Honors and awards

Each year, Illinois Physics recognizes student excellence at a special awards banquet. In 2018, the Thirty-Ninth Physics-on-the-Campus Luncheon was held at the Alice Campbell Alumni Center Ballroom on Tuesday, April 24. Many of the awards are made possible through the generous support of our alumni.

Group of people sitting around tables
Physics faculty, staff, students, and students’ families enjoy lunch at the Alice Campbell Alumni Center Ballroom, prior to the student recognition ceremony, on April 24, 2018.
Undergraduates sitting around table and posing for picture
(L-R) Physics undergraduates Jacquelyn Schmidt, Sidney Lower, Spencer Hulsey, and William Helgren visit during the awards banquet. The four were recognized during the ceremony for their leadership roles in the department’s student organizations. Lower and Schmidt are president and vice president respectively of the Society of Physics Students. Hulsey and Helgren are the student coordinators of the Physics Van.
Young woman in semiformal clothing posing with her parents
Physics undergraduate Rachel Smith poses with her parents, Michael and Ruth Smith. Rachel received the Ernest M. Lyman Prize. She was also recognized for her leadership role in the student organization the Society for Women in Physics; Rachel is the 2017/18 president.
Young woman in semiformal clothing posing with her parents
Physics undergraduate Ritika Anandwade poses with her parents, Raj and Sujatha Anandwade, at the 39 th annual student awards banquet. Ritika is a recipient of the 2018 Commonwealth Edison/Beryl Bristow Endowed Award.
Man in suit giving talk at podium
Head of Department and Professor Dale Van Harlingen gives the welcoming address, recognizing student teachers ranked excellent and graduating students.

Related news

  • Accolades
  • Condensed Matter Physics

Professor Nadya Mason has been elected a Fellow of the American Physical Society (APS) “for seminal contributions to the understanding of electronic transport in low dimensional conductors, mesoscopic superconducting systems, and topological quantum materials.”

Mason is an experimental condensed matter physicist who has earned a reputation for her deep-sighted and thorough lines of attack on the most pressing problems in strongly correlated nanoscale physics.

  • Accolades

Professor and Associate Head for Undergraduate Programs Brian DeMarco has been named a University Scholar by the Office of the Vice President for Academic Affairs at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. The award recognizes faculty who have made significant contributions in their fields of research and teaching, in line with the university’s reputation for leading-edge innovation and excellence. DeMarco is among 12 faculty members in the University of Illinois System to be selected for this honor in 2018.

  • Accolades
  • High Energy Physics

Assistant Professor of Physics Thomas Faulkner has been selected by the US Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Science to receive an Early Career Award. The DOE Early Career Research Program, now in its ninth year, provides award recipients with significant funding over a five year period. Faulkner is among 84 scientists at U.S. universities and DOE-supported national laboratories to be selected this year. He is one of only two scientists at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign to receive the honor this year.

The Early Career Award recognizes promising scientists within 10 years of having earned their doctoral degrees, working in research areas supported by the DOE Office of Science. Faulkner’s research proposal in theoretical high-energy physics is entitled, “New perspectives on QFT and gravity from quantum entanglement.”

  • Accolades

Associate Head for Graduate Programs and Professor S. Lance Cooper has been awarded the 2018 Excellence in Graduate Student Mentoring Award of the Office of the Provost at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

One of the Campus Awards for Excellence in Instruction conferred annually at the campus’s Celebration of Teaching Excellence, this accolade recognizes sustained excellence in graduate student mentoring; innovative approaches to graduate advising; major impact on graduate student scholarship and professional development; and other contributions in the form of courses and curricula, workshops, or similar initiatives. Cooper was presented with the award on April 12, 2018.