Maurer named Stewart W. Schneller Endowed Chair
David Maurer, professor in the Department of Physics, has been named the Stewart W. Schneller Endowed Chair through Sept. 30, 2026. The Schneller Endowed Chair was established by friends, alumni, students, and colleagues in honor of former COSAM Dean Stewart Schneller. “Being selected as the Schneller Endowed Chair is truly a great honor and makes me reflect upon my contributions to Auburn and my broader research community, and motivates me to continue to make a difference through my future research, teaching, and service,” Maurer said.
Maurer received his bachelor’s degree in Nuclear Engineering with additional majors in Physics and Mathematics from the University of Wisconsin – Madison in 1991, followed by a Doctorate in Applied Physics from Columbia University in 2000. He served as a Research Scientist and Adjunct Faculty member at Columbia before joining the Auburn faculty in 2011. His research focuses on the magnetic confinement of high temperature matter heated to millions of degrees, called plasma, for both basic fundamental plasma physics research as well as its applications to fusion energy production.
As part of a dedicated research team working towards cutting-edge applications of plasma physics and fusion energy, Maurer’s research work is predominantly carried out on-campus using the Compact Toroidal Hybrid (CTH) device. The group also works on the Wendelstein-7 Experiment (W7-X) at the Institute of Plasma Physics in Greifswald, Germany. “I am proud to see our research grow both nationally and internationally during my time at Auburn,” he said. To date, his work has garnered more than $6.4 million in grant funding during his time at Auburn.
Maurer has served as both President, Vice President, and Executive Committee Member of the University Fusion Association, was a Co-Chair of the US Magnetic Fusion Research Strategic Directions Activity providing input to a National Academy study on burning plasmas, has been a member of the DIII-D National Fusion Facility Physics Advisory Committee, served on several American Physical Society – Division of Plasma Physics Committees, the National Stellarator Coordinating Committee, and the US Burning Plasma Physics Organization Executive Committee.
“Auburn University and the Physics Department in particular have been a wonderful place to work and I look forward to expanding my research pursuits in the coming years enabled by the Schneller Chair,” Maurer said.
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