Christopher Sorensen

Cortelyou-Rust university distinguished professor
University distinguished teaching scholar

Christopher Sorensen

Chris Sorensen is the Cortelyou-Rust distinguished professor and a university distinguished teaching scholar in the department of physics — and adjunct professor in the department of chemistry — at Kansas State University.

Sorensen divides his professional time between teaching and scholarly research. His work concerns particulate systems, soft matter physics and light scattering. He is the author of more than 260 papers and holds six patents. He has given more than 100 invited lectures in the U.S. and abroad. In 2013, he was one of five scientists invited to be a guest lecturer on the Bright Horizons 16 cruise sponsored by Scientific American magazine.

In 2003, he won the David Sinclair Award from the American Association for Aerosol Research for his work on aerosol fractal aggregates and light scattering. Sorensen is a Fellow and past president of that association. He also received the 2008 Olin Petefish Award in Basic Science from the Higuchi-KU Endowment Fund and is a Norlin Distinguished Alumnus of the Universtiy of Colorado. For his teaching efforts Sorensen has won numerous awards at all levels including the Carnegie/CASE U.S. Professor of the Year for doctoral and research universities in 2007. 

Sorensen conceived, developed and taught the new studio method for instruction in the large sophomore-level engineering physics course taught at K-State. He integrated reading of the great scientists into the lowest-level non-major physics course. He also co-conceived, developed and is the primary instructor for EXCITE! -- a summer workshop for teen women designed to give them hands-on mechanical skills.

Sorensen presents lectures popularizing science at high schools throughout Kansas, and works with underrepresented youths through the American Chemistry Society project SEED.

At the graduate level Sorensen has been primary professor to 19 master's recipients, 16 doctorate recipients and 10 postdocs.

He is a native of Omaha, Neb., and received a bachelor's degree in physics at the University of Nebraska at Lincoln in 1969. Sorensen was drafted and served two years in the U.S. Army, including in Vietnam. He returned to school to receive his master's and doctorate degrees in physics from the University of Colorado.

Sorensen can be reached at 785-532-1626 or sor@phys.ksu.edu.