Bieniek Profile

Dr. Ronald J. Bieniek

Office number: 304-696-6044



Harvard University                                          PhD (Physics)                       1975

Harvard University                                          MA (History of Science)     1973

Massachusetts Institute of Technology   (no degree)                                1971

University of California-Riverside              BS (Physics)                            1970


Industrial experience:

Summer positions at North American Aviation, Rockwell International, Naval Undersea Research and Development Center, NASA, Nichols Corporation


Research interests:

Dr. Bieniek conducts research in atomic/molecular collision theory and into effective ways of nurturing success in students and faculty, particularly through collaborative processes. He is interested in developing and implementing effective solutions to key issues in student achievement, student leadership, student-faculty retention, and faculty development.


Significant Funded Research Projects:

  • Breakdown of the local complex potential in negative ion collisions, funded by the National Science Foundation. Principal Investigator.
  • Development of accurate quantal and semiclassical techniques to determine the dynamical and optical behavior of excited dimmers (excimers), funded by the National Science Foundation. Principal Investigator.
  • Molecular energy transfer in aerothermodynamics, funded by National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) through Stanford University. Principal Investigator.
  • Science Education and Quantitative Literacy: An Integrated, Inquiry-Based Approach, funded by the Missouri Department of Higher Education. Co-Principal Investigator.
  • Investigation of polarization phenomena in the upper atmosphere, funded by the Air Force Office of Scientific Research through the National Academies. Principal Investigator.

Significant Publications:

  • R.J. Bieniek, V.Y. Bieniek, and J.F. Farley, "Insuring Success of Collaborative Course-Based Learning Centers for Student Empowerment and Faculty Involvement", 38th Annual Conference of the International Society for Exploring Teaching and Learning (Las Vegas, Nevada, 23-25 Oct 2008),
  • R.J. Bieniek, "Isotope effects in collisional relaxation of molecular hydrogen", Proceedings of the 2006 NASA Laboratory Astrophysics Workshop (NASA/CP-2006-214549), pp 299-302 (2006)
  • R.J. Bieniek and S.J. Lipson, “Semiquantal modeling of thermal vibrational relaxation of diatomic molecules”, Chemical Physics Letters vol 263, 276 (1996).
  • R.J. Bieniek, M.W. Müller and M. Movre, “Uniform stationary-phase methods for energy spectra resulting from collisions in a complex potential: Penning and associative ionization of He(23S)* + He(23S)*“, Journal of Physics B vol 23, 4521 (1990).
  • R.J. Bieniek and S. Green, “Collisional rates for vibrational-rotational transitions in circumstellar SiO masers”, Astrophysical Journal Letters vol 265, L29 (1983).


Professional Memberships and Activities:

  • American Physical Society, Member
  • American Physical Society, national Committee on Education (1999-2000)
  • College Board, Chair of Development Committee for SAT Subject Test in Physics (2010-2014)
  • National Science Foundation proposal review panels, Member
  • University of Missouri-System, Co-Director of New Faculty Teaching Scholars Program (2001-2009)
  • University of Missouri-System, Comprehensive Program Assessment team


Honors and Awards:

  • Freshman Engineering "We Love Your Class Award", Missouri University of Science and Technology: 2007, 2012, 2013


  • Corporate Development Council Faculty Award: 2002
  • H Murray Clark Memorial Lectureship, San Jose State University: 2008
  • Rufus and Sofie Paine Lecturer in Religion, University of Missouri-Columbia: 1995
  • Senior Fulbright Fellowship for West Germany: 1988
  • Funded Visiting Scientist/Scholar at Oxford University, Imperial College, Université de Paris, Observatoire de Paris, Max Planck Institut für Quantenoptik, Universität Kaiserslautern, Universitá di Firenze, Stanford University, and University of Nevada-Las Vegas.