Wouter Deconinck is an Assistant Professor of Physics at the College of William & Mary. After receiving his MS degree in physics engineering in 2003 at the University of Ghent in Belgium, he conducted his PhD research on exotic baryon spectroscopy at the HERMES experiment at DESY, Hamburg, Germany. He defended his dissertation in 2007 at the University of Michigan under the direction of Wolfgang Lorenzon. He moved to Williamsburg in 2008 to start a postdoctoral researcher position for MIT stationed at Jefferson Lab.
Since joining the faculty at the College of William & Mary in 2010, Wouter Deconinck has focused his research activities in experimental nuclear physics at Jefferson Lab. In particular, he is conducting precision measurements of quantities that have accurate predictions in our current best theory of particles and their fundamental interactions. His experiments are conducted by large international collaborative groups of up to 100 physicists.
At William & Mary, Wouter Deconinck is active as founder of the Small Hall Makerspace, a creative space where students can design, build and learn using a variety of tools, including 3D printers, laser cutters, CNC milling machines, robotics platforms, electronics prototyping equipment, and virtual reality headsets.
Wouter Deconinck has taught at all levels in the physics curriculum, from introductory physics for life-science students over intermediate lecture-based and lab-based courses for physics majors, to foundational and advanced graduate courses. He particularly enjoyed teaching a science writing seminar, and is fascinated by courses that include some design components (such as his electronics laboratory course).
Outside the classroom, Wouter Deconinck is active nationally in improving access to minorities in the sciences, working to promote research experiences for disadvantaged undergraduates at teaching colleges through the W&M Physics REU program and as one of the founding members of the national committee on LGBT+ issues in physics of the American Physical Society.