job is to ask, “How can NIST help?”. As the FIAP member-at-large, that question changes to “How can Applied Physics help”. Answering this question to me starts by identifying important problems and new ideas in physics. While these problems will sometimes start through basic research in academia, they can also emerge from problems in industry or at federal research labs. Surfacing these problems and created shared solutions means increasing communications between government, academia, and industry.

To this end, my goals as the FIAP member-at-large will be to:

  1. Build a nexus for industry, government, and academia to exchange ideas and share problems in applied physics, materials, and measurement.
  2. Foster collaboration and shared knowledge at conferences through tutorials, expert panels, engaging industry, and program managers.
  3. Inspire young scientist to challenge conventional problems with new ideas in physics and provide training on proposal writing and public speaking.

Councilor Candidate

James Adams


James Adams is Chief of the Radiation Physics Division at NIST—the National Institute of Standards and Technology. In this capacity, Dr. Adams leads a staff of approximately 70 physicists, chemists and engineers engaged in aspects of radiation physics related to the study and application of nuclear decay processes, dosimetry of ionizing radiation, fundamental neutron physics, and neutron imaging and optics. Previously, Dr. Adams was intelligence professional and equity partner with Corvus Integration, Inc., where he served as the company's Chief Scientist. Dr. Adams specialized in applied scientific research in analytical chemistry, molecular biology, and microbiology that supported the national security objectives of the United States in the areas of counter-biological warfare, Weapons of Mass Destruction counter-proliferation, and identity intelligence and management. Prior to joining Corvus, Dr. Adams was a supervisory physicist at NIST where he conducted basic and applied research with NIST’s Neutron Physics section. Dr. Adams' research activities included experimental investigations in fundamental neutron physics, investigation of space-time symmetries of the electroweak interaction, investigation of neutron interactions with matter, precision neutron metrology, measurement of the neutron lifetime, and gamma-ray spectroscopy. Dr. Adams has also served as a Senior Advisor at the U.S. Department of State, Office of Space and Advanced Technology, where he led multi-agency International Dialogues on Civilian Space Cooperation regarding the use of earth-observing satellites, and re-negotiated international Diplomatic Agreements between the U.S. Government and the Government of the Russian Federation that govern cooperation in space exploration and the peaceful uses of outer space. Dr. Adams has served as commissioned officer in the U.S. Naval Submarine Service and was a Senior Engineer in the Nuclear Safety Department of Westinghouse Electric Company.

Dr. Adams received his M.S. and Ph.D. Degrees from Penn State University where he studied nuclear reactor thermal-hydraulics and hyperfine interactions, and his A.B. Degree from Holy Cross College. Following graduate school, Dr. Adams was a Research Fellow at the University of Michigan. Dr. Adams has served as the Chairman of ISO Technical Committee 85, Subcommittee 6 on Nuclear Energy, as well as Chairman of ASTM International Subcommittee on Nuclear Metrology. Dr. Adams is an active mentor with Future Link, an organization that provides guidance and career advice to students and young adults from disadvantaged backgrounds.


As a member of the APS Council of Representatives, I seek to represent the needs of the industrial and applied physics community within the governance of APS in all matters brought before APS leadership, including matters of science and science policy, and elements of Society membership and engagement. As the community of industrial and applied physicists constitutes the largest sector of physicists employed in the United States, as well as the largest component of the APS membership, I view this critical responsibility as especially important.

I believe that advances in applied and industrial physics have engendered important discoveries in virtually every area of science, enabled directly the evolution of new technologies, and led to the development of new and improved consumer products and services. With their profound understanding of the subtle and often counter-intuitive aspects of basic physics, coupled to their pragmatic and deep-rooted desire to create, industrial and applied physicists possess the unique combination of knowledge and skill required to move discovery from theory to practice. It is within this realm—the nexus from basic research to mature technology and finished products—that applied and industrial physicists reign.

