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.

Related news

  • Accolades

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Assistant Professors Julia "Jessie" Shelton and Peter Adshead have been named W. Dale and Jeanne C. Compton Fellows in Physics. This faculty appointment supports outstanding research and high scholarly productivity of early-career physicists at Illinois Physics. 

Shelton and Adshead are the department’s inaugural class of Compton Fellows. The faculty will retain the title designation for as long as they hold faculty appointments at Illinois Physics. This named appointment comes with a one-time spending allowance to support ongoing research.

  • Accolades
  • Postdoctoral Researcher Stories
  • Condensed Matter Experiment

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign physics postdoctoral researcher Matteo Mitrano has received the 2019 Young Investigator Award of the Linac Coherent Light Source (LCLS) of the SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory at Stanford University for his pioneering new techniques to probe high-temperature superconductivity.

The early-career award was presented to Mitrano on September 26 at the 2019 SSRL/LCLS Users’ Meeting in Menlo Park, CA. The awardee is selected by the LCLS Users Executive Committee based on nominations from across the user community. 

Mitrano, who has been a member of Illinois Physics Professor Peter Abbamonte’s research group since March 2016, has developed new and innovative techniques in ultrafast X-ray scattering.

  • Accolades
  • Condensed Matter Theory
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Urbana Style

Physics Professor Smitha Vishveshwara has been elected a Fellow of the American Physical Society (APS) “for pioneering theory of quantum dynamics in nonequilibrium systems and novel phenomena in cold Bose gases.”

Vishveshwara is a theoretical condensed matter physicist with broad research interests in non-equilibrium and strongly correlated systems at all scales, from subatomic to cosmic. A common thread throughout her work is the characterization of emergent phenomena in quantum states of matter—including superconductivity, superfluidity, Mott insulators, topological systems, fractional quantum Hall states, and Majorana wires. In true “Urbana style,” Vishveshwara’s collaborations at Illinois and beyond, often involving close rapport with experimental colleagues, have produced viable experimental stratagems and identified clear signatures that characterize particular states of matter.

  • Accolades

Physics Professor Nadya Mason has been selected a University Scholar by the Office of the Vice President for Academic Affairs at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. The highest honor bestowed on faculty by the university, this 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. Mason is one of five faculty members on the Urbana campus to be named to this honor in this selection round.