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About Allen Andersen

My research with the USU Materials Physics Group involves investigating electrostatic discharge (ESD) phenomena for common polymeric and ceramic/glassy highly disordered insulating materials (HDIM). Insulating materials exposed to high electric fields will over time wear out and fail, causing catastrophic damage to devices. The goal of my work is to associate the ESD behavior of materials over short time periods of hours to days of accelerated laboratory testing to the microscopic density of defect states in that material in order to predict the aging behavior over the operational lifetime of the material which can be years or decades. Enhanced theoretical understanding of ESD in HDIM based on experimental studies has applications in spacecraft charging, high voltage DC power, thin film dielectrics, semiconductor devices and sensors, and high voltage devices.

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Honors and Awards

  • David and Terry Peak Outstanding Achievement Award in Physics, 2015
  • NASA Space Technology Research Fellow, 2014
  • Gene Adams Endowed Scholarship, 2014
  • Howard L. Blood Scholar, 2013-2014
  • Sigma Pi Sigma Member, April 2013
  • Outstanding Graduate Poster Presentation, American Physical Society Four Corner Section Meeting, New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology, 2012
  • Magna Cum Laude, BYU-Idaho, 2012
  • Full Tuition Academic Scholarship, BYU-Idaho, 2010-2012
  • Presidential Scholarship, BYU-Idaho, 2006
  • Utah State University College of Science Graduate Student (PhD) Researcher of the Year 2017
  • Bill E. Robins Doctoral Student Researcher of the Year Finalist, April 15, 2017


Present PhD, Utah State University ‐ Physics
2009 - 2012 BS, Brigham Young University Idaho ‐ Physics

Refereed Articles (7)

PhD Dissertation (1)

Other Publications (7)

Presentations (10)