New Leader in Physics & Astronomy
Welcome Patrick Bunton, Ph.D.

Dr. Patrick Bunton

He’s worked with NASA several times, is a renown physicist and has more than 20 years of experience in higher education. Now, Dr. Patrick Bunton is the new head of UNG’s Department of Physics and Astronomy.

“We are thrilled to welcome Dr. Patrick Bunton to our UNG family,” said CSM Dean John Leyba. “His exceptional leadership in the field of physics and his commitment to students and faculty are among those strengths that make him the right leader.”

With a passion for education, Bunton has worked with undergraduate students around sustainability with an emphasis on solar power. He also serves as a board advisor with Xela AID, a non-profit which provides educational opportunities to the Mayan people in Guatemala.

A dedicated researcher, Bunton’s primary area of expertise is optics and optical imaging. During his career, this expertise led him to a position as an optical physicist at NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center, in Huntsville Alabama. In addition, Bunton has collaborated with scientists and engineers on research at the University of California at Santa Barbara, the University of Brussels (Belgium), the University of Newcastle upon Tyne (England), and most recently with Cambridge University (England). He also had an experiment fly on Blue Origin’s New Shepard spacecraft.

Bunton earned his Ph.D. and M.S. degrees in physics from Vanderbilt University and his B.A. in physics and mathematics from East Tennessee State University. Bunton comes to UNG from William Jewell College in Liberty, Missouri, where he was professor of physics and chair of the physics department for 13 years. Prior to this time, Bunton was on the physics faculty at Austin Peay State University, Clarksville, Tennessee.