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Dr. Steve Feller
Worth Seagondollar Service Award
Dr. Steve Feller
Steven A. Feller, has been both an exemplary researcher in the area of glass physics and an extraordinary mentor of young scientists at Coe College, directing both his own research group as well as the college Research Experiences for Undergraduates program, and has been an inspirational leader for its Society of Physics (SPS) Chapter, recognized as the Outstanding Chapter Advisor nationally in 2000, serving two terms as SPS Zone 11 Councilor, providing leadership for SPS’s program to study the effectiveness of the Undergraduate Research Experience in Physics, serving two terms as Sigma Pi Sigma President, and having led the planning for both the 2008 and 2012 Sigma Pi Sigma Congresses, to great acclaim. In every way, he has served the Physics Community, Sigma Pi Sigma, and the Society of Physics Students with distinction.
Steve Feller teaches most courses in the undergraduate physics curriculum at Coe College. His research in physics centers on the atomic structure and physical properties of glass. In this area he has worked with about 150 students. With these student colleagues he has published 140 papers in the refereed literature of the field. Also, he has edited a number of books on glass science. His students and he have given over 200 presentations at well over 100 national and international conferences. Funding from 93 grants for over $8,200,000 has been secured since 1983 from a large number of foundations including the National Science Foundation. He also has a research-level interest in numismatics, the study of the history of money. In this area he has published over 100 articles, parts of several books, and in 2007 he coauthored (with his daughter) Silent Witnesses: Civilian Camp Money of World War II, now the standard in the field. He has been married more than 40 years to Barbara. They have two daughters Ray Feller and Heidi Berger and grandson Max.
He has been honored a number of ways including being named Fellow of the American Ceramic Society (2003) and the British Society of Glass Technology (2003), Physics Club Chapter Advisor of the Year by the national Society of Physics Students (2000), Distinguished Iowa Scientist by the Iowa Academy of Sciences (1999), Iowa Professor of the Year (1995) by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. Also, he was given the 1993 American Physical Society Prize to a Faculty Member for Research in an Undergraduate Institution. During spring and summer 1996 he served as a Fulbright Scholar to the United Kingdom where he did neutron scattering studies of glasses and crystals. In 2001 and 2006 he was visiting professor of physics at Sojo University (Japan) and University of Warwick (England). From 1996-2002 he served on the national board of the Society of Physics Students. In 2002 he was elected the president of Sigma Pi Sigma, the national physics honor society, a position he was reelected to in 2004. He was the chair of the organizing committee of the 2008 and 2012 Sigma Pi Sigma Quadrennial Congresses (the only national meeting for undergraduates in physics). The meetings were held at Fermilab, a national laboratory in 2008 and Kennedy Space Center and Orlando in 2012. He is serving as the chair of the 2016 meeting in Silicon Valley, California. He was especially gratified to have been awarded the C.J. Lynch Prize as Teacher of the Year by the 1993 senior class of Coe College.
In 2011 he played the role of Niels Bohr in Coe's production of the West End and Broadway playCopenhagen.