By Kande Williston, Math and Science
It is easy to see why students at York love Physics. Walk into Dr. Hanna’s room and you are immediately engulfed in art, algebraic analyses, and experiments in action (just watch out for the projectiles!). From building mouse-trap cars to calculating the i and j components of the path of an angry bird, Dr. Hanna finds interesting ways to connect with students and show them that physics applies to things they do every day.
Great teachers are, by nature, giving and Jeff gives freely of his time and energy. He is continuously finding innovative methods to introduce concepts. Then he readily shares them with his colleagues as well as students. After school he can be found discussing vectors while running dust trails with the cross country team or in the design shop helping students fine-tune a robot for the FIRST Robotics Competition. Dr. Hanna’s enthusiasm for physics and his dedication to ensuring that students understand and can apply the concepts keeps the students continuously engaged.
Jeff has always been curious about how and why things function. His career path was inspired by his physics teacher, Mr. Khan, who helped him see that physics can be used to explain almost everything. After spending his high school years in Dallas, Texas, where everything is big, Jeff applied to the School of Mines in Colorado.
There he learned to appreciate big ideas, as well as big mountains, while earning his Bachelors degree in Physics and a Masters degree in Systems Engineering. He continued his studies at Cal Tech in Pasadena completing a second Masters, then a PhD in mechanical engineering that was focused on fluid dynamics. Dr. Hanna completed a postdoctoral project in fuel cell design at MIT before coming back to California and joining the York faculty.
When he’s not teaching, Jeff spends as much time as he can outdoors. A dedicated scientist he is always observing and learning, including recently why and how to avoid poison oak. On a typical weekend you will find him trekking through the wilderness with his wife and dog.