KU names first Feaster physics scholars

Two Kansas University juniors have been named the first Gene R. Feaster Physics Scholars.

Emily Ann Smith, majoring in physics and interdisciplinary computing, and Daniel Rhodes, majoring in physics, were awarded the scholarship for the 2014-2015 academic year. The scholarship covers tuition costs for one year for each recipient.

The scholarship was established by alumnus Gene Feaster, who invented a medical device called Superflab that is used in radiology clinics across the country. Feaster also established a scholarship and a professorship in the School of Nursing, in honor of his late wife. Feaster, who lives in Leawood, graduated with a bachelor’s degree in chemistry in 1940 and doctorate in physics in 1953, both from KU.

Feaster led a two-pronged career, the first in radiation physics. He began at the Radio Corporation of America, then continued at Westinghouse and Corning Glass. At Westinghouse, he was twice named Inventor of the Year; he holds 10 U.S. patents. He began the second part of his career by studying medical physics at the University of Virginia. This led him in 1977 to the Kansas University Medical Center, where he taught radiation therapy to students in nursing and radiology until his 1992 retirement.

Rhodes is the son of Chris and Alma Rhodes of Oskaloosa. Rhodes’ primary research interest is in nuclear physics, and he is currently working on a project with a professor involving the polarization of Upsilons.

Smith is the daughter of Douglas and Jane Smith of Lenexa and Soldier. She has been involved in physics research for the past two years, including a summer spent abroad at CERN, located near Geneva. CERN is the home of the Large Hadron Collider where physicists collide protons at near the speed of light.