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Purdue Physics and Astronomy announces departmental awards

2021-05-05

The Purdue University Department of Physics and Astronomy recognizes and celebrates the following faculty and students in its annual Departmental Awards.  The awards are also available in pdf form.

Faculty Awards

We recognize these faculty with awards representing excellence in the classroom, laboratory, and workplace.

Excellence in Graduate Advising

Awarded to Rafael Lang, Associate Professor of Physics and Astronomy

Selected by the PGSA (Physics Graduate Student Association).

Ruth and Joel Spira Award for Outstanding Graduate Teaching

Awarded to Chris Greene, Albert Overhauser Distinguished Professor of Physics and Astronomy

The Ruth and Joel Spira Award for Outstanding Graduate Teaching is selected by the PGSA (Physics Graduate Student Association).

Ruth & Joel Spira Award for Outstanding Undergraduate Teaching

Awarded to Ken Ritchie, Associate Department Head and Professor of Physics and Astronomy

The Ruth and Joel Spira Award for Outstanding Undergraduate Teaching is selected by the SPS (Society of Physics Students).

Undergraduate Student Awards

Judith Peters Humnicky Memorial Award

Awarded to Emily J Kincaid

Judith Peters Humnicky was relentless in pursuit of her goals and this award honors her memory by recognizing the persistence, diligence, and hard work necessary to obtain an undergraduate degree in physics and enhances the gender diversity of among the Department's undergraduates. The Judith Peters Humnicky Memorial Award is made possible due to the generosity of Mr. Michael Humnicky (BS 1970).

Lijuan Wang Memorial Award

Awarded to Moira Andrews, nominated by Danny Milisavljevic, and Megan McDuffie, nominated by Ephraim Fischbach

The Lijuan Wang Memorial award is given annually to one or more outstanding undergraduate physics majors who promote the gender diversity of the department through participation in Women in Physics. Lijuan Wang was a graduate student in the department from 1989 until her untimely death in 1992.

Richard W. King Award

Awarded to Justin Copenhaver (Junior), nominated by Jukka Vayrynen and Birgit Kaufmann, and Andrew Gustafson (Senior), nominated by Francis Robicheaux

The Richard W. King Award recognizes the Department's outstanding physics junior and senior. Prof. King joined the Department of Physics in 1955 as an assistant professor and served as Department Head from 1966 to 1969. During his years at Purdue, Professor King gained a reputation as an inspiring teacher and sympathetic friend of students. He served for many years as the counselor for undergraduate physics majors. With other students he often took the opportunity to promote the value of a broad science background for students pursuing careers such as teaching, law, journalism, and medicine. Following his untimely death in August 1969, Prof. King's family, friends, and colleagues established this award.

Spira Undergraduate Summer Research Award

Awarded to Arianna Meenakshi McNamara, Nominated by Andreas Jung
This award supports one or more students working on a research project under the supervision of a faculty member in the Department of Physics and Astronomy and/or the Department of Mathematics. The Spira Summer Research Award is made possible thanks to the generosity of Dr. Joel S. (BS 1948) and Mrs. Ruth R. Spira.

College of Science Honors Convocation Student Honorees

Awarded to
Arianna McNamara, freshman
Colton Griffin, sophomore
Darrell Fischer, junior
Matthew Schulz, senior

Ramdas Award

Awarded to YuXin (Vic) Dong, nominated by Danny Milisavljevic

The Ramdas Award was established in 2018 by Anant K. Ramdas, the Lark-Horovitz Distinguished Professor of Physics and his wife, Vasanti Ramdas. Ramdas Award recognized an exceptional senior who has completed a unique project in the Department of Physics and Astronomy.

Graduate Student Awards

Dr. Warner Black Award

Awarded to Siddhant Pandey, nominated by Niranjan Shivaram

The Black Award recognizes graduate students whose research has the potential to bring physics to the people and to help them improve their lives by using a deep knowledge of fundamental and applied physics to make practical and useful inventions that have a real and lasting impact.

George W. Tautfest Award

Awarded to Yicheng Feng, nominated by Fuqiang Wang

This award honors outstanding physics graduate students in high energy particle physics, high energy nuclear physics, or astrophysics. Prof. Tautfest was the leader of the Purdue High Energy Physics group until his death in 1967 at age 41. The award was established in 1969 by his colleagues and the Purdue Alumni Foundation.

H. Y. Fan Award

Awarded to Cheng-An Chen, nominated by Chen-Lung Hung

The Fan Award recognizes outstanding graduate research in condensed matter physics, biological physics, or AMO physics. The award was established in recognition of Prof. Fan's many contributions to condensed matter physics, particularly in the area of infrared studies of semiconductors, and to the Department of Physics and Astronomy.

