Christopher M. Sorensen

Cortelyou-Rust University Distinguished Professor

University Distinguished Teaching Scholar

CASE/Carnegie National Professor of the Year

Adjunct Professor of Chemistry

Chris Sorensen

Chris Sorensen is the Cortelyou-Rust University Distinguished Professor and University Distinguished Teaching Scholar in the Departments of Physics and Chemistry (adjunct) at Kansas State University where he has spent his entire professional career. 

He divides his professional time between teaching and scholarly research. His research concerns particulate systems, soft matter physics and light scattering. He is the author of over 280 papers and hold six patents.  He has given over 100 invited lectures in the US and abroad.  In 2003 he won the David Sinclair Award of the American Association for Aerosol Research for his work on aerosol fractal aggregates and light scattering, and he is a past president of that organization. Recently he received the Olin Petefish Award in Basic Science from the Higuchi-KU Endowment fund.

For his teaching efforts he has won numerous awards at all levels. He conceived, developed and taught the “New Studio” method for instruction in the large, sophomore-level, engineering physics course that is taught at KSU.  He integrated reading of the great scientists into the lowest-level, non-major physics course. 

He also co-conceived, developed and is the primary instructor for EXCITE, a summer workshop for teen women designed to give them hands-on mechanical skills. He also gives science popularizing lectures at high schools throughout the state and works with under-advantaged youths through the ACS project SEED.

He has mentored 19 MS, 16 PhD and 11 postdoctoral students.

In 2007 he was named the Carnegie Foundation and Council for the Advancement and Support of Education United States Professor of the year for doctoral and research universities.

Chris was born and raised in Omaha, Nebraska and graduated from the University of Nebraska in 1969 where he was a Woodrow Wilson Fellow. He was then promptly drafted into the US Army, served a tour of duty in Vietnam, and just as promptly found himself back in the world as a student at the University of Colorado where he earned a PhD in physics. In 2008 he was named a Norlin Distinguished Graduate of that university.

Chris lives in Manhattan, KS with his wife, Georgia. He has a 28 year old daughter Hali who is a graduate of  KSU. He is the faculty advisor to the rugby and crossfit clubs at KSU, and he coached girl’s softball for 13 years. In his spare time he enjoys participating in sports, poetry and the night sky.