My scholarship currently focuses on engineering education, both undergraduate and K-12 levels. While I have always been interested in teaching, my scholarly interest in pedagogy and engineering education was stimulated by the challenge of teaching Introduction to Engineering Design (aka Lego Lab) to a mix of engineering and non-engineering students. In late 2005 my Dean of Engineering asked me to lead a task force defining and examinining School-wide engineering education goals. This work brought me into contact with the vast research and literature on engineering education, the journals, the conferences, and, yes, even the funding opportunities, all of which, I'm ashamed to admit, I was largely unaware of during my 35+ years in academia. One suggestion of our group culminated in the foundation of the Rice Center for Engineering Leadershop, RCEL.
For most of my career, I have been an experimentalist concentrating on the development of new optical/photonic devices and their application to solving scientific and technical problems. Topics have included optical parametric oscillators, nonlinear optics in crystals and vapors, infrared image up-conversion, the development of unique laser sources (microwave-pumped excimer lasers, femtosecond terawatt lasers, and the first true extreme ultraviolet lasers), devices and techniques for fiber optics communications networks, and optical sensing. You can find information on this work in my CV and Publication List. While I still teach, consult, and direct student projects in photonics, I am no longer active in photonics research.