Lijuan Wang Memorial Awards

Awarded to Bhagya Subrayan, nominated by Danny Milisavljevic, and Yimeng Wang, nominated by Chris Greene

The Lijuan Wang Memorial award is given annually to one or more outstanding graduate student majors who promote the gender diversity of the department through participation in Women in Physics. Lijuan Wang was a graduate student in the department from 1989 until her untimely death in 1992.

Akeley-Mandler Award for Teaching Excellence

Awarded to Abigail Kopec, nominated by Anderzej Lewicki

The Akeley-Mandler Award recognizes exceptional graduate student teaching assistants who excel beyond the mere requirements of the job, investing their effort to ensure that they provide the best education possible to their students. This award is made possible thanks to a gift made by Instructor Emeritus Anna Akeley in memory of her husband, Prof. Edward S. Akeley, and brother, Kurt Mandler.

Edward S. Akeley Award

Awarded to Hao Zhang, nominated by Dimitrious Giannios
This award recognizes outstanding physics graduate students in theoretical physics. The Akeley Award is made possible through the generosity of Instructor Emeritus Anna M. Akeley.

Gabriele F. Giuliani Award

Awarded to Dawith Lim, nominated by Anderzej Lewicki

Established in 2013 in memory of Prof. Gabriele F. Giuliani, this award honors excellence in teaching by first- or second-year graduate students. These graduate students show dedication and dependability, and, like Professor Giuliani, demonstrate a passion for physics that contributes to a rich learning environment.

Bilsland Dissertation Fellowship

Awarded to
Yimeng Wang, nominated by Chris Greene
John Banovetz, nominated by Danny Milisavljevic
Yicheng Feng, nominated by Fuqiang Wang
Zhujing Xu, nominated by Tongcang Li

The Bilsland Dissertation Fellowship provides support to outstanding Ph.D. candidates in their final year of writing.

Karl Lark-Horovitz Award

Awarded to Michael Higgins, nominated by Chris Greene

Our Department's most prestigious graduate student honor, the Lark-Horovitz Award recognizes outstanding research accomplishments. The award is possible through the generosity of the faculty as well as the family, friends, and associates of Prof. Lark-Horovitz in memory of his great contribution to the growth and development of the Department of Physics and Astronomy.

Ramdas-Raman Prize

Awarded to Sayan Basak, nominated by Erica Carlson

The Raman Prize recognizes a Ph.D. student or recent alumni for an outstanding dissertation. The Raman Prize was established in 2018 by Anant K. Ramdas, the Lark-Horovitz Distinguished Professor (Emeritus) of Physics and Astronomy, and his wife Vasanti Ramdas.

Non-Departmental Student Awards

Mortar Board 2021 Undergraduate Award

Awarded to Bianca Caminada, nominated by Janice Thomaz

Mortar Board awards funds for school fees to current Purdue freshmen and sophomores who have shown excellence in service, leadership, and scholarship. A minimum cumulative GPA of 3.2 is required. In promoting the ideals of Mortar Board, selection of fellowship recipients is based on scholastic record, character, service to campus and community, and stated professional goals.

Honor's College Pillar Award for Sophomore Undergraduate Research

Awarded to Bianca Caminada

Students in the Honors College excel in a variety of areas both in and outside of the classroom as they engage in endeavors that embody the values of our curriculum. To recognize those students who have achieved above and beyond their peers or who demonstrate great promise of excellence, the Honors College annually bestows the Pillar Awards, a recognition of student work in each of the four pillars of their curriculum: Interdisciplinary Academics, Undergraduate Research, Leadership, and Community and Global Engagement.

Barry Goldwater Scholarship

Awarded to Justin Copenhaver

Mentor(s): Birgit Kaufmann, Adam Wasserman, and Jukka Vayrynen
Campus Representative: Veronica Schirm

The Goldwater Scholarship is the nation's preeminent scholarship for undergraduates in mathematics, natural sciences, or engineering. Congress established the Barry Goldwater Scholarship and Excellence in Education Foundation in 1986. The highly competitive award offers up to $7,500 toward tuition, fees and board to sophomores and juniors seeking research careers.

Martin C. Jischke Outstanding International Student of the Year Award

Awarded to Kaustub Parvir Anand, nominated by Janice Thomaz and supported by Kyoung-Soo Lee, Ken Ritchie, Francis Robicheaux, and David Sederberg

The Martin C. Jischke Outstanding International Student of the Year Award was presented to Kaustub Parvir Anand of Mumbai, India, who majored in physics in the College of Science and the Honors College. Established by Martin C. Jischke, President emeritus, the award honors an international Purdue student who has attained a minimum 3.0 grade-point average, demonstrated leadership qualities, achieved academic accomplishments through further research, publications or presentations and participated in service projects. The recipient receives a cash award along with inscription of their name on a plaque in Schleman Hall.

Congratulations to all of this year's award winners. The competition for these awards is fierce and anyone considered should also be congratulated. We are so proud of the accomplishments and extraordinary work put forth by Physics and Astronomy faculty or student.

Last Updated: May 5, 2021 9:44 PM

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