Faculty and Staff Awards
The Canadian Hydrogen Intensity Mapping Experiment (CHIME) team received the 2020 Governor General's Innovation Award."We have entered what scientists call "the CHIME Epoch" referring to a project called the Canadian Hydrogen Intensity Mapping Experiment, designed to measure the expansion history of our universe and to map the cosmic distribution of fast radio bursts within it and to track radio pulsars. Conceived, funded, and built by Canadians, CHIME represents an innovative technological achievement as well as a major scientific undertaking that addresses some of the most profound questions facing contemporary astrophysics."
Since 2016, the award has celebrated Canadian innovation and entrepreneurial spirit across all sectors of Canadian society. Awards are given to individuals, teams, and/or organizations whose works are exceptional and transformative, with significant impact on the quality of life in Canada. Learn more.
Jess Brewer was named a 2020 Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) for “his pioneering work developing muSR, in which muons are used to probe quantum materials, with critical applications ranging from high-temperature superconductivity to solid-state chemistry.” Learn more.
Jens Dilling was awarded the Royal Society of Canada’s Rutherford Memorial Medal in Physics. The Medal, which is awarded once per year for each physics and chemistry, is a recognition of outstanding research and leadership in the awardee’s field. Learn more.
Mark Halpern was elected to the Royal Society of Canada. "Mark Halpern makes measurements which have sharpened our understanding of the contents and dynamics of the Universe. Measurements showing little distortion of the cosmic microwave background spectrum established that the Universe was in thermal equilibrium when it was 10 days old. Measurements of the anisotropy of the CMB with WMAP, ACT and Bicep establish that the Universe is spatially flat, comprised of 70% dark energy with dark (invisible) matter substantially outweighing baryonic matter." Learn more.
Alannah Hallas received the CIFAR Azrieli Global Scholars award. CIFAR’s Global Scholars award, offered to exceptional researchers who are within the first five years of their academic appointment, provides unrestricted start-up funds, access to a global network of interdisciplinary scholars, and opportunities for mentorship and training. Learn more.
Mladen Bumbulovic and Dylan Gunn received the 2020 Staff Service Awards in recognition of outstanding departmental support. Mladen joined the department in may 2019 as the technical services director. Dylan joined the department in January 2018 as the engineering physics project lab director. This award is presented on an annual basis to Physics and Astronomy staff members whose contributions in areas such as service, administration and leadership have had a significant and positive impact in achieving the goals of the Department.
Bernhard Zender received the 2020 President's Service Award of Excellence. 'Bernhard Zender is described as “…one of those rare individuals in our community that simply loves teaching, loves supporting students in their learning, and loves his job.” His passion is at the core of the Project Lab in Engineering Physics, and he has been able to use his expertise in technology, prototyping and robotics to ignite enthusiasm in others.' The President’s Service Award for Excellence is presented each year to up to five outstanding staff members. The PSAE acknowledges staff who have made outstanding contributions to UBC, and who excel in their personal achievements. Learn more.
WMAP and Planck collaborations were awarded the 2019 Giuseppe and Vanna Cocconi Prize by the European Physical Society "for providing high-precision measurements of the cosmic microwave background temperature anisotropies, leading to detailed information on properties of the universe and tests of cosmological models and fundamental physics." UBC WMAP members include PHAS professors Mark Halpern and Gary Hinshaw. Planck Collaboration members at UBC have included Professor Douglas Scott, postdoctoral fellows Yinzhe Ma, Adam Moss and James Zibin, and graduate students Dagoberto Contreras and Ali Narimani. A number of coop, graduate, and summer students, as well as PHAS technical staff members, also contributed to support WMAP and Planck efforts.
Reiner Kruecken (TRIUMF/UBC Physics & Astronomy) was named a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS). He was elected "for his work elucidating the structure of exotic nuclei and astrophysical heavy element synthesis, and for his leadership in the international nuclear physics community." Learn more.
