Wesley Doggett was a mainstay in physics at NC State

January 16, 2014
By Bill Krueger

Wesley Osborne Doggett, who passed away in December following a lengthy career as a physics professor at NC State, clearly did not believe in leaving stones unturned.

WesleyDoggett_rgbAs a student at North Carolina State College, Doggett finished at the top of his class when he graduated in 1952 with two degrees — one in nuclear engineering and another in electrical engineering.

As if that was not enough, Doggett invented a machine that dramatically reduced the time it would take to make certain atomic calculations — from six hours to four minutes. He was also the business manager for the campus humor magazine, chairman of the nuclear engineering department honor committee, vice president and president of the Order of Thirty and Three and was the first NC State undergrad to become an associate member of Sigma Xi. He was even named to the all-campus intramural horseshoe team. Not surprisingly, he was elected permanent president of the Class of 1952.

Doggett went on to earn a master’s degree and Ph.D. in physics and UC-Berkeley – in three-and-a-half years – before returning to NC State as a physics professor in 1958. And, again, Doggett’s approach was to cover every base.

doggettHe was a member of the NC State Academy of Outstanding Teachers, and served as assistant dean of the new School of Physical Sciences and Applied Mathematics from 1964-68. At one point, Doggett taught every course offered by the Department of Physics. Even after his retirement in 1993, Doggett continued to work with the physics department and served as associate editor of the Cornelius Lanczos Collected Published Papers with Commentaries.

Since 2011, the physics department has honored Doggett by awarding its outstanding graduating senior with the Wesley Doggett Award. Not surprisingly, Doggett received the outstanding student award when he graduated in 1952.

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