Honors and awards

Each year, Illinois Physics recognizes student excellence at a special awards banquet. In 2019, the Fortieth Physics-on-the-Campus Luncheon was held at the Illini Union on Wednesday, April 24. Many of the awards are made possible through the generous support of our alumni.

Group of people getting food from a buffet table
Faculty, staff, students, and students’ families enjoy a buffet lunch at the Illini Union prior to the student recognition Ceremony on April 25, 2019. All photos by Darrell Hoemann.
Man in suit speaking at podium
Head of Department and Professor Matthias Grosse Perdekamp welcomes honorees and their families to the luncheon and awards ceremony.
Group of teaching assistants posing with award certificates
Teaching Assistants voted outstanding by their students are recognized during the ceremony. This is a small representation of our TAs ranked 'excellent teachers' each semester.
group of students holding award certificates
The 2018/19 Society of Physics Students officers are recognized for their service to the physics student body at Illinois. Pictured left to right are local chapter Secretary Iain Carpenter, Treasurer Jamie Milota, Vice President Anil Radhakrishnan, President Jacquelyn Schmidt, Internal Affairs Officer Andi Mankolli, and Charity Officer Peyton Pielet.
Young man in suit posing with his parents at banquet table
Imran Sultan and his parents pose for a photo before the luncheon. Graduating senior Sultan was recognized for finishing in the top 3 percent of his class, qualifying him to have his name engraved on the 2019 University Honors Bronze Tablet displayed in the Main Library.

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From using supercomputers to peer into the data behind gun violence and mental health to simulating cosmic star mergers, the National Center for Supercomputing Applications (NCSA) at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign has a long-standing history of transcending traditional borders of academic research. In line with this tradition, NCSA students from our SPIN, REU-INCLUSION and Design for America programs are offered the opportunity to participate in the Fiddler Innovation Undergraduate Fellowship.

This year's class of undergraduate Fiddler Fellows includes 12 students from a variety of disciplines, spanning from architecture to engineering and even the humanities. Fiddler Innovation Graduate Student Fellowship Awards were also presented to three graduate students, and the Fiddler Innovation Faculty Fellowship was awarded to five faculty members.

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#90  The former U.S. national team gymnast is now making a difference in the physics lab at the University of Illinois. Through her work and presence, she helps to fill the pipeline of women and minorities who pursue physics.

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The Department of Physics at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign has presented three staff members with the Gary Kelly Staff Excellence Award, recognizing exceptional job performance and dedication in support of departmental goals. Marjorie Gamel, Rebecca Wiltfong, and Wendy Wimmer are the inaugural recipients. The award was presented to the three at the 2019 Fall Physics Reception, held October 24, 2019, at the Alice Campbell Alumni Center. The award comprises a commemorative plaque and $2,000 for each recipient.

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University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Professor of Physics Nadya Mason has won the 2020 Edward A. Bouchet Award of the American Physical Society (APS). This award recognizes a distinguished underrepresented-minority physicist who has made significant contributions to physics research and the advancement of scientists from underrepresented groups.

The citation reads “For impactful experimental research on low-dimensional superconducting and topological materials and devices, and for the promotion of diversity and inclusiveness in the scientific workforce, enhancing opportunities for underrepresented groups through leadership, service, and mentoring.”