Bettendorf Community Schools Foundation
2017 Visiting Science Scholar
The Bettendorf Community Schools Foundation has named James Wetzel, an experimental high-energy particle physicist and 2004 BHS graduate, the 2017 BCSF Visiting Science Scholar. The program features role models to high school students thinking of entering a career in the fields of science or math.
Wetzel received his B.S. and Ph.D. in physics from the University of Iowa and also holds a Certificate in Entrepreneurial Management from the University. He is a research scientist at Iowa and a collaborator with CERN, the European Organization for Nuclear Research - home to the world's largest and most powerful particle accelerator, the Large Hadron Collider, and particle physics detectors including the Compact Muon Solenoid. Wetzel has authored work in publications including the Journal of Instrumentation (JINST), IEEE Transactions on Nuclear Science, and Physics Letters B. He teaches at Augustana College and Coe College and also serves as an instructor for the Belin-Blank Center at Iowa.
Wetzel is also CEO of OB Design Group, which specializes in complex 3D design and printing. Its projects have included 3D printing precise models of detectors at CERN and Fermilab that are used to familiarize offsite scientists and students with these complex devices. One of the design group's models is now featured as a set piece on the popular CBS show, The Big Bang Theory.
The BCSF Visiting Scholar Program was started through a sizable donation to the Bettendorf Community Schools Foundation by a Bettendorf graduate to be used to recognize BHS graduates who have gone on to secure successful careers in a field of science as well as recognize the impact of the late Donald Schaefer, a retired Bettendorf High School science teacher.
The Bettendorf Community Schools Foundation works to enhance the educational opportunities for the students of the Bettendorf Community School District through the development and disbursement of funds. For more information about the Bettendorf Community Schools Foundation, contact Julie Funk, Director of Administration & Outreach (563) 359-3681, ext. 3094.