Dr. David Richards

Professor, Physics; Department Head

  • drichard@pct.edu
  • 570.320.2400 ext. 7494
  • LEC, Rm.B2091
Dr. David Richards


  • Ph.D., Instructional Systems - The Pennsylvania State University, 2010
  • M.S., Physics - University of Alabama, 1992
  • B.S., Physics - Mary Washington College, 1989


  • Principal Investigator for National Science Foundation S-STEM Grant - $616,000 award for student scholarships, 2014
  • The American Association of Physics Teachers - Central Pennsylvania Section Distinguished Service Award, 2008
  • Excellence in Teaching Award - Pennsylvania College of Technology, 2007
  • Instructional Technology Grant, $18,500 award - Pennsylvania College of Technology, 2006
  • Featured Alumnus of the Year - University of Mary Washington Physics Department, 2006
  • The Innovative Excellence in Teaching, Learning, and Technology Award, 2005
  • Nominated for The Boyer International Award for Excellence in College Teaching and Learning, 2005
  • Summer Research Fellow - University of Rochester: NSF Science and Technology Center for Photoinduced Charge Transfer, 1998
  • Thompson Award for Excellence in Classroom Teaching - Judson College, 1995

Courses Taught

  • General Physics I, II, and III
  • College Physics I and II
  • Physics Survey
  • Introductory Physics for Health Sciences
  • Physics with Technological Applications
  • Scientific Investigations
  • Science of Spaceflight
  • Introduction to Astronomy

I have been teaching at Penn College since the fall of 1995, where I am currently a full Professor and senior member o fthe physics department.

I have a B.S. in physics from the University of Mary Washington, a M.S. in physics from the University of Alabama, and a Ph.D. in Instructional Systems at Penn State University.

I have been an active member of the American Association of Physics Teachers since 1997. I was appointed to serve on the American Association of Physics Teacher's Committee on Research in Physics Education (National Appointment 2003-2006) and was on the executive board (2002-2006) of the Central Pennsylvania Section of the American Association of Physics Teachers, serving as President of this section from 2005-2006.

Over the past two decades, I have been involved with several National Science Foundation (NSF) projects. The first was at NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama. I spent a summer developing an introductory course on aerospace technology. In addition to developing this course, I worked in NASA's contact dynamics simulation systems laboratory. I have also spent time at both the Jet Propulsion Laboratory and the Kennedy Space Center through NSF's Chautauqua programs for college science teachers. I was awarded a second NSF summer fellowship with the Science and Technology Center for Photo-induced Charge Transfer through the University of Rochester's Chemistry and Electrical Engineering departments. My research focused on the electrical properties of silicon nanocrystals. Recently, I was awarded a $616,000 National Science Foundation grant to provide student scholarships to academically talented students with financial need.