Our Faculty - Physics

Our Faculty

Faculty Profiles

  • Thomas P. Kling

    Thomas P. Kling
    Professor of Physics; Department Chair; Honors Chair; Graduate Program Chair
    Science and Mathematics Center, Room 214

    Dr. Thomas Kling is a theoretical physicist with interests in gravitational lensing, physics education, and student success in the STEM disciplines.  Dr. Kling completed his undergraduate studies in physics with a minor in philosophy from Loyola University of New Orleans, and received his MS and PhD in physics from the University of Pittsburgh, where he studied classical general relativity under Dr. Ezra (Ted) Newman.  Dr. Kling's principle research studies how general relativity predicts light rays will be bent by gravity and the implications of this lensing for what we can learn about the universe.  In 2013, he received 3.5 nights of telescope time at the Mayall 4-m telescope at Kitt Peak to observe star formation in galaxy clusters, a project on which he is collaborating with Dr. Ian Dell'Antonio from Brown University.

    Dr. Kling is principle investigator of the STREAMS grant, a 5-year, $1 million grant from the National Science Foundation held by Bridgewater State University to transform student support and teaching within the College of Science and Mathematics.  His work in promoting student success in science and math has led him to examine student success broadly at Bridgewater as a 2012 faculty fellow in the Office of Teaching and Learning.  He has also served as the coordinator of first year seminars, and he both studies and utilizes how writing pedagogy and inquiry in science classes can improve student success.

    Dr. Kling has been at Bridgewater State University since 2003, and was promoted to full professor in 2012.  Tom enjoys working with students on undergraduate research projects related to computational approaches to gravitational lensing.  He regularly teaches introductory, calculus-based physics; first year seminars; and upper level physics classes including computational methods in physics, mathematical methods in physics, classical mechanics, electricity and magnetism, and general relativity.


    BS, Loyola University of New Orleans, Physics
    MS, PhD, University of Pittsburgh, Physics

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  • Martina Arndt

    Martina Arndt
    Professor of Physics; Economics Department Acting Chair 2018-19
    Science and Mathematics Center, Room 212

    Dr. Martina Arndt has been at BSU since 2000 and is a solar physicist who has traveled the world observing solar eclipses with her main collaborator, Dr. Shadia Habbal (see link below).  She earned her BA in astronomy from Wellesley College and her MS and PhD in physics at the University of New Hampshire.

    Dr. Arndt teaches both introductory and upper level physics and astronomy classes as well as interdepartmental courses like the Tools of Sports Science with colleagues in the Movement Arts, Health Promotion and Leisure Studies department.  She has earned two presidential awards for her teaching.  She is also a strong supporter and advocate for informal science education; she helped found an astronomy club at her daughter's elementary school and she has been instrumental in expanding the BSU observing facilities and public outreach.

    Dr. Arndt has been Principal Investigator on multiple grants funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF).  These funds have been used to cover travel to multiple eclipse sites (including Libya, China, Tatakoto, the Marshall Islands, Antigua, and South Africa), graduate and undergraduate course development, and undergraduate research.  Her students have engaged in research projects ranging from solar physics (funded by NSF) to variable stars (funded by the Adrian Tinsley Program) to exoplanets (funded by NASA Space Grants).

    In addition to her teaching and research responsibilities, Dr. Arndt served as department chair for six years and faculty associate in the dean's office for the Bartlett College of Science and Mathematics for two years. She is the BSU representative for the Massachusetts NASA Space Grant (see link below).  In fall 2013, she began her three-year term as co-coordinator for the Center for the Advancement of Research and Scholarship (CARS).


    BA, Wellesley College Astronomy
    MS, PhD, University of New Hampshire Physics

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  • Elif Demirbas

    Assistant Professor of Physics
    Mohler-Faria Science and Mathematics Center, Room 227
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  • Edward F. Deveney

    Edward F. Deveney
    Professor of Physics
    Science and Mathematics Center, Room 218

    Dr. Deveney developed the first physics research lab for undergraduates at Bridgewater State University constructing tunable diode lasers for studying fundamental quantum mechanical phenomena in atomic/molecular and optical (AOM) physics. He is a senior advisor for an NSF-funded research program at Yale probing fundamental atomic/nuclear and particle physics. Prior to coming to Bridgewater Dr. Deveney did post doc work with a 2000 US Fermi award winner at a National Lab including experiments at CERN. He has also been involved in medical physiology research at Tufts Vet School. Dr. Deveney emphasizes student mentoring covering theoretical quantum mechanics, experimental AMO physics, computer simulations and electronics.


    PhD, University of Connecticut in Storrs Atomic and Molecular Physics

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  • Sameul Serna Otálvaro

    Sameul Serna Otálvaro
    Assistant Professor of Physics
    Mohler-Faria Science and Mathematics Center, Room 225

    Dr. Serna received his degree in physics engineering from the National University of Colombia, Sede Medellin, in 2010 and a double master’s degree from the Friedrich-Schiller-University Jena, Germany, in photonics and the Institute d’Optique Graduate School Paris, France, in optics, matter and plasmas” (Erasmus Mundus Master scholarship: Optics in Science & Technology -OpSciTech), in 2013. During these studies, he worked in digital in-line holography, diffractive optical elements and integrated photonic devices. 

