Jump to Footer

Dr. Ken Podolak

Associate Professor of Physics

Portrait of Ken PodolakTeaching physics is the most rewarding job I can imagine. Being able to be in front of a class or in a research lab and to share this passion is something I take great pride in. I also enjoy sharing physics puns or jokes to keep the class engaged while having fun.

Undergraduate students have the opportunity to work on research projects under my guidance. Students will learn how to create their own materials, characterize their properties, and disseminate results in peer reviewed publications and at conferences. I accept students at any level of experience.


  • Ph.D. in Physics, Penn. State University, 2008
  • M.Ed. in Education, Penn. State University, 2005
  • B.S. in Physics, Rochester Institute of Technology, 2002

Teaching Areas

  • Introductory physics
  • Modern physics
  • Intermediate laboratory
  • Solid State physics

Teaching Areas

  • Tutorials in lectures and techniques in intermediate physics labs

Research Areas

  • Tailoring ferromagnetic materials to measure surface plasmons and magnetic effects

Relevant Experience & Awards

  • Chair/Vice Chair of the New York State Section of American Physics Society, 2017–2021
  • SUNY Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Teaching in 2016
  • Content lead author for nine chapters of OpenStax’s “University Physics” 2016
  • Chair of Curriculum and Programs for Faculty Senate, 2016-2018
  • Certificate of Appreciation, Nominated by Educational Opportunity Program (EOP) student (2016)


(u subscript refers to an undergraduate student co-author)

  • J. Sanny, S. Ling, K. Podolak et al. contributing author to OpenStax’s University Physics, Vol. 1 Ch. 7 “Work and Kinetic Energy,” Vol. 1 Ch. 8 “Potential Energy and Conservation of Energy,” Vol. 2 Ch. 3 “First Law of Thermodynamics,” Vol. 2 Ch. 4 “Second Law of Thermodynamics,” Vol. 2 Ch. 11 “Magnetic Forces and Fields,” Vol. 2 Ch. 12 “Sources of Magnetic Fields,” Vol. 2 Ch. 13 “Electromagnetic Induction,” Vol. 2 Ch. 14 “Inductance,” and Vol. 2 Ch. 15 “Alternating-Current Circuits.” (2016).
  • K. Podolak and M. Walters, “High School Student Physics Research Experience Yields Positive Results” IOP: Physics Education 51 025012 (2016).
  • K.R. Podolak, J.K. Spellmanu, T.J. Urtzu, and A.M Levasseuru. “Ferromagnetic granular exchange interactions of nickel and iron.” Powder Technology 264, 541 (2014).
  • K. Podolak and J. Danforthu. “Interactive Modern Physics Worksheets Methodology and Assessment by Students” European J. of Physics Education 4, 2 (2013).
  • K.R. Podolak, T.J.Betthauser u, K.N.Altmann. “Spin scattering in manganese doped nickel.” Physica B 408, 58 (2013).
  • K.R. Podolak, S.B. Wagner u, and J.A. Smith u, “Manganese doping influence on the plasmon energy of nickel films” Surface Science 606, 996 (2012).
  • K. R. Podolak, R.F. Willis, M. J. Wilson, P.E. Schiffer, T.A. Normanu, and K.N. Altmann, “Local & Non-local Magnetic Behavior of Dilute Manganese-doped Nickel Alloys” Journal of Applied Physics 105, 083918 (2009).
  • R.F. Willis, T.S. Bramfeld, K.R. Podolak, “Finite-size nanoscaling of the critical temperature of ferromagnets with variable range of spin interactions,” Journal of Applied Physics, 101, 09G119 (2007).
Back to top