Paul Whitfield Horn Professor Stefan K. Estreicher
Department of Physics, College of Arts and Sciences
"You are only as good as your next paper" defines Stefan Estreicher's commitment to the future and to his research.
Originally from Switzerland, Estreicher earned his doctorate from the University of Zürich in 1982 before moving to the United States in 1983.
With eclectic passions ranging from physics to wine, Estreicher's success is inherent in his enthusiasm, dedication and an old-fashioned sense of learning to have fun.
Estreicher co-edited "Theory of Defects in Semiconductors" and wrote "Wine: from Neolithic Times to the 21st Century." Since he is such a well-known wine expert, he is sometimes invited to give two talks at scientific conferences: one is technical and research-oriented, the other deals with the history of wine. The last time this happened was at Oxford University in 2006, the next one will be in Sicily in the fall of 2007.
"Science is fun; almost as much fun as the history of wine," Estreicher says.
Estreicher's research at Texas Tech focuses on defects and impurities in materials – especially semiconductors. The impurities contained in semiconductors control their mechanical, electrical, optical and magnetic properties.
Estreicher says it is not an area of research that is easy to explain, but amazing progress has been seen in recent decades. The predictive power of theory has improved to the point that the results of a number of experimental measurements can now be predicted within one percent. As a result, Estreicher often collaborates with experimental groups throughout the world.
With over 150 scientific papers already published and a recently published book, Estreicher has no plans of slowing down and wants to continue working for many years to come.
"I don't dwell in the past," Estreicher says. "I have a reputation of being pretty tough. I'm devoted to my research."
Estreicher, a theoretical physicist and a faculty member in the physics department, has been with the university for 20 years. He was named a Paul Whitfield Horn Professor in 2000 and won the Friedrich Wilhelm Bessel Prize from the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation in 2001. He is also a Fellow of the American Physical Society and a Fellow of the Institute of Physics (UK).