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K-State News
Kansas State University
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Two faculty members honored as university distinguished professors

Tuesday, April 14, 2015


MANHATTAN — Kansas State University has selected a jazz musician and a nuclear engineer as the newest university distinguished professors.

The professors receiving the distinction are Wayne Goins, professor of music, and Douglas McGregor, professor of mechanical and nuclear engineering.

University distinguished professor is a lifetime title and the highest honor the university bestows on its faculty members. The distinguished professors are appointed following a universitywide competition conducted by the provost.

"We congratulate our newest university distinguished professors on such worthy recognition," said April Mason, university provost and senior vice president. "They have made noteworthy contributions to teaching, research and service and have distinguished themselves within their fields."

Both Goins and McGregor will receive a personalized plaque and medallion at the university's fall 2015 commencement ceremonies.

Goins is a versatile jazz guitarist and a renowned researcher in the field of music education. He is the director of jazz studies at Kansas State University, where he conducts three big bands and teaches combos, private guitar lessons and jazz improvisation courses.

Goins plays, jazz, blues, pop, funk, rock and reggae. He has recorded more than 20 albums for Ichiban Records and started his own music label, Little Apple Records, for which he recorded six albums under his own name, as well as producing several others for his students.

Goins has delivered 54 lecture presentations and also delivered thousands of music performances at international, national, regional and local venues. He has performed with such luminaries as alto saxophonist Bobby Watson, organist Jimmy McGriff, tenor saxophonist Joe Lovano, trumpeter Mike Metheny, guitarist Kenny Burrell, and vibraphonist Lionel Hampton, among many others. His music has been performed with Pearle Cleage in the Broadway play, "Blues For an Alabama Sky," and his guitar work was used for August Wilson's hit Broadway play, "Seven Guitars."

Since coming to the university in 1998, Goins has written 30 articles, 18 CD reviews and numerous columns for magazines such as Pure Guitar Magazine, Jazz Ambassador Magazine and Jazz Improv Magazine. He also has published 12 peer-reviewed articles and eight books and book chapters on jazz.

Goins is leading Hale Library's Jimmy Rogers Archive Project, which is an exhibit of approximately 2,500 items related to Rogers' career and performances. Goins wrote the 2014 biography "Blues All Day Long: The Jimmy Rogers Story." Goins has been chosen to write the definitive biography on legendary blues musician Taj Mahal for the University of Illinois Press.

Goins received his doctorate in music education from Florida State University. He earned his bachelor's and master's degrees in music education from the University of Tennessee, Chattanooga.

McGregor is recognized internationally for his research in radiation detector design and development. He has served as director of Kansas State University's Semiconductor Materials and Radiological Technologies Laboratory, or SMART Lab, since his arrival at the university in 2002.

McGregor's research interests include design, development and deployment of radiation detectors and detection systems; nuclear measurements of various ionizing and non-ionizing radiation; crystal growth; semiconductor device physics; semiconductor device design; and semiconductor device fabrication.

McGregor's research group has developed numerous variations of neutron detectors, which range in size from miniature and compact portable devices to large detectors for portal monitors. He also has developed high-resolution gamma ray spectrometers along with novel methods of crystal growth for new detector materials.

The Kansas State University TRIGA MkII nuclear reactor is used to characterize radiation detectors developed under McGregor's direction. Many of his detector inventions have set efficiency and performance records, and have led to McGregor receiving multiple awards for innovative detector systems.

McGregor's inventions have brought the university $22 million in extramural research awards from organizations such as the Department of Defense and the Department of Energy. He also has received $1.5 million in internal university awards. McGregor's research has led to 14 detector patents with three additional patents pending and 17 provisional patents. He has published more than 100 refereed articles, five book chapters and more than 80 conference proceedings.

McGregor earned a master's and a doctorate in nuclear engineering from the University of Michigan. He received bachelor's and master's degrees in electrical engineering from Texas A&M University.

Written by

Jennifer Tidball

At a glance

Kansas State University has selected jazz musician Wayne Goins and nuclear engineer Douglas McGregor as the newest university distinguished professors.

Notable quote

"We congratulate our newest university distinguished professors on such worthy recognition. They have made noteworthy contributions to teaching, research and service and have distinguished themselves within their fields."

– April Mason, provost and senior vice president