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From from flying commercial airliners for Continental to teaching chemistry at Mercer, a profile of Prof. Oberly Weber

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Adjunct Professor of Physics at Mercer Philip Oberly Weber grew up in Texas and spent 22 years at Continental Airlines where he flew 767’s and 727’s around the world to destinations such as Tokyo, Hawaii, Papua New Guinea and Guam. When asked what the most interesting thing he has seen in his travels might be he responded “[I] stumbled on Japanese Zeros from WWII in the jungles of Papua New Guinea.”

The 59 year old professor says he had his first flying lesson when he was 11, and by 14 he was mowing lawns and painting houses to pay for more flying lessons. In high school he says he flew his buddy and their dates to the junior prom.

Weber and his wife, whom he married in 1989, spent four and a half years living togeth- er in Guam and have two adopted children, a Vietnamese boy who is twelve and a Chinese girl who he describes as “eight going on thirty-eight.”

In addition to being a pilot he says he is a master scuba diver trainer, competes nationally in pistol shooting competitions, is an astronomer, and speaks German, Spanish. After 9/11 he was one of an elite group of pilots ap- pointed by the Department of Homeland Security who were Federal flight deck officers trained to carry a firearm in the cockpit.

These days Weber can be found in the classroom rather than in the air. Along with his regular class presentations he offers students words of wisdom gleaned from his many interest- ing experiences. In Prof. Weber’s Physical Concepts class he tells students that “The principles of physics are principles of life.”

Stevenson Michel, a current student or Professor Weber told The VOICE, “I like how he teaches. He’s really cool, makes the class fun. I like the lab experiments.”

Chemistry Professor Michael Dorneman, describes his colleague saying that Prof. Weber is: “A great fellow. He loves his subject matter and this comes out when he’s teaching.”

When Prof. Weber was asked what he would like students to take from his class. His response: “Take your time at everything. Slow down!” — a lesson he seems to be living by leaving his previous high-octane career to come teach at Mercer.

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