This year’s winner of the WIC Culture of Writing Award in Physics is Jeremy Meinke, for his thesis entitled, “Single-Molecule Analysis of a Novel Kinesin Motor Protein.” Jeremy worked under the direction of Prof. Weihong Qiu. He was with the Qiu research group for two years and in 2016, he received URISC and SURE awards to support his work. Jeremy says of the OSU Physics Department, “I enjoyed the range of physics topics the upper division classes offered, which kept me constantly thinking about new concepts. Overall, it was a great place for me to study physics. I truly benefited from the research experience.”
Atul Chhotray was awarded the 2017 Physics Department Graduate Research Award.
A native of India, Atul joined OSU in 2014 as a transfer student from North Carolina State University.
Atul has since performed his research in the computational astrophysics group of Dr. Davide Lazzati.
Oksana Ostroverkhova has been chosen by the American Physical Society as their Woman Physicist of the Month for May 2017. The Woman Physicist of the Month is a program of the APS’s Committee on the Status of Women in Physics (CSWP). It highlights exceptional female physicists, recognizing their positive impact other individuals’ lives and careers.
Bethany Matthews has been awarded the Ben and Elaine Whiteley Endowment for Materials Research Fellowship. This endowment, established in 2007, provides support for materials research in the College of Science.
Ms. Matthews is a fourth-year PhD student working with Prof. Janet Tate. Her research involves the design, synthesis, and characterization of thin film semiconductors for the improvement of renewable energy applications such as solar cells, thermoelectrics (materials which can convert heat to usable energy), or piezoelectrics (materials which can convert a mechanical stress or push to a usable energy). These semiconductors are stabilized in higher energy states than they would normally be found in through alloying and appropriate temperature control to improve their properties and make them more suitable for devices. She is particularly interested in studying the microstructure (e.g. size, composition, structure, and orientation of crystals on a very small scale) of these materials by electron microscopy and learning how changes to that microstructure explain changes to properties on a much larger scale. This fellowship will allow her to study these materials and similar systems in greater detail at the microscopy facility at the National Renewable Energy Lab in Golden, Colorado and to explain anomalous property behaviors which, if they can be controlled, could greatly increase device efficiency.
Fourth year graduate student Nicole Quist has been chosen as a member of the United States Delegation for the sixth International Conference on Women in Physics. As a member of the delegation, she is involved in writing the conference proceedings paper for the United States and creating the national poster which focus on the statu
s of women in physics in the United States and the problems that women in physics experience. The delegation will also be completing a project that will provide tools to aid women in physics, and Nicole will contribute to this as well. Although she will not be part of the subset of the group that will travel to the conference itself, her contributions will. This is an exciting opportunity for Nicole to work with women around the country to focus on encouraging diversity in physics.
Physics students and faculty have received a total of 7 SURE Science Awards.
The SURE Science Awards support an undergraduate student for a summer of research in a faculty member’s lab.
our student and faculty awardees are:
Cassandra Hatcher (Physics) in the Lazzati Group
Garret Jepson (Physics) in the Schneider Group
Michelle Zhou (Physics) in the Johns Lab (Vet-Med)
Youngmin Park (BB) in the Qiu Lab
Theresa Dinh (Biology) in the Sun Lab
Dublin Nichols (Physics) in the Minot Lab
Attila Varga (Physics) in the Hadley Group
Congratulations to all – we’re looking forward to hearing your reports at the end of the summer.
Bethany Matthews, a 4th-year graduate student in Prof. Janet Tate’s lab, has won a U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Science Graduate Student Research Award. The award is for the proposed research project, “Microscopy Analysis of Metastable Heterostructural Alloys with Anomalous Piezoelectric Response”, to be conducted at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) in Golden, CO during the summer and fall of 2017.
The award citation states that, “The SCGSR award is in recognition of outstanding academic accomplishments and the merit of the SCGSR research proposal, and reflects Bethany Matthews’s potential to advance the Ph.D. studies and make important contributions to the mission of the DOE Office of Science.” Congratulations, Bethany!
Bethany will work with Dr. Andrew Norman of NREL and also with Prof. Brian Gorman and Dr. Andriy Zakutayev, her collaborators in the DOE-funded Energy Frontier Research Center, the Center for Next-Generation Materials by Design. The EFRC members study metastable materials of many types, and Bethany’s role has been understanding metastable alloys. Her developing interest in transmission electron microscopy, using OSU’s Electron Microscopy Facility under the guidance of Dr. Pete Eschbach, led her to submit a proposal to DOE to study metastable alloys with microscopists at NREL and Colorado School of Mines.
(Graham group member Hiral Patel received the poster award at SPIE last year. Go Micro-Femto group!)
Physics Major Mirek Brandt was just named a National Goldwater Scholar!
Press release: https://goldwater.scholarsapply.org/2017-scholars-press-release/
OSU’s last Goldwater Scholar winner was in 2013; most years there are only a couple successful nominations statewide (3 this year). OSU also had a second successful nominee this year, True Gibson, a Life Sciences major. Congrats!
The Goldwater Scholarship was established by US Congress in 1986. Each year all universities nominate up to four undergraduates in science or engineering for one of ~240 Goldwater Scholarships. As all nominees are academically near the top of their school, the primary consideration at the National level becomes “the extent to which that individual has the commitment and potential to make a significant contribution to his or her field. This is judged by letter of references, essays written by the student, and prior research experience.”
Mirek will graduate in June 2018 as a Physics and Math major and plans to pursue graduate studies. Since his freshman year (Fall 2014), Mirek Brandt has been a member of Prof. Matt Graham’s Micro-Femto Energetics Lab. His research contributions are very substantial and we thank URSA-ENGAGE and SURE Science Summer Scholarship programs for funding his research. He will defend his undergraduate senior project thesis later this year entitled “The Impact of Crystal Morphology on Opto-Electronic Properties of Amorphous and Organic Crystalline Materials”.
To top off this National honor, Mirek was recently recognized internationally by being selected to attend the Kupcinet-Getz International Science School. This program matches top-undergraduates with leading research mentors at the Weizmann Institute in Rehovot, Israel. Mirek will join a Theoretical Astrophysics group at Weizmann this summer before returning to Oregon State Physics to take-up his Goldwater Scholarship.
On behalf of the OSU Physics Department, congratulations Mirek!