Nathan W. Erickson, Ph.D. – Lead Senior Nuclear Station Operator

nathanwerickson [at]

Professional Experience

Lead Senior Nuclear Station Operator. (2016-Current)

Operate a 3565 MW Westinghouse PWR Nuclear Power Plant. Outage task lead for all secondary side systems.

Research Associate at Applied Research Labs. (2015-2016)

Evaluated and analyzed Ionospheric Models in the Space and Geophysics Lab.

Postdoc at University of Texas at Austin. (2011­-2015)

Modernized classroom resources using interactive computer environments with in-person instruction for use in STEM courses. Created 433 videos to strengthen learning outcomes using data-driven best practices.

Graduate Studies at The University of Texas at Austin. (2004­-2011)

Researched nonlinear optical properties using femtosecond spectroscopy of nanomaterials.  Produced and analyzed metallic nanoparticles using Laser Ablation of Microparticles (LAM)  and Time-Of-Flight spectroscopy.


Postdoctoral position at The University of Texas at Austin (2011-2015)

University of Texas at Austin – Ph.D. in Physics (2003­ – 2011)

Michigan Technical University – B.S. in Physics, Psychology minor (2003)


Teaching History

2017 – Current: On The Job Trainer and Task Performance Evaluator qualified

Instructor and evaluator on all NSO tasks.

2012 – 2015: Lecturer at The University of Texas at Austin

Instructor of Record for non­calculus intro Physics (Phy 302K and 302L).


  • Solid understanding of a wide range of physical sciences: physical chemistry, atomic, molecular and optical physics, nuclear, and scientific instrumentation.
  • Laboratory and mechanical skills related to the design, construction and operation of research in atomic, molecular and optical physics. In detail, experience designing and building laboratory electronics, laser optics, ultrahigh vacuum equipment, laser ablation spectroscopy, ion optics, time of flight mass spectroscopy (linear and reflectron time-of-flight), fluorescence spectroscopy, time correlated methods, time and frequency resolved measurements, imaging, computer control of experiments.
  • Mathematical and numerical analysis skills, data modelling and fitting in both Physics and Psychology

Additional Skills

  • Experience with a range of lasers and optics, techniques of ultra­high vacuum design and generation, particle detection and spectroscopy in electric fields
  • Trained in Tranmistion Electron Microspcopy (TEM) including Bright field, Dark Field, Selected area diffraction, etc.
  • Workable knowledge of Mathamatica, Origin, Microsoft Products (Word, Excel, and Powerpoint), AutoCAD
  • Basic skill in Python, HTML, CSS, PHP, Javascript, LaTeX and TeX.
  • Personable leadership style. Patient teacher.

Presented and Published Works

  • N. Erickson: Decreasing Cost, Increasing Gains: Initial Data From a Flipped Class, Special Seminar, Hebrew University of Jerusalem (March 2014)
  • Produced 433 educational videos for introductory physics class and labs (2011-2014)
  • Video clip featured in PBS video “Physics of Space Battles” (at 01:30).
  • Contributed Talk for AAPT Winter meeting  –Decreasing Cost, Increasing Gains: Initial Data From a Flipped Class (New Orleans 2013)
  • Invited Guest Speaker for Phy 398T – Supervised Teaching Seminar for Graduate Students (Each semester of 2007-2013)
  • N. Erickson: Size distributions and nonlinear optical enhancement of silver nanoparticles produced by LAM Dissertation, The University of Texas at Austin (May 2011)
  • N. Erickson, K. Hoffman, J. Keto: Invesitgation of the size distribution of nanoparticles produced by Laser Ablation of Microparticles, Proceedings of the APS Texas Section Fall Meeting in San Antonio, TX (2010)
  • N. Erickson: A Novel Use of Wikipedia in the Instruction of Introduction Physics Labs for Nonmajors, Proceedings of tehe APS Texas Section and AAPT Spring Meeting in Austin, TX (2010)
  • Physics 102M Laboratory Manual, Multiple Revisions, The University of Texas at Austin Physics Department, (2006-2010)
  • N. Erickson,: Tips and tricks of the trade: Teaching suggestions according to Prof. Joe Redish, Discussion for the Physics Education Forum, University of Texas at Austin (2010)
  • N. Erickson,: Comparing Lab Formats and Logistics Across UT Physics Department Courses, Discussion for the Physics Education Forum, University of Texas at Austin (2009)