Texas Tech University


Nural Akchurin


Professor of Physics and Associate Dean for Research, College of Arts and Sciences

Since its inception in the early 1990s, I have been involved with the Compact Muon Solenoid at CERN and have worked on many aspects of hadronic calorimetry and physics analyses. I continue to contribute to the development of new particle detectors for high energy physics as well as for applications in other fields. I also enjoy participating in the student-driven projects at the APD-Lab, especially Limyra, which makes muon tomography useful for archeology, and HELADO, the High Energy Llano EstAcado Detector for the detection of high-energy gamma ray air showers. When not at my day job, I may be found on my road bike, with my camera, or playing classical guitar. As an amateur genealogist, I study our family history, which spans 25 generations in Russia, China, Turkey, and the US.


Sung-Won Lee

Professor of Physics and Chair of Department of Physics & Astronomy

My research has focused on the test of Standard Model and search for new particles at the world's highest energy particle accelerators. My research activities have spanned participation in the ZEUS experiment at DESY, the CDF experiment at Fermilab, and the CMS experiment at CERN. I played a leading role in a number of hardware, software, and operations projects on various world-class experiments. The ultimate goal of my research is to discover the missing fundamental building blocks of our physical world and to answer some of the most profound questions on the structure of matter and the evolution of the early Universe. When not doing physics, I enjoy watching movies, especially 3rd world films, collecting gadgets, and of course spending quality time with my family.



Shuichi Kunori

Associate Professor of Physics

I worked on various types of calorimeters for particle physics experiments at LEP (electron-positron collider), Tevatron (proton-antiproton collider, muons on fixed target) and LHC (proton-proton collider). I tested prototypes of those calorimeters using particle beams at BNL, Fermilab and CERN, and optimized the design of each calorimeter for the experiments using the test beam data and Monte Carlo simulations. Now I am developing radiation hard / fast timing sensors and new concepts of calorimetry for future experiments with colleagues at the APD-Lab. I also worked on muon tracking detectors before and now helping TTU students to develop a cosmic muon detector for muon tomography. On the physics side, I have been searching for new physics beyond the standard model of particle physics- and currently looking for signatures of dark matter and graviton productions in proton-proton collisions at the LHC.


Andrew Whitbeck

Assistant Professor of Physics

I have been a member of the Compact Muon Solenoid collaboration for 10 years, starting out as a graduate student working on searches for new resonances such as Higgs bosons, or Higgs-like resonances.

I have been at Texas Tech since 2018 and have continued work on searches for new sources of missing energy with the hope that one day we'll see dark matter being produced at the LHC allowing for detailed property measurements to help better understand the universe we live in. I am also involved with the detector development to help improve our ability to detect dark matter at accelerators.

I am involved with the construction of the CMS endcap calorimeter upgrades where we're ramping up to build 5000 silicon modules -- a radiation detector technology similar to that found in cell phone cameras -- at our APD lab. I am also leading the effort to design and prototype a detector for the LDMX experiment using scintillating plastics and silicon photomultipliers. LDMX is a next-generation accelerator-based dark matter experiment that is sufficiently sensitive for ruling out a large portion of the remaining thermal dark matter parameter space. Thermal production of dark matter is a leading hypothesis for the origin of the relic dark matter abundance.

I also have an interest in outreach. I have help with the Johns Hopkins HEP group's exhibit at the national science and engineering fair in Washington DC. I have participated in career days at local elementary schools. I have help with the CMS masters class and the quark net project here at TTU, and astronight events hosted by the TTU Physics and Astronomy department.

When I am not working, I like to either be very active by running, biking, or hiking, or be very sedentary by binging TV shows at home.


Igor Volobouev

Associate Professor of Physics

I joined the TTU HEP Group and the CMS Collaboration at the LHC in 2006. Before that, I had contributed to the CLEO experiment at CESR and the CDF experiment at Tevatron, as well as to the Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope. My scientific interests lie in the areas of top quark and Higgs boson physics, calorimeter energy and jet reconstruction algorithms, matrix element methods, and other advanced data techniques for particle physics. I am also interested in a number of applied statistics topics, including nonparametric density estimation, limited sample size inference, template morphing, and inverse problems. In the course of my career, I have written all kinds of software, ranging from Linux device drivers and low-level data acquisition systems to scientific data analysis packages.