Photo of Fred  Cawthorne

Fred Cawthorne

Professor, Physics

615-248-1617 OFFICE

  • BS, Eastern Nazarene College
  • PhD, University of Maryland

Location: Greathouse Science Building


As a post-doctoral researcher and research scientist, Dr. Fred Cawthorne worked with the experimental non-linear dynamics group at the University of Maryland to model the earth's outer core using a mechanically driven flow or liquid sodium. Cawthorne then joined Neocera, Inc., where he served as the director of engineering and product development for six years. At Neocera, he played key roles in the development of pulsed-laser deposition systems, a low-k dielectric metrology system and a scanning SQUID (Superconducting Quantum Interference Device) microscope, which is used by semiconductor manufacturers to locate defects in devices such as computer processors. Cawthorne joined the faculty of Trevecca in 2006 and has served as the chair of the Department of Science, Engineering and Mathematics since 2011. He has enjoyed updating and expanding the physics and pre-engineering programs at Trevecca, adding new courses and modernizing courses such as Digital Electronics and Computer Technology for the Sciences.

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.