“We are always seeking out ways for our faculty researchers to make interdisciplinary connections and collaborations and further amazing research

SAN LUIS OBISPO — Louise Edwards, an assistant professor in Cal Poly’s Physics Department, has been appointed a faculty fellow to the California State University (CSU) Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics Network (STEM-NET) affinity group.

STEM-NET is a multi-campus collaboration working with all 23 CSU campuses and areas of STEM research and education. STEM-NET connects and strengthens faculty research and educational collaborations across the CSU system and across disciplines. It expands opportunities for active learning and innovative pedagogy and supports CSU faculty in developing grant proposals with the potential for scaling and sustainability with high impact and fundability.

“I am excited to form new connections with the STEM community here at Cal Poly as well as throughout the other CSU program partners — and especially with those who may have shared interest in developing collaborative research programs,” Edwards said. “Additionally, being a member of this group affords me some extra time to apply for external grants, which could help fund summer research opportunities for students here at Cal Poly.”


In addition to her research work, Edwards anticipates this opportunity will create new opportunities for her in the classroom as well.

“I try to integrate my enthusiasm for physics and astrophysics into many of my courses, often by highlighting new discoveries or state-of-the-art techniques,” Edwards said. “This opportunity will help introduce me to many CSU STEM researchers who are at the top of their game — and incorporating some of their latest findings will no doubt land in my course examples.

“I’ve worked with a lot of students from outside my department in the few years I’ve been here, including students majoring in graphic design, mechanical engineering, aerospace engineering, general engineering, and computer science,” Edwards continued. “I would love to engage with faculty from some of these and additional departments to see if we can work together on new projects.”

​​Prior to joining Cal Poly in 2016, Edwards was a lecturer in the astronomy department at Yale University and an assistant professor of physics at Mount Allison University. She also held postdoctoral positions at the California Institute of Technology’s Infrared Processing and Analysis Center and at Trent University. Edwards earned her doctorate in physics from Laval University in Quebec, Canada; her master’s degree from Saint Mary’s University in Nova Scotia, Canada; and her bachelor’s degree from the University of Victoria in British Columbia, Canada.

“We are thrilled to see Dr. Edwards and her work at Cal Poly recognized,” said Elizabeth Lowham, Cal Poly’s interim dean of graduate education and administrator in charge of the division of Research, Economic Development, and Graduate Education. “We are always seeking out ways for our faculty researchers to make interdisciplinary connections and collaborations and further amazing research that provides attention to inclusion and equity. Partnering with the CSU and STEM-NET is another example of our work to serve the people of the Central Coast, California, and beyond in our research.”