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Alumni News


Former student Yang Xu has been awarded the IUPAP Young Scientist Prize in Semiconductor Physics. He is an Associate Professor and group leader at the Institute of Physics (IOP), Chinese Academy of Sciences. He earned his B.S. from the School of the Gifted Young at the University of Science and Technology of China in 2011. His Ph.D. was completed in 2018 at Purdue University, where he primarily studied electronic transport in three-dimensional topological insulators and demonstrated the first gate-tunable “half-integer” quantum Hall effect arising from the topological surface states.

Date: Jun 7, 2024


The National Science Foundation (NSF) has announced the 2024 Graduate Research Fellowship Program (GRFP) which included 20 awardees and 12 honorable mentions from Purdue University. Of the pool of innovators, the Purdue University College of Science students stood out with ten awardee offers and two honorable mentions including these Purdue PhysAstro students: Meenakshi McNamara and Sara Cuevas-Quiñones.

Date: May 16, 2024


Join us in applauding the shining stars of the 2024 Purdue Physics and Astronomy Awards! A testament to tireless research, innovative teaching, and relentless dedication in our classrooms and labs. We recognize our faculty, staff and students with awards that were presented on April 25, 2024.

Date: May 8, 2024


PURDUE NEWS — Sometimes planetary physics is like being in a snowball fight. Most people, if handed an already-formed snowball, can use their experience and the feel of the ball to guess what kind of snow it is comprised of: packable and fluffy, or wet and icy. Using nearly the same principles, planetary scientists have been able to study the structure of Europa, Jupiter’s icy moon. A team of planetary science experts including Brandon Johnson, an associate professor, and Shigeru Wakita, a research scientist, in the Department of Earth, Atmospheric, and Planetary Sciences in Purdue University’s College of Science, announced in a new paper published in Science Advances that Europa’s ice shell is at least 20 kilometers thick.

Date: Mar 25, 2024

Daniel Fleetwood named distinguished National Academy of Inventors Fellow

Daniel M. Fleetwood, Olin H. Landreth Professor of Engineering, has been named a National Academy of Inventors Fellow, the highest professional distinction awarded solely to academic inventors. Fleetwood, who is a professor of electrical engineering as well as physics, is best known for his research into radiation effects on microelectronic devices and materials, low-frequency noise, and defects in microelectronic devices and materials. His pioneering work has led to the identification of defects that limit the performance, reliability, and radiation response of devices and integrated circuits and to the development of international standards for the qualification of electronics for use in space and defense systems. He earned his BS, MS, and PhD at Purdue University.

Date: Dec 15, 2023

Aviation Week Announces 2023-2024 Laureate Award Winners

“Since 1957, Aviation Week’s editors have annually honored our industry’s great achievements and its innovators,” said Joe Anselmo, editorial director and editor-in-chief of Aviation Week & Space Technology magazine. “This year’s Laureate Winners were selected by our editors after a rigorous screening of dozens of internal and external nominations. They exemplify the industry’s relentless push to expand the boundaries of what is possible.” The 2024 winners are judged and selected based on their accomplishments this past year. The 2024 event will recognize the work that was completed in 2023. Purdue alumnus Mike Moses, Virgin Galactic, was awarded for leadership in the "Space" category.

Date: Dec 12, 2023


The Department of Physics and Astronomy recognizes our faculty, staff, and students with awards representing excellence in the classroom, laboratory, and workplace.

Date: May 11, 2023


60 MINUTES — Dr. Danny Milisavljevic, Assistant Professor of Physics and Astronomy at Purdue University, featured on 60 Minutes for his research with the NASA James Webb Space Telescope.

Date: Apr 13, 2023

The FCC's Rules on Space Junk Just Got Stricter

WIRED — A new and contentious five-year limit for getting rid of dead satellites could slow the growing orbital litter problem—if people actually abide by it. Purdue Physics and Astronomy alumnus Marlon Sorge is cited in this article by Wired.

Date: Oct 26, 2022

Innovation & Failure Learnings from 20+ Years in Silicon Valley

Last April, Purdue Physics and Astronomy alumnus Dr. Mario Paniccia spoke to students and faculty during his visit to the West Lafayette campus. He is the CEO and co-founder of Anello Photonics of Santa Clara, CA. Anello Photonics focuses on developing a new type of sensor for the autonomous market based on Silicon Photonics. He gave insights and learnings on the 20 year journey of taking silicon photonics from a crazy idea that no one thought would ever work to today being one of the key technologies used to transmit optical data in every data center around the world.

Date: Jul 7, 2022

Benjamin Mottelson (1926–2022): Physicist and Nobel prizewinner who revolutionized understanding of the atomic nucleus

We mourn the loss of Benjamin Mottelson, Purdue University alumnus (Physics '47), who was a Nobel Prize in Physics in 1975. We are ever grateful for his advances in nuclear physics theory. Read more about his legacy in this article by Nature.