Mona Berciu was elected as a Fellow of the American Physical Society. The APS Fellowship Program was created to recognize members who may have made advances in physics through original research and publication, or made significant innovative contributions in the application of physics to science and technology. Mona was nominated by APS Division of Condensed Matter Physics and elected "For outstanding contributions to the theory of dilute magnetic semiconductors and polarons." Learn more.
Marcello Pavan and Valery Milner were awarded the 2018/19 UBC Killam Teaching Prize. The annual award recognizes faculty who demonstrate excellence in teaching. Nominations are made by students, alumni and faculty. Learn more.
Scott Oser received the CAP-TRIUMF Vogt Medal for Contributions to Subatomic Physics for demonstration of "excellence in hardware design and construction, data analysis, scientific interpretation of the results, organization, and leadership." He was cited for his contributions to the study of neutrino oscillations with the SNO and T2K experiments, and to experimental searches for dark matter with SuperCDMS. Learn more.
Douglas Bonn received the CAP Medal for Lifetime Achievement in Physics, for his accomplishments in quantum materials that have advanced our understanding of high-temperature superconductors. This CAP medal was introduced in 1956, awarded on the basis of: Distinguished service to physics over an extended period of time, and/or; Recent outstanding achievement. Learn more.
Douglas Bonn, Mark Halpern, Walter Hardy, and Gary Hinshaw were named on the Global Highly Cited Researchers 2018 List by the Clarivate Analytics. This list recognizes world-class researchers selected for their exceptional research performance, demonstrated by the production of multiple highly cited papers that rank in the top 1% by citations for field and year in Web of Science.
Bill Unruh received the Willis E. Lamb Award for Laser Science and Quantum Optics. The award is presented annually "for outstanding contributions to the field. The award honors Willis E. Lamb, Jr., famous laser scientist and 1955 winner of the Nobel Prize in physics, who gave us many seminal insights and served as our guide in so many areas of physics and technology." The award is sponsored by the Physics of Quantum Electronics (PQE) conference and presented at its Winter Colloquium in Snowbird, Utah.
Salena Li received a President’s Staff Award for Excellence in the category of Emerging Leadership. The President’s Staff Awards at the Vancouver campus recognize the personal achievements and contributions that our staff make to UBC, and to the vision and goals of the University.
John Ho and Mark Carlson received the 2019 Staff Service Awards in recognition of outstanding departmental support. John Ho has worked in the department as the Finance Clerk since December, 2014. Mark Carlson started her position as the Electronics Engineer in May, 2018.
Bill Unruh was awarded the Helmholtz International Fellow. "The award, which is financed by the Helmholtz President’s Initiative and Networking Fund, was presented for the first time in 2012. In addition to prize money of €20,000, the winners are invited to visit one or more Helmholtz Centers to conduct research. Through this, Helmholtz aims to promote intensified cooperation with the scientists and their research institutions."
Bill Unruh received the Hagler Fellow of Texas A&M University Award (2018-2019). "The Hagler Institute for Advanced Study at Texas A&M University selects its Faculty Fellows from among top scholars who have distinguished themselves through outstanding professional accomplishments or significant recognition."
Joerg Rottler received the Friedrich Wilhelm Bessel Research Award. Award recipients are selected among "scientists and scholars from abroad, internationally renowned in their field, who completed their doctorates less than 18 years ago and who in future are expected to continue producing cutting-edge achievements which will have a seminal influence on their discipline beyond their immediate field of work." Award winners are honoured for their outstanding research record and invited to spend a period of up to one year cooperating on a long-term research project with specialist colleagues at a research institution in Germany.
Lorne Whitehead was elected a Fellow of the Optical Society of America (OSA) “[f]or fundamental scientific and technical advances in applied optics, illumination, and vision science and for science advocacy.”
