Victoria Astley

Assistant Professor (Physics & Math)
Victoria Astley | Assistant Professor Physics

Phone 863-874-8562

Location Main Campus

Office IST-2025

Ph.D. in Applied Physics, Rice University, 2012
M.S. in Applied Physics, Rice University, 2009
B.S. in Astronomy/Astrophysics, Applied Mathematics, and Physics, Florida Institute of Technology, 2005


Dr. Astley is teaching courses in physics, with a focus on providing a “solid scientific education for undergraduates in technical fields” and making “darn” sure they know how to do vectors. She is known for incorporating movies, animal combat, and doomsday machines into her practice problems. In 2017, she received the Faculty Award for Teaching Excellence.

When she isn’t teaching, Astley can be found on the deck of a historical replica 17th-century Dutch pinnace. She volunteers as an educator, deckhand, and occasional bosun for the Kalmar Nyckel Foundation in Delaware, teaching students about the history and practice of colonial-era sailing. She also assisted in developing a K-12 STEM program to teach physics and math concepts using sailing and navigation.

Her research has mostly focused on terahertz technology, an interdisciplinary field overlapping physics and electrical engineering with real-world applications. She did make a foray into biology, publishing one paper on the use of digital image analysis for snake measurement as a collaborative project with the University of Akron and her Physics 1 Laboratory sections.



  • Terahertz time-domain spectroscopy
  • Terahertz waveguides
  • Snake measurement


Awards and Honors

  • Faculty Award for Teaching Excellence, 2017
  • Finalist for Rice University Thesis Award, 2012
  • NDSEG Graduate Fellowship, 2006-2009


Selected Publications

  • Astley, Henry C., Astley, Victoria E., Brothers, David, and Mendelson, Joseph R. Digital Analysis of Photographs for Snake Length Measurement. Herpetological Review, 2017, 48(1), 39-43. Note: This work was completed in conjunction with the PHY2048L laboratory sections as part of an exercise in data analysis/error analysis, as well as an introduction to image analysis software. The students received an acknowledgment at the end of the paper.
  • Victoria Astley, Kimberly S. Reichel, Jonathan Jones, Rajind Mendis, and Daniel M. Mittleman, “A mode matching analysis of dielectric-filled resonant cavities coupled to terahertz parallel-plate waveguides,” Optics Express, 20, 21766-21772 (2012).
  • Victoria Astley, Kimberly Reichel, Rajind Mendis, and Daniel M. Mittleman, “Terahertz microfluidic sensing using a parallel-plate waveguide sensor,” Journal of Visualized Experiments, 66, e4304 (2012).
  • Victoria Astley, Kimberly Reichel, Jonathan Jones, Rajind Mendis, and Daniel M. Mittleman, “Terahertz multichannel microfluidic sensor based on parallel-plate waveguide resonant cavities,” Applied Physics Letters, 100, 231108 (2012).
  • Jie Shu, Ciyuan Qiu, Victoria Astley, Daniel Nickel, Daniel M. Mittleman, and Qianfan Xu, “High-contrast terahertz modulator based on extraordinary transmission through a ring aperture,” Optics Express, 19, 26666-26671 (2011).
  • Victoria Astley, Blake McCracken, Rajind Mendis, and Daniel M. Mittleman \, “Analysis of rectangular resonant cavities in terahertz parallel-plate waveguides,” Optics Letters, 36, 1452-1454 (2011).
  • Victoria Astley, Julianna Scheiman, Rajind Mendis, and Daniel M. Mittleman, “Bending and coupling losses in terahertz wire waveguides,” Optics Letters, 35, 553-555 (2010).
  • C. Jansen, S. Wietzke, V. Astley, D. M. Mittleman, and M. Koch, “Mechanically flexible polymeric compound 1D photonic crystals for terahertz frequencies,” Applied Physics Letters, 96, 111108 (2010).
  • Rajind Mendis, Victoria Astley, Jingbo Liu, and Daniel M. Mittleman, “Terahertz microfluidic sensor based on a parallel-plate-waveguide resonant cavity,” Applied Physics Letters, 95, 171113 (2009).
  • Victoria Astley, Rajind Mendis, and Daniel M. Mittleman, “Characterization of terahertz field confinement at the end of a tapered metal wire waveguide,” Applied Physics Letters, 95, 031104 (2009).