Date: Jun 17, 2022

Purdue receives 2021 DEPSCoR grants from Department of Defense

The U.S. Department of Defense has awarded grants to three Purdue University research projects selected in its 2021 DEPSCoR (Defense Established Program to Stimulate Competitive Research) competition. Two of these projects have been awarded to Purdue Physics and Astronomy faculty. 1. Subwavelength-spaced atomic arrays as novel light-matter interfaces- Qi-Yu (Grace) Liang, assistant professor of physics and astronomy. 2. Dispersive detection of charge state of a superconducting vortex- Jukka Ilmari Vayrynen, assistant professor of physics and astronomy.

Date: Jun 16, 2022

Purdue physics and astronomy professor named to American Academy of Arts and Sciences

Laura Pyrak-Nolte, Distinguished Professor of Physics and Astronomy in the College of Science, has been elected to one of the nation’s oldest and most prestigious honorary societies, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. Pyrak-Nolte, who is recognized as the world’s leading expert on the acoustic, mechanical and transport characteristics of porous and fractured media, is one of 261 members of the newest academy class. Her work in this field leads to innovation in the availability of fresh water to drink, the power of geothermal resources to heat and cool our homes, and aids the modern energy economy that relies on the injection and withdrawal of fluids through fracture networks in rock.

Date: May 2, 2022

Oxford Instruments Announces Selection of Dr. James Nakamura of Purdue University as the Winner of the 2022 Lee Osheroff Richardson (LOR) Science Prize

Dr. James Nakamura is recognised for the first direct observation of anyonic braiding statistics for quasiparticles at the v=1/3 fractional quantum Hall state. Dr. Nakamura’s experimental results substantiate theoretical predictions made nearly forty years ago by Wilczek and Halperin, and his work will stand as a high point in the study of topological phases of condensed matter systems. The Lee Osheroff Richardson Science Prize promotes and recognises the novel work of young scientists working in the fields of low temperatures and/or high magnetic fields or surface science in North and South America.

Date: Mar 2, 2022

Alumna Laura Biedermann is awarded Spark Award

Alumna Laura Biedermann, Ph.D., has received an award for her efforts in mentoring and promoting women's issues in science and engineering. She is a staff scientist at Sandia National Labs and is actively involved with numerous research projects in physics and materials science. She is a former PhD student of Professor Reifenberger. Congratulations Dr. Biedermann!

Date: Nov 19, 2021

Alumni Spotlight: Dr. David G. Seiler

Alumni Spotlight: Dr. David G. Seiler: a twisting and turning change of careers allowed Purdue Physics alumnus to constantly reach and expand the science of semiconductors.

Date: Aug 10, 2021

Dr. Mario J. Paniccia elected to the National Academy of Engineering

Physics and Astronomy alumnus Mario J. Paniccia (PhD Physics '94) has been elected to the National Academy of Engineering.  Paniccia  was elected to the Academy for “his contributions to integrated silicon photonic devices and their commercialization."

Date: Feb 21, 2021

Sydor Technologies Included on Purdue University Research Team selected by NASA

Sydor Technologies Included on Purdue University Research Team selected by NASA. Sydor Technologies will be represented on the Purdue University team by Dr. David Garand, Purdue alumnus, who received his PhD from Purdue Physics and Astronomy.

Date: Feb 1, 2021

CMS sees evidence for the Higgs bosons decaying into muons. Purdue physicists contributed to the discovery.

CMS sees evidence for the Higgs boson decaying into muons. Purdue physicists contributed to the discovery.

Date: Aug 4, 2020

Purdue graduate rolls dice on an unexpected career move

One of the biggest names in tabletop board games is a Purdue Physics and Astronomy alumn. Isaac Childres graduated with a doctorate in physics in 2014 but his career route took an unusual turn. While working on his doctor thesis, “Effects of energetic irradiation on materials and devices based on graphene and topological insulators,” Childres was also working on a side project. He had always enjoyed tabletop games and was working on creating a tabletop game called Forge War. This side project has grown to one of the largest Kickstarter campaigns for tabletop games and an entire series of hugely successful and popular games.

Date: Jul 31, 2020


“What we’re saying is that there’s something in our detector that nobody expected, and at this time nobody knows what it actually is,” says Rafael Lang, a physicist and XENON team member from Purdue University.

