Faculty & Staff

Fred Cawthorne

  • Professor, Physics
  • School of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics
  • B.S., Eastern Nazarene College
  • Ph.D., University of Maryland

Contact Info

  • (JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)
  • Office: 615-248-1617



Fred earned his Ph.D. in Physics from the University of Maryland where he designed, measured and modelled superconducting devices. As a post-doctoral associate and research scientist, he worked on an experimental model of the Earth’s outer core. Fred then joined Neocera, LLC where he was director of engineering and product development. During his time at Neocera, he managed a team of electrical, mechanical and software engineers, designed analog and digital electronics and wrote software for a broad range of products. He came to Trevecca in 2006 and has served as the chair of the department of Science, Engineering and Mathematics since 2011. He has over 20 peer-reviewed publications and is co-inventor on several patents. Fred's academic and industry experience has allowed him to challenge students toward excellence both inside and outside the classroom. He enjoys facilitating unique, hands-on experiences for Trevecca’s physics and engineering students by providing access to advanced equipment and helping them create sophisticated designs that solve real-world problems. Through support from Neocera, external grants, alumni and friends of Trevecca, he has installed and maintained two SQUID microscopes, two scanning electron microscopes, several 3-D printers, a machine shop with a CNC milling machine, an atomic force microscope and other advanced equipment.

Areas of Expertise

  • Teaches general education courses such as Issues in Science and The Physics of Sound, as well as introductory and upper-level physics courses.
  • With more than 20 peer-reviewed publications, he continues to pursue research through corporate and university collaborations.
  • With the help of TNU students and faculty, generous donations from alumni and friends of Trevecca, corporate partnerships, and the support of Trevecca’s administration, he has constructed an extensive array of equipment for student projects and research. Some of this equipment includes a scanning SQUID microscope, a thin-film deposition chamber, electronics assembly and test equipment, a machine shop with a CNC milling machine, high-altitude balloon GPS tracking and telemetry systems, two scanning electron microscopes, an atomic force microscope, a pulsed FT-NMR (FourierTransform Nuclear Magnetic Resonance) apparatus, FPGA (Field Programmable Gate Array) development systems, and several 3-D printers.
  • Through a grant from Neocera, Trevecca students have the opportunity to receive funding as they participate in Dr. Cawthorne’s ongoing research in magnetic imaging.