Jon Erickson

Associate Professor, Department of Physics and Engineering
Washington and Lee University

Hello, I'm Jon. Howdy to all you wonderful people out there! Here is my CV summarizing my academic life. In case you are curious, here's a little more about me. I grew up in Broomfield, Colorado, spending lots of time outside running, biking, playing soccer, and generally horsing around with the Aspen Street crew. I went off to college intending to study neuroscience and chemistry en route to a potential career in neurosurgery; I had alwasy loved math, been fascinated by brains and enjoyed working with my hands. Plot twist! A few courses in E and M and quantum later and I was hooked on physics. After bouncing around a few labs in grad school, unsure of what I really was doing there, or wanted to do, until my old roommate told me about a physics professor who built devices to study neuronal networks. Wait a second, physics and neurobiology combined? Yes, please! 5 years of designing MEMS devices, doing lots and lots of electronics, culturing brain cells, and trail running in the San Gabriels on many a fine morning, I had earned a PhD in Bioengineering. Funny how academic interests can come full circle. As a postdoc I continued to study brains. Actually, the "second brain", developing signal procesing methods to tease out the faint "heartbeat" of the small intestine from SQUID magnetometer recordings. These days, my professional energy is focused on teaching a bunch of awesome, curious, and enthusiastic students. Actually, I learn a lot from them! My lab does research at the intersection of physics and biology. We build electronic devices and algorithms to study the GI system (in close collaboration with the GI group at the Auckland Bioengineering Institute); and develop techniques to "drive" insect-hybrid robots with neural-electric pulses. I am also the faculty adviser for the W&L Engineering Community Development club, with projects locally and abroad. In my free time, you might spot me on a local trail, walking, running, and/or climbing on stuff, or wrangling two young and energetic kiddos at the playground.