Physics professor honored with distinguished education award

OU physics professor Dr. Gopalan Srinivasan has been named one of Michigan’s Distinguished Professors by The Presidents Council, State Universities of Michigan.

Srinivasan began teaching in the OU physics department in 1988 and he has taught classes at every level.

“My philosophy is to make the learning easy, interesting and enjoyable,” Srinivasan said.

According to Andrei N. Slavin, chair of the physics department, Srinivasan is pioneering work in the area of magnetoelectric heterostructures, and he is known for his work across the globe.

“Dr. Srinivasan is an outstanding researcher … (he) is one of the world leaders in his research field,” Slavin said.

Srinivasan was nominated for the award by Virinder Moudgil, senior vice president for academic affairs and provost. When he found out he had won, he thanked Moudgil.

“I was away on travel when I received the information,” Srinivasan said. “I thanked our provost, Dr. Moudgil, for nominating me and shared the news with my family and friends.”

Undergraduate research also played a large role in the nomination. Srinivasan has completed 38 projects and 32 co-authored publications, all with the help of his students.

“The award is for involving undergraduates in research in the physics of materials,” Srinivasan said. “It is appreciation of my efforts to train the next generation of scientists and engineers.

Early in his career, Srinivasan knew he wanted to use research as a part of his method of teaching.

“I believe in the philosophy that true understanding of physics can be achieved only when one learns to ask critical questions and tires to answer them with hands-on-research,” Srinivasan said.

Receiving the award is something Srinivasan is glad to be sharing with his student researchers.

“I was happy (to receive the award) and share this honor with all those student researchers who worked with me for the past 23 years here at OU,” Srinivasan said.

An award ceremony will be held in Lansing on May 12, where each winner will be presented with a plaque and a check for $3,000.