Date: Jun 19, 2020


Looping the structures around one another strengthens the case that anyons really exist

Date: Jul 9, 2020

Derek Tournear (BS 98) named director of Space Development Agency

Date: Oct 28, 2019

Unique properties of quantum material explained for first time

Date: Oct 22, 2019

DoE awards nearly $7 million to Purdue-based startup to advance nuclear technology using artificial intelligence and machine learning

Date: Oct 16, 2019

William Robertson (PhD 1988) receives MTSU's highest faculty honor

William Robertson (PhD 1988) receives MTSU's highest faculty honor

Date: Aug 25, 2019

Katherine Schreiber (PhD 2018) wins Springer Thesis Award

We are pleased to announce that Katherine Schreiber has won a 2019 Springer Thesis Award in recognition of her outstanding Ph.D. research.

Date: Aug 20, 2019

2019 College of Science Alumni Awards

2 Physics and Astronomy alumni were honored by the College of Science for their achievements.

Date: Mar 29, 2019

Kwok (PhD 1987) named Outstanding Referee by American Physical Society

Date: Feb 28, 2019

John Monnier (BS 93) receives 2019 AAS Joseph Weber Award for Astronomical Instrumentation

Date: Jan 9, 2019

Postdoc Jie Zhao wins award named for alumnus Lee Grodzins

Date: Sep 10, 2018

George Best (BS 1942), Los Alamos Living Treasure

Date: Mar 29, 2018

Greg Boebinger (BS 81) named to American Academy of Arts and Sciences

Boebinger is currently the director of the National High Magnetic Field Laboratory, headquartered at Florida State University.

Date: Apr 17, 2017

Researchers detail formation of massive moon basin

Date: Oct 27, 2016

Mike Moses (BS 89) named President of Virgin Galactic

Date: Oct 13, 2016

Kathleen Falconer (MS 96) receives Homer L. Dodge Citation for Distinguished Service

for exceptional service to the American Association of Physics Teachers

Date: Oct 10, 2016

Connolly, Kwok named 2016 College of Science Outstanding Alumni

Date: Sep 23, 2016

Greg Boebinger (BS 81) receives Francis G. Slack Award for excellence in service to physics

Date: Jan 22, 2016

Dennis Krause (PhD 94) delivers Wabash College Charles D. LaFollette Lecture in the Humanities

Date: Nov 3, 2015

Timothy Beers (BS 79) and Galactic Archaeology group produce the first age map of the Milky Way halo

Date: Oct 28, 2015

Outstanding Alumni - 2015

Andrew Elmore (BS 1997) and Frank Liu (MS 1964) named Department of Physics and Astronomy Outstanding Alumni for 2015

Date: Sep 25, 2015

Physics and Astronomy PhD receives Chorafas Prize

for "Study of Quark Gluon Plasma by Particle Correlations in Heavy Ion Collisions"

Date: Sep 22, 2015

Purdue physics grad on cutting edge of cancer fight

Physics alumnus Michael Anderson (BS 2010) leverages his research on pH's role in cancer into a new startup.

Date: Sep 2, 2015

Gene Bulman named Distinguished Alumnus for 2015

Date: Apr 17, 2015

Lutron founder Joel Spira (BS 1948) passes away at 88

Date: Apr 10, 2015

Dr. Mary Bishai (PhD 99) named American Physical Society Fellow

Date: Mar 17, 2015

2014 Outstanding Alumni

Dr. Robert Brunner and Dr. Lynn Young named Outstanding Alumni for 2014

Date: Oct 10, 2014

R&D Magazine features Dr. Virginia Ayres' (PhD 85) research on nanomaterials and radiation resiliency

Nano-testing for future electronics

Date: Aug 6, 2014

John Monnier (BS 93) receives 2014 Michelson Prize

Date: Jul 29, 2014

Dr. Burke Minsley (BS 97) awarded Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers

USGS scientist recognized for research on permafrost.

Date: Apr 24, 2014

Debra Dolby Guillemaud named Distinguished Alumna for 2014

Date: Apr 11, 2014

Dr. Andrew Elmore (BS 97) receives USM Regents' Faculty Award

The University System of Maryland (USM) Board of Regents awarded Dr. Andrew Elmore the 2014 USM Regents’ Faculty Award.

Date: Apr 11, 2014

2013 Outstanding Alumni

Dr. Kara Hoffman and Dr. John Monnier named Outstanding Alumni for 2013

Date: Oct 11, 2013

Dr. David Leckrone receives Honorary Doctorate

Date: May 10, 2013

Dr. Roger Dixon name Distinguished Alumni for 2013

Date: Apr 19, 2013

Dr. David Leckrone named Distinguished Alumnus for 2012

Date: May 7, 2012

Intel milestone confirms light beams can replace electronic signals for future computers

Dr. Mario Paniccia (Physics MS '90, PhD '94) is an Intel Fellow and Director of Photonics Research at Intel Labs. In July 2010, Intel announced a breakthrough in the use of light to carry data between computer components.

Date: Oct 15, 2010

Last Updated: Apr 29, 2016 11:53 AM

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