Grant will help Kennesaw State math professor analyze electromagnetic waves

KENNESAW, Ga. | Jun 21, 2024

Eric Stachura
The stereotype of mathematics and mathematicians involves a solitary pursuit of knowledge, but Eric Stachura knows better.

The Kennesaw State University assistant professor of mathematics works on quantitative analysis of electromagnetic waves and keeps a collaborative research practice with colleagues near and far. That partnership has led to a three-year grant worth $223,206 from the Army Research Office, a director of the U.S. Army Combat Capabilities Development Command Army Research Laboratory.

“It is a very collaborative subject, and being able to discuss things with different people with varying viewpoints is an extremely important aspect of this research,” said Stachura, who teaches in KSU’s College of Science and Mathematics. “We want to better understand various physical phenomena and explain them using mathematics, and luckily I was able to explain how my work fits into the Army’s interest in electromagnetism.”

The grant will help Stachura work more directly with research collaborators in Sweden and Greece, and he plans to establish research projects related to this work with students from engineering, physics and other departments at Kennesaw State. Stachura minored in physics while earning his undergraduate degree, and he’ll take on a problem related to physics with this project — how electromagnetic waves interact with various surfaces.

“For example, in an urban environment, electromagnetic waves interact with different surfaces in complicated ways. Our work seeks to not only understand the relationship between the waves and the surfaces, but also to account for both electric and magnetic responses using the power of mathematics. This work will be useful, for instance, in the development of defense mechanisms against directed energy weapons that focus electromagnetic energy,” he said.

The award is the largest for KSU’s Department of Mathematics focused on advancing the research front in mathematics itself; other researchers in the department have also received grants relating math to other areas, such as education, student success, or access to scholarships. Department chair and professor of mathematics Erik Westlund said Stachura’s achievement elevates the department’s research profile in tandem with KSU.

“Our department’s research culture is thriving and growing in reputation in direct alignment with the University’s mission of becoming a premier R2 institution,” Westlund said. “Dr. Stachura’s success in the immensely competitive funding landscape of mathematics shows the strength and novelty of his research program. He is a key member of a growing cohort of excellent junior faculty in our department who are engaged in high-level research in pure and applied mathematics. It is an exciting time to be a mathematician at KSU.”

– Story by Dave Shelles

Photos by Matt Yung

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A leader in innovative teaching and learning, Kennesaw State University offers undergraduate, graduate and doctoral degrees to its more than 45,000 students. Kennesaw State is a member of the University System of Georgia with 11 academic colleges. The university’s vibrant campus culture, diverse population, strong global ties and entrepreneurial spirit draw students from throughout the country and the world. Kennesaw State is a Carnegie-designated doctoral research institution (R2), placing it among an elite group of only 7 percent of U.S. colleges and universities with an R1 or R2 status. For more information, visit