Dr. Earl Scime

Dr. Earl ScimeDr. Earl Scime was raised in Tampa, Florida. He attended Florida State University as a National Merit Scholar where he earned bachelors degrees in Physics and Applied Mathematics in 1987. He then moved to the University of Wisconsin-Madison where he studied the physics of thermonuclear plasmas and earned a PhD in plasma physics in 1992. After obtaining his PhD, he changed research fields to space plasma physics and was named a US Department of Energy Distinguished Postdoctoral Fellow at the Los Alamos National Laboratory. At Los Alamos he was responsible for the development for a new type of space plasma instrument, one that takes pictures of the plasma environment around the Earth with atoms, not with light. In 1995, Dr. Scime joined the physics faculty of West Virginia University (WVU) where he remains to this day. He has chaired the department of physics and astronomy for fifteen years and has also served as the interim Associate Vice President for Research. He is currently the Oleg D. Jefimenko Professor of Physics and Astronomy. His research program spans both laboratory and space plasmas. He continues to analyze data from space-borne instruments and develop new flight instruments. His laboratory program has established a worldwide reputation for the application of laser spectroscopy to the measurement of ion and neutral temperatures and flows in thermonuclear and low temperature plasmas. His research group currently includes one research faculty member, five graduate students, and six undergraduates. Over the past fourteen years, Dr. Scime has also led the development of regional robotics programs for elementary, middle and high school students throughout West Virginia. He has taken thirteen teams to the FIRST World Robotics Championships over that time. In 2012, his work with high school robotics was recognized with the national Woodie Flowers Award, given to a single high school robotics mentor/coach each year. In 2017, his high school team won the FIRST Robotics World Chairman’s Award, placing the team into the permanent FIRST Hall of Fame.