Named gifts provide a personal and unique connection between the donor and the student recipient and help us to reward excellence early in a young person's career, when that recognition is so valuable. The Department currently makes the following annual awards, thanks to the vision and philanthropy of our alumni and friends.
A.C. Anderson Undergraduate Research Scholar
This award supports summer research projects of outstanding undergraduate physics majors. The award is named for Ansel C. Anderson, an alumnus (PhD, 1961), faculty member (1962-1992), and department head (1986-1992). A condensed matter experimentalist, Professor Anderson made seminal contributions to low-temperature physics, particularly on the thermal properties of metals and glasses.
Arnold T. Nordsieck Award for Teaching Excellence in Physics
This fund supports an award for teaching excellence for faculty or lecturers in the Department of Physics and was endowed by family in memory of Arnold T. Nordsieck, a distinguished member of the faculty from 1947-1961.
Commonwealth Edison/Beryl Bristow Endowed Award
This award recognizes outstanding freshman or sophomore women physics majors. It was established by Commonwealth Edison in memory of alumna Beryl Bristow, the first woman to earn a both a bachelor's and master's degree in physics from the University of Illinois.
Doug and Judy Davis Award for Excellence in Teaching Undergraduate Physics
The Davis Award, which was endowed by Doug and Judy Davis, recognizes members of our faculty and academic staff for their excellent teaching in undergraduate physics.
Drickamer Research Fellowship
This graduate fellowship is awarded to a student who has demonstrated significant ability in research. The fund is named for Harry G. Drickamer, professor of physics, chemistry, and chemical engineering at Illinois and was established by his former students.
Ernest M. Lyman Prize
This award recognizes the outstanding graduating senior physics major and is named for Professor Ernest M. Lyman, a distinguished researcher and world expert in electron scattering who maintained great interest in undergraduate physics teaching. Professor Lyman was one of the early proponents of computer-assisted physics education.
Felix T. Adler Award
This fund recognizes outstanding work by a Physics graduate student in the area of nuclear physics or nuclear engineering. Professor Adler held a joint appointment in Physics and Nuclear Engineering from 1958 until his retirement.
Gerald M. Almy Memorial Fund
This fund provides unrestricted support of graduate education and graduate students, and was created in memory of Gerald Almy, Department Head from 1964-1970. While it can be given as an award or fellowship it typically has not been. Rather, the Associate Head for Graduate studies has used these discretionary funds to assist students with travel expenses and other one-time needs for the advancement of the graduate mission.
Giulio Ascoli Award
This fund supports outstanding work by a graduate student in experimental high energy physics. Giulio Ascoli served the department with distinction from 1950 until his retirement in 1986. The same student may receive the award for not more than three years.
Jeremiah D. Sullivan Undergraduate Research Scholar
The Jeremiah D. Sullivan Award for Undergraduate Research was established by family, friends, and colleagues of Jeremiah Sullivan, a Professor of Physics (1973-2006) and Department Head (2000-2006) at Illinois. Professor Sullivan's scientific career superbly integrated pioneering research in both theoretical high-energy physics and in arms control and international security.
John Bardeen Award
This fund supports outstanding work by a graduate student in condensed matter physics or the physics of electronic devices. John Bardeen served as faculty in Physics and Electrical and Computer Engineering from 1951 to 1975. Bardeen was the first person to ever receive two Nobel Prizes in the same field.
Jordan S. Asketh Fellowship
In recognition of an outstanding European graduate student. Upon his death, the late Jordan Asketh graciously bequeathed a generous portion of the proceeds from his estate to the University of Illinois to fund "graduate study grants" for students in the fields of physics, chemistry and medicine. To honor his Greek heritage, he specified that whenever possible, these fellowships should be awarded to graduate students of Greek heritage who are pursuing their advanced study at the University of Illinois. N.B. This account is not endowed; when the funds are exhausted, the award will no longer be given.
