College of Science

Chad Sosolik appointed chair of the Department of Physics and Astronomy


After a competitive national search, Chad Sosolik has been appointed chair of the Clemson University Department of Physics and Astronomy, effective April 1.

Chad has had significant impact on Physics and Astronomy over the last 20 years, and I look forward to his continued leadership as we accelerate science at Clemson.


Sosolik is an experimental condensed matter physicist. His research focuses primarily on the interactions of single atoms and ions with surfaces, including extensions of that work to electronic devices and biomaterials.

He also manages the Clemson University Electron Beam Ion Trap laboratory (CUEBIT) which generates highly charged ions for studies in fundamental atomic physics, laboratory astrophysics and radiation effects in materials. Clemson received its EBIT machine through a federal grant Sosolik received. At the time, it was one of six in the U.S. and the only one not housed in a national laboratory or institute.

Sosolik’s work has been funded by many federal agencies, including NASA, the U.S. Department of Energy, the U.S. Air Force, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) and the National Science Foundation, including an NSF CAREER Award in 2006.

Sosolik, who joined the Department of Physics and Astronomy in 2003, served as interim chair from July 2018 to January 2019 and again since August 2023. He served as the department’s undergraduate program coordinator from 2015 until 2023. 

As an educator, Sosolik received the George B. Pegram Award for Excellence in the Teaching of Physics in the Southeast in 2019, awarded by the American Physical Society. He also served as president of the Southern Atlantic Coast section of the American Association of Physics Teachers (SAC-AAPT). He is a Clemson University Research, Scholarship and Artistic Achievement Award recipient. 

He served on the international scientific committee for the International Workshop on Inelastic Ion Surface Collisions, a biennial gathering of the world’s experts in particle-solid interactions, which draws researchers from the fields of chemistry, physics, materials science and fusion research.

Physics and Astronomy at Clemson University is poised to expand and contribute to the overall University mission in positive and transformative ways, with prominent academic, research and outreach efforts. I am honored to have the chance to guide us on this journey, leveraging our continued excellence to support groundbreaking scientific discoveries that will positively impact all the communities we serve.


Prior to his arrival at Clemson, Sosolik was a National Research Council postdoctoral research associate at the National Institute of Standards and Technology. He earned his master’s degree and Ph.D. in physics from Cornell University and his bachelor’s degree from Texas A&M University.

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