    He earned his PhD in 2016 at the University of Paris Sud and was postdoctoral researcher at the Centre for Nanoscience and Nanotechnology (C2N-Université Paris-Sud-Université Paris-Saclay) where he designed, fabricated and characterized passive silicon photonics structures and developed novel techniques to test and exploit their third order nonlinear susceptibilities. He is currently a postdoctoral associate at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), where he is exploring novel hybrid devices in the integrated photonics platform for telecom and midIR functionalities. 

    He is an OSA Ambassador 2019 and joined Bridgewater State University (BSU) as Assistant Professor in September 2019. 

    Areas of Expertise

    Integrated Photonics, Nonlinear Optics, Optical Materials, Ultrafast Optics, Nanofabrication, and Photonic Crystals


    Diploma (BS+1), Physics Engineering, Universidad Nacional de Colombia - Sede Medellín
    MA, Friedrich Schieller University, Jena, Germany
    MA, Université Paris Sud XI, Paris, France
    PhD, Université Paris-Saclay, Paris, France

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  • Thaya Paramanathan

    Thaya Paramanathan
    Assistant Professor of Physics; Coordinator for the Adrian Tinsley Program
    Science and Mathematics Center, Room 227

    Dr. Thayaparan Paramanathan (Dr. Thaya) is a biophysicist with interests in applying physics techniques to explore biological systems at single molecule level.

    Education: Dr. Thaya received his PhD in physics from Northeastern University investigating how cancer drugs interact with DNA using optical tweezers under Prof. Mark C. Williams, a Fellow of the American Physical Society and one of the leading researchers in the field of using optical tweezers to study DNA interactions. After graduating from Northeastern, Dr. Thaya did his postdoctoral work at Brandeis University with Prof. Jeff Gelles, who is considered one of the pioneers in single molecule imaging, and Prof. Jane Kondev, who is a world renowned biophysicist. At Brandeis he explored the effect of competitors on dissociation of non-covalently bound biomolecules using TIRF (Total Internal Reflection Fluorescence) Microscopy, another physics technique that is used to observe multiple single molecules at the same time.

    Research: Dr. Thaya has published multiple research articles in leading, high impact journals, which have been sited by scholars from 20 different countries. His recent work titled " A general mechanism for competitor-induced dissociation of molecular complexes" is published in Nature Communications. He is in the process of building a Single Molecule Biophysics Lab at Bridgewater State University where he is planning to involve undergraduates in cutting edge biophysics research in collaboration with Williams Lab at Northeastern University and Gelles Lab at Brandeis University.

    Teaching: Dr. Thaya has over 5 years of full time experience teaching undergraduate physics at University of Jaffna in Sri Lanka and at Assumption College in Worcester, MA prior to joining Bridgewater State University. He currently teaches calculus-based general physics, Optics, Modern Physics and Electronics.


    BSc, University of Jaffna, Sri Lanka
    MS, PhD, Northeastern University

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  • Jeff Williams

    Jeff Williams
    Professor of Physics
    Science and Mathematics Center, Room 205

    Dr. Jeff Williams enjoys teaching the introductory physics courses and has interest in the fields of energy and physics education. Dr. Williams works with pre- and in-service teachers in improving science teaching at the middle and high school levels. Dr. Williams is principal investigator for the National Science Foundation's Robert Noyce Scholarship Program.  The Noyce Program is a 5-year, $1.45 million grant that provides scholarships and support to recruit talented science students to become K-12 teachers in high-need districts.


    PhD, Clark University Solid State Physics

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Staff Profiles

  • Patty Benson

    Patty Benson
    Administrative Assistant I, Physics
    Room 201, Science and Mathematics Center

    Patty has spent the past 20 years, trying to keep the physics faculty/staff on course……so far, so good.

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  • Joe Hernandez

    Joe Hernandez
    Staff Associate for Physics
    Science and Mathematics Center, Room 276

    Joe Hernandez teaches Elements of Physics as well as instructing many of the labs.


    BS, MS, PhD, University at Albany State University of New York 

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  • Jamie Kern

    Jamie Kern
    Observatory Manager
    Mohler-Faria Science and Mathematics Center, Room 500

    Jamie Kern earned her BA in physics with mathematics and astronomy minors at Alfred University, and MS in physics with astrophysics concentration at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. After working as a research specialist writing code to collect and analyze data from the CESR (Cornell Electron Storage Ring) particle accelerator, she joined the physics departments at Bridgewater State University and Massasoit Community College as a part-time faculty member. In 2011, she became the manager of the Bridgewater State University Observatory, and is now dedicated full-time to astronomy research, teaching and outreach. She is co-founder and manager of the BSU Experimental Astrophysics Research (BEAR) Team, supported by the NASA Massachusetts Space Grant Consortium, whose members study exoplanets, type Ia supernovae, and the sun. She develops and implements K-12 workshops to make knowledge in various fields (including planetary science, astrophysics and astrobiology) accessible to the community in addition to organizing public stargazing events. She has created and co-created multiple courses at BSU, including Physics of Music, Astrophotography, Astrophysical Imaging and Astronomy for Teachers - a course for K-12 teachers to support their implementation of the state’s STEM curriculum standards. She has received multiple teaching awards at BSU, including the Presidential Award for Distinguished Adjunct Teaching, the Presidential Award for Excellence in Collaboration to Improve Teaching and the Honors Outstanding Faculty Award.


    BA, Alfred University
    MS, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute

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