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Dr. Michael Walters

Assistant Professor of Physics

After eight years in industry as an optical engineer, I returned to academia and my roots as a physicist. Working in industry allowed me to see how the knowledge learned in college is applied, allowing me to give my students insights into what they might see once their college days are done.

My research emphasizes experiments focusing on instrumentation and measurement. For my thesis I studied chemical reactions on surfaces of materials using optical and electrochemical techniques. I developed novel measuring techniques for different properties in glass while working at Corning Inc. Here at Plattsburgh I am studying direct alcohol fuel cells and how to make them more efficient. Alcohols contain more energy per unit than almost all traditional green energies, and we can make alcohol for these cells literally out of garbage. The work is focused on using cheaper materials. This will bring the costs down and make these cells cost competitive with current, more polluting, technologies.

I also work with students to tailor research opportunities to their interests. I am currently working with a student studying the optical properties of gelatin. She is planning to pursue a career in optometry and hopes this research can be applied to models of the eye and/or new types of lenses for vision correction.


  • B.S. in Physics, Utica College of Syracuse University (1992)
  • M.S. in Physics, Clarkson University (1999)
  • Ph.D. in Physics, Clarkson University (2003)

Teaching Areas

  • Introductory physics
  • Engineering dynamics
  • Strength of materials
  • Optics.
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