Ingrid Stairs was selected a Fellow of the American Physical Society. Because the number of APS Fellows elected each year is limited to no more than one half of one percent of the membership, it is a prestigious recognition for one's contribution to physics. Ingrid was nominated by APS Division of Astrophysics and elected "For scientific leadership and meticulous work in instrumentation, in novel tests of General Relativity using multiple binary radio pulsars, and in the detailed study of numerous interesting radio pulsars systems using high-precision timing."
Andrea Damascelli was named a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada (RSC) – the highest honour a scholar can achieve in the sciences in Canada. The fellowship of the RSC comprises over 2,000 Canadian scholars, artists, and scientists, peer-elected as the best in their field. These are distinguished men and women from all branches of learning who have made remarkable contributions in the arts, the humanities and the sciences, as well as in Canadian public life. Learn More
The Planck team, and its Principal Investigators Nazzareno Mandolesi and Jean-Loup Puget received the 2018 Gruber Cosmology Prize. Douglas Scott from UBC Department of Physics & Astronomy was a Co-Investigator and member of the Editorial Board for Planck, who was among the identified team members who shared the prize. Other members of the full team who are currently at UBC are Research Fellow Dr. James Zibin and graduate student Dagoberto Contreras. Learn More
Aaron Boley received the 2018 Killam Teaching Award for Science instructors to. The award acknowledges outstanding contributions made by teaching faculty in Science. Nominations may be made by students, alumni or faculty. He was recognized for fostering deeper learning processes in astronomy through the uses of peer discussions and entertaining but effective in-class demonstrations. For more information about the Killam Teaching Award, visit the Faculty of Science website.
Andrea Damascelli, director of UBC’s Stewart Blusson Quantum Matter Institute, was awarded the 2018 CAP/DCMMP Brockhouse Medal for his contributions and leadership in the investigation of quantum solids and surfaces. The award cited Damascelli’s work on strongly-correlated systems through the design and development of unique angle-resolved photoemission spectroscopy instruments. The work advances understanding of the electronic structure of some of the most challenging, and most studied, materials in condensed matter physics.
Alison Lister, an associate professor in the department of Physics and Astronomy, is an experimental particle physicist working on the Large Hadron Collider at CERN to search for evidence of physics beyond the Standard Model. She is awarded the 2018 CAP Herzberg Medal for her many leadership roles in the ATLAS experiment and for the breadth of her contributions in particle physics, including the discovery of the Higgs boson, precision measurements of the top quark, new limits on physics beyond the Standard Model, and innovative efforts in using machine learning in experimental particle physics.
Ariel Zhitnitsky received the 2018 CAP-CRM Prize in Theoretical and Mathematical Physics for his ground-breaking contributions to theoretical high energy physics. In particular, Zhitnitsky was cited for his development of the ‘invisible axion’ model – the publication of which has garnered more than 1,000 citations and influenced experimental searches – and for his work on the vacuum structure of non-Abelian gauge theories.
Mark Halpern received the 2018 Carlyle S. Beals Award from the Canadian Astronomical Society (CASCA). The Carlyle S. Beals Award was established by CASCA in 1981 in recognition of the groundbreaking research of the late C.S. Beals. It recognizes a Canadian astronomer or an astronomer working in Canada for the outstanding achievement in research (either as a specific achievement or as a lifetime of research).
Gary Hinshaw is one of the recipients of the 2018 Breakthrough Prize in Fundamental Physics. He and colleagues from NASA’s Wilkinson Microwave Anisotropy Probe (WMAP) team, including UBC physics & astronomy colleague Mark Halpern, were awarded the prize for their work on mapping the early universe. Their findings cemented the “standard model” of cosmology: a flat universe dominated by dark matter and dark energy.
The Breakthrough Prizes will recognize the world’s top scientists. Each prize is $3 million and presented in the fields of Life Sciences (up to five per year), Fundamental Physics (up to one per year) and Mathematics (up to one per year).
