Dr. David W. Donovan was born in Framingham Massachusetts in 1960. He was the fifth of the six children Bill and Doris Donovan had. His interest in space related science was greatly encouraged by his third grade (1968-69) teacher whose husband worked for NASA in Cambridge, MA. He brought missions films to the elementary school within several weeks after the Apollo 8, 9, and 10 missions returned to Earth. Of course that summer following third grade, Dave watched as many people around the world did as Neil Armstrong made his "one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind". During his eighth grade math class, Dave was exposed to computers and programming for the first time. He took all possible electronics courses offered by his high school and upon graduation from Framingham South High in 1978 finally decided to pursue Physics in college instead of Electrical Engineering, Computers or Astronomy. He made this choice as he felt Physics combined all those interests.
He attended Hampden-Sydney College in Virginia. He graduated in 1982 with a BS in both Physics and Mathematics. As a student at Hampden-Sydney he received an award as the top senior science major and another award as the top senior math major. He was elected to Phi Beta Kappa, Omicron Delta Kappa (honorary leadership Society), Chi Beta Phi (honorary science group), and Who's Who in American Colleges and Universities, 1982.
After graduation from Hampden-Sydney, he went to Penn State to pursue his Ph D in Physics. He completed that in 1991 writing his thesis "Experimental Studies Pertaining to the Martensitic Phase Transition in an In-Tl Alloy". As a graduate teaching assistant he won a teaching award at Penn State.
Dr. Donovan spent a year as a visiting Assistant Professor of Physics at Norwich University in Northfield, Vermont. In 1992 he began as an Assistant Professor of Physics at Northern Michigan University in Marquette, Michigan. He received tenure and promotion to Associate Professor in 1997. He was promoted to Full Professor of Physics in 2003. He has won a teaching award from NMU's Mortar Board Society which is an honor society at NMU. In his first few years at NMU he continued to do research on phase transitions in metals focusing on shape memory materials such as Nitinol. Since 1997 he has devoted his research efforts to Space Weather research mostly on studying aurora-related phenomena using an all-sky camera. At NMU, Dr. Donovan gets to teach a variety of courses including all the physics courses, all the astronomy courses and the main hardware course for the computer science department, obviously not all at the same time. He is one of the primary people who integrates technology into classes at NMU.
When he is not working, Dave enjoys sports, a die-hard Boston sports teams and of course Penn State. He enjoys playing trivia type games, collecting sports items, music, movies, and fantasy/science fiction related items. He reads fantasy, science fiction and speculative fiction for pleasure. He also spends a fair amount of time tinkering with computers and programming.
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This page last updated on July 31, 2003