Profile of a Professor: Dr. George Bruhn, physics

Dr. George Bruhn has just started his first semester at Wilkes in the electrical engineering and physics department as a visiting assistant professor, and is dedicated to the teaching of physics.

Bruhn grew up in Cleveland, Ohio and completed his undergraduate degree at the University of Rochester. He earned postgraduate degrees from Johns Hopkins University with theses regarding particle theory, particularly supersymmetry and new mathematical objects. He eventually shifted his focus to the study of the teaching of physics.

After teaching at the University of Alabama at Birmingham and Millsaps College as a visiting assistant professor, he came to Wilkes where he found that the size of the campus community was ideal: not too big and not too small.

He was also moved to come to Wilkes when he felt the enthusiasm of faculty and staff, saying, “It seemed like they were very excited to have me around.”

The Beacon/ Steffen Horwath
Dr. George Bruhn

Wilkes particularly appealed to Bruhn as a primarily undergrad university where he could place a large emphasis on teaching. While he finds physics more intuitive than other disciplines, he understands the challenge students may have with the subject explaining that physics “draws on so many different kinds of thinking.”

While he is currently teaching students an introduction to physics course, he also enjoys teaching higher-level physics classes where he can explain to students new topics or techniques that the textbook may not show.

In teaching these upper level classes, he can cultivate a further understanding of the subject. He is grateful for the extra help he gets in the labs from teacher assistants but notes that it is taking some getting used to.

His passion for teaching physics comes from his experience with a teacher he had as an undergrad who he now considers a friend. This teacher took the time to describe different fundamentals that Bruhn had never heard explained before, moving Bruhn to explain these topics to his students with the same amount of enthusiasm his teacher showed him.

With admiration for the subject he teaches, Bruhn referred to physics as an art in which ideas can be simply expressed as an equation allowing people to make predictions, but physics isn’t the only part of campus life he is excited about.

At Millsaps College, his last teaching position, Dr. Bruhn said, “I was known as the guy who goes to everything, because I would rarely ever miss anything going on in the departments of music or art. I’m hoping to keep that streak going here at Wilkes.”

In his free time, Bruhn enjoys going to plays, musicals, exhibitions or concerts. Recently he had already been to the Sordini Art Gallery to see the Rust Belt Biennial. He also enjoys history and keeping up with current events. 

One of his favorite parts of Wilkes is the view he has from his office window overlooking the Susquehanna River. Bruhn is also eager to meet more faculty at Wilkes.

A quote from Albert Einstein is in his office and reads, “If we knew what we were doing, it wouldn’t be called research.”

Bruhn’s constant desire to learn more embodies this quote, and any student who has a class with him can expect to be moved to a greater understanding of physics.