Swarn Rai received the 2018 the UBC Dean of Science Excellence in Service award. This award "recognizing staff, students and faculty whose service contributions have had a significant positive impact in achieving UBC Science's mission." Swarn is noted "[f]or warm, efficiency, faultless organization, consistency, care, and exemplary service to the Faculty of Science and the University of British Columbia through the Pacific Institute of Theoretical Physics."
Engineering Physics Program Coordinator Eileen Campbell and Human Resources Manager Derek Gagnier received the 2018 Staff Service Awards in recognition of outstanding departmental support. Both have spent the past 10+ years with the department: Derek started in PHAS in August 2007, and Eileen in October 2001.
Lorne Whitehead was elected a Fellow of the National Academy of Inventors (NAI). "The NAI Fellows Program was established to highlight academic inventors who have demonstrated a prolific spirit of innovation in creating or facilitating outstanding inventions that have made a tangible impact on quality of life, economic development and the welfare of society."
Reiner Kruecken was elected Fellow of the American Physical Society (APS). The number of elected fellows each year is very limited, so this is a prestigious recognition. He is also the only elected fellow from Canada this year. He was recognized "[f]or use of gamma-ray spectroscopy techniques to advance the understanding of the evolution of collectivity and shell structure in nuclei, from the phenomena of super-deformation and magnetic rotation to probing magic numbers, shape-transitions and shape-coexistence."
Ingrid Stairs received the 2017 Rutherford Memorial Medal in Physics from the Royal Society of Canada. "The Rutherford Memorial Medals were established in 1980 by the RSC in memory of Lord Rutherford of Nelson, a great scientist and a leader in nuclear research. The medals are awarded for outstanding research in any branch of physics and chemistry and in recognition of Lord Rutherford’s own research carried out in Canada at a relatively young age."
Gary Hinshaw was elected Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada. The Royal Society of Canada fellowships are the highest academic accolade in the sciences, humanities and arts bestowed in this country.
Ingrid Stairs received the 2017 Martin Award from the Canadian Astronomical Society (CASCA). "The Peter G. Martin Award for Mid-Career Achievement recognizes significant contributions to astronomical research by a CASCA member. The award was established in 2009 upon a gift by Peter G. Martin, Past-President of the Society and Professor at the University of Toronto."
Douglas Scott received the 2017 UBC Killam Research Prize (senior category), "recognizing outstanding research and scholarly contributions."
Bill Unruh received the Humboldt Research Award. The award is granted in recognition of a researcher's entire achievements to date to academics whose fundamental discoveries, new theories, or insights have had a significant impact on their own discipline and who are expected to continue producing cutting-edge achievements in the future. Academics from abroad, regardless of their discipline or nationality, may be nominated for a Humboldt Research Award. Bill was nominated by the University of Duisburg Essen, and will be spending up to one year cooperating on a long-term research project with specialist colleagues there.
Paul Hickson received the Group Achievement Award certificate from NASA on behalf of the Meter Class Autonomous (MCAT) Build Team. "This prestigious NASA certificate is awarded to any combination of Government and/or non-Government individuals for an outstanding group accomplishment that has contributed substantially to NASA's mission." The MCAT group received the award for "outstanding support for the construction of The NASA/Air Force Research Laboratory Orbital Debris Observatory and installation of the Meter-class Autonomous Telescope."
PHAS IT group manager Ron Parachoniak and the Department Machine Shop Technicians (including Nick Lemmel, Stephen Carey, Matthew Sluyter, Daniel Skjaveland, and Mark Reynolds) received the 2017 Physics & Astronomy Staff Award. This award recognizes staff members for their significant contributions to the department.
James Charbonneau and Simon Bates received the 2016 Killam Teaching Awards for Science instructors to. The award acknowledges outstanding contributions made by teaching faculty in Science. Nominations may be made by students, alumni or faculty. He was recognized for fostering deeper learning processes in astronomy through the uses of peer discussions and entertaining but effective in-class demonstrations. For more information about the Killam Teaching Award, visit the Faculty of Science website.
