Ogden College of Science and Engineering
Western Kentucky University
Dr. McGruder has a bachelor's degree in astronomy from the California Institute of Technology and a doctorate from the University of Heidelberg in Germany. Prior to coming to Western Kentucky University, Dr. McGruder spent time at Vanderbilt University, Fisk University and the University of Nigeria. He was a visiting professor at WKU during the 1989-90 school year.
Dr. McGruder has been at Western Kentucky University since 1993. He was head of WKU's Department of Physics and Astronomy from 1993 to 2002 and is a past president of the National Society of Black Physicists.
In 2005, Dr. Charles McGruder was appointed to the National Research Council's Committee on Astronomy and Astrophysics. The committee, which is appointed by the president of The National Academy of Sciences, monitors the status of space- and ground-based astronomy and astrophysics and provides assessments to the National Science Foundation, NASA, and other institutions as a joint committee of the Space Studies Board and the Board on Physics and Astronomy. The overall objective is to encourage progress in astronomy and astrophysics and to assist the federal government in planning programs in these fields.
His research interests include extrasolar planets, gamma ray bursts, and the construction of a worldwide network of fully robotic imaging telescopes. He also has worked on the proposed Kentucky Academy of Mathematics and Science at WKU.