Peter Powers

Professor; Mann Chair in the Sciences
Full-Time Faculty
College of Arts and Sciences: Physics
School of Engineering: Electro-Optics Graduate Engineering Program


Dr. Powers is currently an associate professor of physics and electro-optics at the University of Dayton. He has been a member of the faculty since 1997. He received his Bachelor of Science degree from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1988, and he received his Master of Science and Ph.D. degrees in applied and engineering physics from Cornell University in 1990 and 1995 respectively. From 1995 to 1997 he worked at Sandia National laboratories as a post-doctoral research associate. Dr. Powers' general research interests lie in the field of nonlinear optics and its application to other branches of physics and applied physics. Since coming to the University of Dayton, Dr. Powers has actively published in refereed journals and he has presented his research at international conferences. He currently holds 5 patents. Dr. Powers is a member of the Optical Society of America and the scientific research society, Sigma Xi. He became the Mann Chair in the Sciences in 2010.

The Faculty Perspective

I find that the most exciting aspect of working at the University of Dayton is interacting with students. Their enthusiasm and fresh perspective has motivated me as a teacher and researcher. This is especially so when I have worked with students on a one-on-one basis in my laboratory. Graduate students from the electro-optics program have worked in my lab and together we have developed new optical devices that have captured the attention of researchers from around the world. This has helped to convey a sense of excitement to undergraduate researchers working in my lab. I find it very rewarding to see that these students come away from UD with a strong set of skills that have helped them go on to be successful scientists and researchers.


  • Ph.D., Cornell University, 1994

Selected Publications

C.R. Brewer, P.E. Powers, S.M. Kirkpatrick, E.A. Watson, "Enhanced Signal Coupling into Periodically Poled Lithium Niobate with Microlens Arrays," Applied Optics 41, July 2002, pp. 4411-4415.

S.M. Russell, P.E. Powers, M.J. Missey, K.L. Schepler, "Broadband mid-infared generation with two-dimensional quasi-phase-matched structures," IEEE Journal of Quantum Electronics 37, July 2001 pp. 877-887.

P.E. Powers, T.J. Kulp, and R. Kennedy, "Demonstration of wavelength-differential backscatter absorption gas imaging (Differential BAGI)," Applied Optics 39, March 20, 2000, pp. 1440-1448.

N. O'Brien, M. Missey, P. Powers, V. Dominic, and K. Schepler, "Electro-optic spectral tuning in a continuous-wave, asymmetric-duty-cycle, periodically poled LiNbO3 optical parametric oscillator," Optics Letters 24, December 1, 1999, pp. 1750-1752.