Scott Oser was elected Fellow of the American Physical Society (APS). This is a prestigious recognition by his peers at the APS, as the number of elected Fellows each year is very limited. He was recognized "for scientific and technical leadership in the study of neutrino oscillations in the Sudbury Neutrino Observatory, K2K, and T2K experiments."
Ian Affleck was appointed Foreign Associate of the French Academy of Sciences (Académie des sciences de l'Institut de France) in its 350th anniversary year. There are only 16 in the Physics Section. "This election reflects the high esteem the members of our academy have for you and for your scientific work," said the French Academy of Sciences. Read more...
Jaymie Matthews received the 2016 Qilak Award for Astronomy Communications, Public Education and Outreach from the Canadian Astronomical Society (CASCA). "Dr. Matthews’ dedication and boundless enthusiasm for communicating with the public about astronomy are illustrated by the dozens of outreach activities in which he participates annually, ranging from public presentations, to radio interviews, to campus tours, to TV show consultations. Beyond his legendary teaching reputation at UBC, he has given courses aimed at younger children as well as special lectures in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside, the First Nations Summer Science Programme, and the Canadian Association of Physics (CAP) undergraduate lecture series, among many others."
Ludovic van Waerbeke, renowned for his research in the detection of dark matter and related topics in cosmology and fundamental physics, receives the Friedrich Wilhelm Bessel Research Award from the Humboldt Foundation in Germany. The award is valued at €45,000; Ludo will also be invited to spend up to one year to work on a long-term project with other research colleagues in Germany.
Andre Marziali won the 2016 Margaret Fulton Award for Student Development given by UBC. "This award is granted to an outstanding individual (student, faculty, or staff) who has made a contribution to student development and the university community in honour of Margaret Fulton’s commitment to university access and student learning."
Lorne Whitehead was made a Fellow of the Illuminating Engineering Society. The IES appoints, on average, only 2 fellows per year. "The IES Fellow designation shall be awarded to a Member of the Society for valuable contribution to the technical activities of the Society; to the art or science of illumination; or to the related scientific or engineering fields."
Aaron Boley was appointed a Peter Wall Scholar at the Peter Wall Institute for Advanced Studies. This carries with it an award of $20,000 that Aaron is using to host a major conference on planetary science.
Hongyun Sun, the department's Systems Administrator, and Amy Pureza, the Financial Assistant, received the PHAS 2016 Physics & Astronomy Staff Awards in recognition of their outstanding departmental support.
Twenty-nine current and past UBC researchers will each take home a modest share of the $3 million Breakthrough Prize in Fundamental Physics announced yesterday at NASA Ames Research Centre in Moffett Field, California. The high-profile Silicon-Valley funded award is being shared between five projects that have illuminated the nature of neutrinos, elusive subatomic particles produced inside the Sun. UBC researchers have been part of two of the five: the Sudbury Neutrino Observatory (SNO) and Japan’s Tokai to Kamioka (T2K) Experiment. Current and past UBC researchers receiving a portion of the award are: Frank Berghaus, Sophie Berkman, Daniel Brook-Roberge, Tudor Costin, Reena Meijer Drees, Salvador Gil, Simon Hastings, Chris Hearty, Jaret Heise, Blair Jamieson, Jiae Kim, Brian Kirby, Robert Komar, Thomas Kutter, Thomas Lindner, Mark McCarthy, Christian Nally, Hui-Siong Ng, Christine Nielsen, Scott Oser, Yevgeniy Petrov, Alan Poon, Shirin Sabouri, Hirohisa Tanaka, Shimpei Tobayama, Yaroslav Tserkvonyak, Tyron Tsui, Chris Waltham, Juergen Wendland, and Joanna Zalipska.
Christopher Hearty was elected to Fellowship in the American Physical Society. According to American Physical Society, no more than one half of one percent of the membership is elected to fellowship. He was selected “for scientific and technical leadership on the BaBar experiment which produced important results on CP violation, flavor physics, and many other areas.”
