Department of Physics

Department News

WIU Physics Alum Hires Recent Physics Graduate

Mar 22, 2010

On January 4th, Christopher Milby joined Energetics Technology Center (ETC) as a research physicist, where his work will primarily focus on the application of material science in energetics research. ETC is located in La Plata, Maryland, 30 miles southeast of Washington D.C.. Robert Kavetsky, Chief Executive Officer for the ETC stated: "Chris is excited to apply his knowledge in a practical way. He will be working closely with researchers at the Naval Surface Warfare Center (NSWC) Indian Head on cutting edge energetic material research." NSWC Indian Head division is a leader in the Navy's Energetics Enterprise--it is their job to research and provide energetics and energetic systems for our fighting forces around the globe.

Christopher graduated from Western Illinois University in December of 2007 with his bachelor degree in Physics and continued on at WIU and received his Masters degree in Physics on December 18th 2009. During his time at WIU he completed numerous research projects in the field of material science and presented all over the United States under the direction of Dr. Mark S. Boley (Interim Chair Physics Department). Christopher learned of this job from Dr. Jerry Forbes, who happens to be a 1963 WIU Alumni and the Senior Scientist at Energetics Technology Center. Dr. Forbes had been visiting the WIU Physics website and noticed the research that Christopher and Dr. Boley had been completing fit well with some of the research being completed at NSWC Indian Head.

Dr. Forbes grew up in Galesburg Illinois and completed his B.S. in Physics and Mathematics at WIU, after which he went on to complete MS in Physics from the University of Maryland and his Ph.D. in Shock Wave Physics in 1976 from Washington State University. Dr. Forbes is one of the leading scientists in the area of Shock Wave Physics and for his work in this field became a Fellow of the American Physical Society in 1992. He has spent thirty-three years at the Naval Surface Warfare Center (White Oak and Indian Head laboratories) and seven years at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory as leader of the High Pressure Materials group in the Chemistry Directorate. While at the White Oak Navy Laboratory he was Material Interaction program manager for the Navy's Chair Heritage electron beam program from 1976-1983. This electron beam program later became the "Nations Star Wars program" run by the Air Force. In the fall of 2009 Dr. Forbes came back to WIU and gave a seminar at the Physics department on Shock Wave Physics of Condensed Matter.