Robert Novak, PhD
Professor of Physics
Phone: (914) 633-2239
BS, Iona College
MS, Stevens Institute of Technology
Mphil, PhD, Columbia University, 1980
Br. Robert Novak PhD, is a Professor of Physics and Chair of the Physics Department at Iona College. In addition to teaching physics, he conducts research with students and is the moderator of the Men’s and Women’s Rowing teams.
Brother Novak began his teaching career at Iona College in 1976 after teaching in high schools for four years. He has performed research on laser induced alkali-rare gas molecules and on the laser destruction of gallstones. Since 1996, he has been collaborating with NASA’s Astrobiology Institute at the Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland. Since then, he has been part of a team that has detected organic chemicals, water vapor, and carbon monoxide in comets and in the atmosphere of Mars. During that time, he has made over twenty trips to NASA’s 120 inch telescope located on top of Mauna Kea (13,900 feet) on the Big Island of Hawaii. He is the author or co-author of over thirty-five research publications.
He has been the Principal Investigator on grants that Iona College received from both NASA and the National Science Foundation; these grants have totaled over $500,000. As part of these grants, Iona undergraduates have participated in the planetary science research. Ten students have accompanied him on research trips to NASA’s Infra-red Telescope. Their trips have resulted in over ten student presentations at regional and international scientific conferences.
Br. Novak holds degrees in physics from Iona College (B.S., 1972), Stevens Institute of Technology (M.S., 1977), and Columbia University (M.Ph., Ph.D., 1980).