Physics Professor Honored by Engineers Council

OGDEN, Utah – Weber State University physics professor John Sohl has been named the 2011 Utah Engineering Educator of the Year by the Utah Engineers Council (UEC).

The honor recognizes educators for the range of their teaching and professional accomplishments.

Sohl is a lead researcher for engineering and instrumentation on WSU’s High Altitude Reconnaissance Balloon for Outreach and Research (HARBOR) project. He also has been involved in laser development engineering projects with the Utah Science Technology and Research Initiative, and with the Utah Center for Aeronautical Innovation and Design. Sohl has actively engaged students in those projects, providing them with experience and training for future positions in industry.

Sohl has mentored students on an array of applied physics and engineering projects, including flights to the edge of space, building lasers, constructing warning light systems for hazardous material, developing underwater rescue sleds and analyzing the failure of deep sea electrical connectors.

Sohl is the recipient of numerous awards for his teaching and his community service and involvement. The author of 16 publications, Sohl has reviewed textbooks and written three lab manuals. He has conducted work that led to two patents, one on improved fluid delivery valves and the second for a portable shelter lighting system.

Sohl also lends his expertise to the Clark Planetarium in Salt Lake City, where he has edited and reviewed many of the facility’s exhibits.

Sohl was formally recognized at a Utah Engineers Council event late last month.

“I think it's especially notable since this is a group of engineers giving this distinguished award to someone in physics,” said Sohl’s colleague, WSU physics professor Adam Johnston. “It speaks highly of John's range of skills and ability to reach beyond typical disciplinary walls.”

Sohl joined the faculty at WSU in 1990. He earned his master’s degree and Ph.D. from the Ohio State University.

He was nominated by the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics.

The UEC is an umbrella organization of 14 different local chapters and sections of engineering societies representing more than 3,600 engineers across the state of Utah. The purpose of the UEC is to advance the art and science of engineering and to provide a forum for communication between the varying engineering societies.

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John Sohl, physics professor
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John Kowalewski, director of Media Relations
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