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Department of Physics

Chris SorensenKansas State University researcher named AAAS fellow

A Physics faculty member has been named 2014 fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, or AAAS, the world's largest scientific society along with K-State's C. Michael Smith, professor of entomology. 

Christopher Sorensen, Cortelyou-Rust university distinguished professor of physics and university distinguished teaching scholar, was selected for for pioneering contributions in soft matter physics, disperse particulate systems and light scattering; teaching curriculum development and outreach; and service to the scientific community.

Sorensen was among 401 fellows chosen this year. Their selection follows a vote by their peers in the association, who looked at potential fellow's distinguished efforts to advance science.

The professors will be recognized at a certificate and pinning ceremony at the association's annual meeting Feb. 14, 2015, in San Jose, California.

"We're proud of our newest fellows in the AAAS and congratulate them on this well-deserved recognition," said Kirk Schulz, university president. "Dr. Smith and Dr. Sorensen have repeatedly demonstrated their dedication to the advancement of science, research and education. Our distinguished researchers and their recognitions will help Kansas State University become a Top 50 public research university by 2025."

The 2014 fellows will be announced in the AAAS News and Notes section of the journal Science on Nov. 28.

Sorensen devotes his time to both teaching and research. His research interests are diverse. He performs experimental and theoretical studies of light scattering by particles of arbitrary shape, which is related to how aerosol particles affect global warming. He uses chemical methods to synthesize nanoparticles and then studies their solution and self-assembly behavior. He has developed a novel method for the large-scale production of graphene, and he studies gelation and aggregation kinetics in aerosols and colloids. His service to science includes a term as president of the American Association for Aerosol Research. Sorensen has authored more than 280 technical publications and holds six patents, with three more pending.

His teaching interests are equally diverse as he has taught at all levels. He conceived and developed hands-on studio instruction in physics, applying it broadly. He has won multiple teaching awards, including being named the 2007 CASE/Carnegie U.S. Professor of the Year.

He has given more than 100 invited lectures in the U.S. and abroad, including five lectures on a Scientific American Bright Horizons cruise around Cape Horn.

Kansas State University currently has 20 faculty members who are AAAS fellows.

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