WOODROW WILSON HIGH SCHOOL Alumni
SCIENTIST REFLECTS ON TIME AT WILSON
After graduating from Wilson, Stephen Foiles '74 received a BS degree in physics from Stanford University in 1978 and a Ph.D. in theoretical physics from Cornell University in 1983. Since then Stephen has worked for Sandia National Laboratories (www.sandia.gov) for 17 years at their location in Livermore, CA and for the last nine years at the main facility in Albuquerque, NM.
The author of over 100 scientific publications, Stephen conducts scientific research in the area of computational materials science. This means that he develops theoretical and computer models of the behavior of the atoms in a material and relates this to the properties of the material. In recognition of his pioneering work in this field, Stephen was named a Fellow of the American Physical Society (www.aps.org) and the Institute of Physics (www.iop.org) and has used these techniques to address materials issues in a variety of areas, such as microelectronics, radiation effects and high-temperature metals for aircraft engines.
Stephen has two children, Matthew (19) and Jenna (15) from his first marriage. He remarried a few years ago to Lynn and in the process gained two stepchildren, Shalese (26) and Brady (13).
When asked if he had any words of wisdom for Wilson students, Stephen states, "If I was to give any advice to current students it would be to learn broadly. You do not know what life will bring you and I am always amazed how important it was that I learned things which at the time I was sure were irrelevant."
Mr. Murray was the teacher that influenced Stephen the most during his time at Wilson. We learned recently from Jack Bertell '58 that Mr. Murray passed away about 15 years ago. Stephen recalls that Mr. Murray, "not only honed my writing skills, which are actually invaluable for a scientist, but also taught us to challenge the way that we see things. That is truly a critical life skill."