Assistant Professor, Nuclear Physics
Lisa Kaufman, assistant professor of nuclear physics at Indiana University, believes the people who are happiest and most successful in their careers are those who love what they are doing. Her love lies in physics, and the freedom to work on whatever problems that interest her.
It was a quantum mechanics course at the College of William and Mary where Kaufman was an undergrad that sparked her interest in physics. “I was fascinated with particle physics and wanted to learn more,” she said. “I talked to one of my professors about working with him on a project at Jefferson Lab in Newport News, VA, and he said yes. From then on, I was hooked.”
The support Kaufman felt throughout her life inspires her to encourage other women and young people in general to follow their love of science and technology. “I would say that one reason I ended up in physics is because nobody ever told me I couldn’t do it,” said Kaufman. “I am fortunate to have always been encouraged in my educational and professional endeavors.”
Kaufman constantly uses technology in her physics career and research, from a simple laptop computer to the electronics required for simulations using high-performance computing and other programming techniques. She wishes others knew that technical fields encompass more than just engineering and computer programming. “There is a lot of science, math, design and creativity in technical fields,” she mentioned.
When she is not working, Kaufman enjoys running, cycling, knitting and cooking, though her passion for physics makes her career more than just a job. “We would do the work even if we weren’t getting paid,” Kaufman said.