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
  • Alumni News

Illinois Physics alumnus Richard Ahrenkiel has been selected for the College of Engineering Alumni Award for Distinguished Service. The citation reads, “For his seminal contributions to materials research, development, and device characterization for semiconductor and photovoltaic technologies, including the development of a unique technique to measure excess carrier lifetimes in materials, resonance-coupled photoconductive decay.”

Ahrenkiel and six other alumni from the College of Engineering will be presented with the award at a special ceremony at the I Hotel and Conference Center on Friday, April 12.

  • Accolades
  • Graduate Student

Illinois Physics graduate student Brianne Gutmann is one of two graduate students to receive special recognition in the Illinois Graduate College's fifth annual Graduate Student Leadership Award selection process. Gutmann is recognized for creating and leading the Illinois GPS physics mentoring program, including her work in diversity and creating LGBTQ+ spaces in Physics, and her work with the national Access Network for mentoring programs. Illinois Chemistry graduate student Elizabeth Neumann won the prize this year; and Illinois Anthropology graduate student Katharine Lee also received special recognition.

Gutmann was recently featured in an Illinois Physics Condensate article highlighting her experience in the physics education research group and her community-building efforts in the Department of Physics.

  • Accolades
  • Condensed Matter Physics

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Emeritus and Research Professor of Physics Tai-Chang Chiang has been selected for the 2019 Arthur H. Compton Award of the Advanced Photon Source Users Organization (APSUO). The award recognizes a significant scientific or technical accomplishment at the Advanced Photon Source (APS), a national synchrotron-radiation light source research facility housed at Argonne National Laboratory and funded by the US Department of Energy’s Office of Science. The award will be presented to Chiang at the APS/CNM User Meeting in early May.

  • Accolades

Thirty-eight research groups at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have been allocated new computation time on the Blue Waters supercomputer at the National Center for Supercomputing Applications (NCSA), with funding from the National Science Foundation (NSF). This round of allocations provides over 17 million node-hours, equivalent to over half a billion core hours, and is valued at over $10.5 million, helping Illinois researchers push the boundaries of innovation and frontier science discovery.