Dr. Joel DeWitt

Teaching Associate Professor

Office Location: Austin 326
Telephone: (252) 328-6316
Email: dewittjo@ecu.edu

PhD in Physics, Oklahoma State University, July 2011


  • Radiation detection and measurement
  • Radiation shielding for future spacecraft or planetary surface habitats
  • Radiolytic hydrogen production in sediment

Research Projects

Joel DeWitt studies the space radiation shielding possibilities applicable to future spacecraft or planetary surface habitats. I am focused on novel and/or optimized materials that act to maximize the protection of space crews from ionizing radiation while minimizing the cost of their implementation. The study of space radiation shielding is important because of the known short- and long-term detrimental effects ionizing radiation can have on the human body.


  • J.M. DeWitt and E.R. Benton, “Novel composite materials for space radiation protection,” in preparation.
  • J.M. DeWitt and E.R. Benton, “Secondary proton buildup in space radiation shielding,” Life Sciences in Space Research 41, 119-126 (2024).
  • J.M. DeWitt, S. McMahon, and J. Parnell, “The Effect of Grain Size on Porewater Radiolysis,” Earth and Space Science 9(6), e2021EA002024 (2022).
  • J.M. DeWitt and E.R. Benton, “Shielding effectiveness: A weighted figure of merit for space radiation shielding,” Applied Radiation and Isotopes 161, 109141 (2020).
  • E.R. Benton, C.E. Johnson, J.M. DeWitt, N. Yasuda, E.V. Benton, M.H. Moyers, and A.L. Frank, “Observations of short-range, high-LET recoil tracks in CR-39 plastic nuclear track detector by visible light microscopy,” Radiation Measurements 46, 527-532 (2011).
  • C.E. Johnson, J.M. DeWitt, E.R. Benton, N. Yasuda, and E.V. Benton, “LET Spectrum Measurements in CR-39 PNTD with AFM,” Proceedings of the 21st International Conference on the Application of Accelerators in Research and Industry (CAARI 2010), Fort Worth, Texas, USA, 8-13 August 2010, F.D. McDaniel and B.L. Doyle, AIP Conference Proceedings 1336, 637 (2011).
  • J.M. DeWitt, E.R. Benton, Y. Uchihori, N. Yasuda, E.V. Benton, and A.L. Frank, “Assessment of radiation shielding materials for protection of space crews using CR-39 plastic nuclear track detector,” Radiation Measurements 44, 905-908 (2009).

Courses Taught

  • PHYS 1250 General Physics I
  • PHYS 1260 General Physics II
  • PHYS 2360¬†University Physics II