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Robert V. Duncan, Ph.D.

Robert V. Duncan, Ph.D.

Vice President for Research,
Professor of Physics

Robert Duncan joined Texas Tech University (TTU) as the Vice President for Research in January, 2014. Prior to accepting this position, he served as the Vice Chancellor for Research at the University of Missouri. He supervises TTU’s research administration and its major research facilities, including multiple interdisciplinary research centers.

Duncan received his bachelor’s degree in physics from MIT in 1982 and his doctorate in physics from the University of California-Santa Barbara in 1988. He has served as a professor of physics and astronomy, and as a joint associate professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering at the University of New Mexico (UNM), as a visiting associate on the physics faculty at Caltech, and as the associate dean for research in the College of Arts and Sciences at UNM.

R. V. Duncan has published extensively in experimental low-temperature physics, including the observation of new phenomena near the superfluid transition in helium, and in new instrumentation development for physics research in space. Previously, Dr. Duncan has served as principal investigator on a fundamental physics research program for NASA. As the founding Director of the New Mexico Consortium’s Institute at Los Alamos National Laboratory, he has worked to fund major conferences and summer schools in quantitative biology, information science and technology, energy and environment, and astrophysics and cosmology. In 2012, Duncan formed the Sidney Kimmel Institute for Nuclear Renaissance at the University of Missouri, which was empowered by a major gift from Sidney Kimmel. Duncan has received more than $8 million in federal funding on research efforts that he has led as Principal Investigator.

Dr. Duncan is a Fellow and a life member of the American Physical Society. He was named the Gordon and Betty Moore Distinguished Scholar in the Division of Physics, Mathematics, and Astronomy at Caltech in 2004, and he chaired the Instrumentation and Measurement Topical Group for the American Physical Society in 2002, and the International Symposium on Quantum Fluids and Solids in 2003. He has consulted extensively to industry, co-invented nine patents, and assisted in the formation of companies. Duncan chaired the Panel of the National Academy of Sciences on Fundamental Physical Sciences in Space, which has been released as Chapter 8 within the Decadal Survey report entitled: Recapturing a Future for Space Exploration: Life and Physical Sciences Research for a New ra through the National Research Council (2011). He also has served on the National Academy of Sciences Panel to evaluate the effectiveness of the Experimental Program to Stimulate Competitive Research, which spans many federal funding agencies. This report was published through the National Academies in November, 2013. Duncan serves as a reviewer for many journals and federal funding agencies, and he has recently been a Member of the Visiting Committee to recommend revisions of the curriculum at the United States Military Academy at West Point, NY. He is married to Annette Sobel, M.D., M.S., and they reside in Lubbock, Texas.

Contact Robert Duncan at (806) 742-3905 or robert.duncan@ttu.edu
Photograph by Neal Hinkle