Alumni Spotlight

Dipesh Bhattari ’05
Process Development Engineer
Cree Inc. (MA)  

Major: Physics

Activities: Physics Club, ISSO

What first attracted you to Whittier College? I was attracted to Whittier College’s liberal arts environment where I could pick and choose between varieties of curriculum. The Los Angeles area also has nice weather and nice beaches.

Why did you choose to study physics? I have been passionate about physics ever since the eighth grade. The fundamental way in which physics explains natural phenomena has always interested me. I used to read about Einstein’s theory of relativity when I was in the ninth standard.  Optics has been my favorite sub branch of physics. By studying physics, I was pursuing my passion.

Describe your experience at Whittier College. Who was your favorite professor? My first year was fun and full of new experiences and new friends. My second year was mostly about getting more focused towards my goals. My third and fourth year, I was mostly taking physics and mathematics classes. My favorite professors were Seamus Lagan and Glenn Piner; they supported me throughout my undergraduate education and also helped me find a graduate school.

What was your most memorable moment at Whittier College? My most memorable moment at Whittier College was while organizing the Sigma Pi Sigma induction ceremony for 2006. I took a leadership role for the first time.

What was your first job after Whittier? What are you currently up to? How has your Whittier education benefited you professionally? After graduating from Whittier, I worked with Professor Piner for a year analyzing and plotting VLBI data for three different quasars. We found one of the fastest moving objects in the universe with Quasar Jet for the Quasar 0827+243. Then, I went to graduate school at Boston University to pursue a M.A. degree in astronomy and afterwards a M.S. degree in electrical engineering (fabrication and evaluation of deep UV LEDs). Currently I work at Cree Inc. as a Process Development Engineer. The main part of my job is to improve the performance of LED Devices by using better wafer fabrication techniques. Whittier College gave me a good foundation in physics. I was able to build on that foundation during my graduate school and also during my career.

What advice would you give to future physics alumni when they graduate? My advice to future physics alumni is that there will be lots of opportunities, but you have to sell yourself. Whenever you go for an interview, try to highlight your strong points and avoid talking about your weaknesses.

Finish this sentence: I am a ‘Poet for Life’ because Whittier gave me sound knowledge on different academic disciplines, as well as made me a good physicist.

-Are you a graduate of the Department of Physics and Astronomy and want to share your story? Contact the Office of Communications at therock@whittier.edu.