I have worked at the intersection of physics, engineering and applied sciences for the entirety of my professional career, and have developed a deep understanding of the talents, skills, and insight that professionals who possess an educational and professional background in physics can bring to projects within an industrial setting. In this same regard, I appreciate fully the personal and professional satisfaction that industrial and applied physicists experience at the realization that their efforts have advanced our society in essential and important ways. As an APS Counselor I will bring to bear my extensive experience as an engineer and applied physicist, in concert with my wide-ranging knowledge of science and technology to advance the state of industrial and applied physics. Presently, I am a member of FIAP, serving as the FIAP representative to the APS Panel on Public Affairs (POPA) and a member of the FIAP Executive Committee. In addition, I was a member of the APS working group that created the recently released APS Strategic Plan.

Secretary/Treasurer Candidate

Thomas Meitzler


Thomas Meitzler received his B.S. and M.S. in Physics from Eastern Michigan University, completed advance graduate coursework at the University of Michigan, and received a Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering from Wayne State University in Detroit. His doctoral dissertation in Electrical Engineering at Wayne State University was on Modern Methods for Computing the Probability of Target Detection in Cluttered Environments. He is a Fellow of the American Physical Society (APS) and Senior Member of the Institute for Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) and Society of Photo-optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE). He is presently the Ground Vehicle Survivability and Protection Senior Science Advisor.

Prior to 1988, Dr. Meitzler was on the adjunct staff at the Univ. of Michigan-Dearborn in the Electrical Engineering and Natural Science Depts. From 1988 to present, Dr. Meitzler has been a research scientist at the US Army Ground Vehicle Systems Command (GVSC) in the Ground System Survivability and Protection (GVSP) department. For the U.S. Army, Dr. Meitzler has been involved with the validation, verification, and development of infrared, electro-optical and human visual acquisition models. Dr. Meitzler was the principal scientist of the GVSC Visual Perception Laboratory and the principal investigator on Cooperative Research and Development Agreements (CRADA’s) with General Motors and Ford Motor Company to apply visual target acquisition models to automotive vehicle conspicuity and novel sensors to provide automobile 360 degree safety. Dr. Meitzler was the principle investigator on several Space Act Agreements with NASA’s Kennedy Space Center concerning remote ice detection using infrared cameras on the space shuttle transport system and CRADA’s with the Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons involving the use of function MRI (fMRI) for augmentation to visual detection and perception experiments. He has authored/co-authored many papers in the area of Electro Optic system simulation, visual detection, sensor validation, traditional nondestructive armor health-monitoring and embedded piezoelectric nondestructive testing of armor materials, and lately Spintronics. Dr. Meitzler has developed and integrated technologies for embedded armor health-monitoring, armor non-destructive testing, and armor embedded, radio signal detection.


I have worked both in the academic and Department of Defense sectors for most of my professional career. As a treasurer/secretary of the FIAP I hope to acquire a greater familiarity with the technical fields that my FIAP colleagues are working on and to encourage the growth and membership of the FIAP technical society.

As our country strives to make our economy stronger, the role that Applied Physicists play in industry and government is crucial if we hope to both maintain and increase the rate of innovation and maintain our technical leadership. Government and Industry must work together to foster technical creativity and nurture scientists in the workplace throughout their careers. If elected to the position of FIAP treasurer/secretary I will try to maintain growth of the FIAP and at the same time apply due diligence to the monitoring of our available fiscal resources.

Job Opening: APS Director of Industrial Engagement

The APS has a new job opportunity: Director of Industrial Engagement. The Director will work to enhance the connection between APS and physicists working in industry, including both APS members and non-members. This person will increase and broaden APS membership to include more physicists in industry, engage more private-sector physicists as APS leaders, and provide a voice for industrial physics within APS leadership.

Currently serving in this role, Steven Lambert joined the staff at APS six years ago with a focus on physicists working in the private sector. He will retire in May 2020, so APS has begun the search for a successor as the new Director of Industrial Engagement. They are looking for an individual with recent and extensive experience working as a physicist in the private sector. If this is something that you or someone you know would be interested in learning more about, please feel free to contact Steven ( and/or apply for the position online via the link below. If the position isn’t quite right for you, please feel free to share this opportunity with your network.

Director of Industrial Engagement

Opinions expressed represent the views of the individual authors and not the American Physical Society or author’s employers.