L.S. Edelheit Family Biological Physics Fellowship
This fund shall provide an annual graduate fellowship for an exceptional student in biological physics (experiment or theory). This Fellowship was established through a generous gift from Illinois alumni, Lonnie and Susan Edelheit.
LabEscape is a fun and educational escape room experience for families and groups offering a set of challenging physics-based puzzles. It is an outreach program sponsored by the Department of Physics at the University of Illinois. Donations will be used to cover the costs of operating the room and to provide opportunities for groups in the community to participate in the experience.
Laura B. Eisenstein Award
This award recognizes the year's outstanding woman physics student. Established by the Department of Physics in conjunction with the American Physical Society to recognize exceptional women physics students, the award is named for Professor Laura B. Eisenstein, an distinguished biological physicist who made seminal discoveries of the mechanism of light-energy transduction in biological molecules.
Lewis C. Hack Scholarship
This award was established by a gift from Lois E. Hack in memory of her husband, Lewis C. Hack. Both the Hacks devoted their lives to teaching math and science in the public schools.
Lorella M. Jones Summer Research Award
This award supports summer research positions for outstanding undergraduate physics students and is named for Professor Lorella M. Jones, a theoretical high energy physicist who was the first woman to achieve tenure in the College of Engineering. In addition to being a superb researcher, Professor Jones was a dedicated and innovative teacher who was particularly interested in the early application of computers to physics education.
Physics Interaction Room
Gifts to this fund will be used to help renovate the space formerly known as the Physics Library including computer terminals, videoconferencing equipment, furniture and other renovation costs. Learn more about the Physics Interaction Room Project.
Physics Scholarship and Fellowship Fund
Provides support for scholarships and fellowships to students within the Department of Physics.
Physics Van Fund
Gifts to this fund will go to help the Physics Van with various expenses, including but not exclusively travel and advertising expenses.
R O Simmons Fund
This fund supports an annual lecture as part of the colloquium series and was established in honor of Ralph O. Simmons, Physics Department Head from 1970-1986. Expenses to be defrayed may include, but not limited to, travel, lodging, meals for the speaker as well as promotional materials for the lecture. The preferred subject matter of the lectures shall be principally, but not exclusively, condensed matter physics and the lecture shall be administered by the department. In the event the Fund becomes large enough to support a Visiting Position in the department, shall support the advanced postdoctoral or faculty level in condensed matter physics and the position shall be known as the "Simmons Fellow".
Renato Bobone Award
This award recognizes a Physics graduate student who has demonstrated academic excellence. In accordance with the donor's wishes, preference is given to Italian citizens. This award was was endowed by alumnus Renato Bobone.
Richard K. Cook Scholarship
This scholarship recognizes an undergraduate engineering physics student at the end of his or her sophomore year and was established by alumnus Richard Cook (PhD, 1935), a specialist in ultrasonics and acoustics, who spent his entire scientific career at the National Bureau of Standards (now the National Institute of Science and Technology).
Robert A. Stein Award
This award was established in memory of alumnus Robert A. Stein (BS, 1955). Mr. Stein greatly valued the education in engineering physics he received at the University of Illinois, and his family and friends thought the best way to honor his memory was by providing similar opportunities to other students from the Chicago area.
Scott Anderson Award
This award recognizes the year's outstanding Physics teaching or research assistants, and is named after alumnus Dr. Scott Anderson who founded Anderson Physics Laboratories in Urbana in 1944. It was through his initiative as president of our Physics Alumni Association and his generous philanthropy that the Anderson Award was endowed. Historically this has been given to a TA for outstanding teaching but the award may also be used for an outstanding Research Assistant.
Vijay R. Pandharipande Prize in Nuclear Physics
This prize recognizes the year's outstanding nuclear physics graduate student. Professor Pandharipande served with great distinction on our faculty for 34 years.
William L. McMillan Award Fund
This fund supports an award presented annually to a condensed matter physicist for distinguished research performed within five years of receiving the PhD degree. The awardees give a lecture as part of the colloquium series. The fund was established in memory of Illinois alumnus and faculty member Bill McMillan.