Alison Lister was awarded a prestigious Tier II Canada Research Chair this year. "Tier 2 Chairs, tenable for five years and renewable once, are for exceptional emerging researchers, acknowledged by their peers as having the potential to lead in their field. For each Tier 2 Chair, the university receives $100,000 annually for five years."
Andrea Damascelli was awarded a Tier I Canada Research Chair in the Electronic Structure of Quantum Materials. "Tier 1 Chairs, tenable for seven years and renewable, are for outstanding researchers acknowledged by their peers as world leaders in their fields. For each Tier 1 Chair, the university receives $200,000 annually for seven years."
Mark Van Raamsdonk was awarded the Simons Foundation Investigator in Physics. According to the Foundation website, "Mark Van Raamsdonk uses the holographic insights from the gauge-gravity duality to obtain new results in the theory of quantum gravity. He is particularly known for his recent results relating the geometrical structure of spacetime to entanglement structure of the holographically dual boundary quantum field theory." Awardees receive $100,000 per year in research support for five years, plus an additional $10,000 per year for the Investigator's department.
Mark Van Raamsdonk received the 2015 UBC Killam Research Fellowship, which "enables promising faculty to pursue full-time research during a recognized study leave."
Salena Li, the department's Undergraduate Program Coordinator, received the 2015 Dean of Science Excellence in Service Award. The award recognizes staff, students and faculty whose service contributions have had a significant positive impact in achieving UBC Science's mission.
Tongkai Huang and Leanne Ebbs received the 2015 Physics & Astronomy Staff Awards. Leanne Ebbs started working in PHAS in 2013 and currently works as the Department Head's assistant. She was awarded for her outstanding service to the operations of the department, from financial work to TA assignments. Tongkai Huang is a Lab Engineering Technician and has been with PHAS for the past 16 years, starting in December 1999. He was awarded for his long-standing dedication and innovative work in the undergraduate teaching labs, from the 4th year advanced lab to designing and refining experiments for the new 1st year programs.
Brett Gladman received the UBC Killam Faculty Research Fellowships (Senior Category). Brett's research area is planetary sciences, with his research topics connected by a desire to understand the formation and evolution of our Solar System and planetary systems in general.
Mark Van Raamsdonk was awarded the CAP-CRM Prize in Theoretical and Mathematical Physics "for his highly original, influential contributions to several areas of theoretical physics, including string theory, quantum field theory, and quantum gravity. Highlights include advances in the theory of D-branes and other non-perturbative objects in string theory, the ultraviolet-infrared mixing in non-commutative quantum field theory, and the deconfinement transition in gauge theory, as well as his novel proposal that the emergence of spacetime is profoundly connected with quantum entanglement". This annual award recognizes research excellence in theoretical and mathematical physics. More information.
Ian Affleck received the 2014 CAP/DCMMP Brockhouse Medal. The medal was awarded for "for his original and influential contributions to the theory of condensed matter systems, particularly in the application of conformal field theory techniques to the Kondo effects and quantum impurity problems and advances in the theory of quantum magnetism in low dimensions." This is an annual award for outsatnding experimental of theoretical contributions to condensed matter and material physics. More information.
Andrea Damascelli, Marcel Franz and Philip Stamp have been elected as American Physical Society Fellows this year. "Any active APS member is eligible for nomination and election to Fellowship. The criterion for election is exceptional contributions to the physics enterprise; e.g., outstanding physics research, important applications of physics, leadership in or service to physics, or significant contributions to physics education. Fellowship is a distinct honor signifying recognition by one's professional peers."
Harvey Richer was elected a fellow of the Royal Society of Canada. Harvey has applied the most advanced optical telescopes in space and on the ground in the detection and characterization of stars in the oldest stellar systems. His research has provided fundamental estimates of the age of the Universe, the density of dark matter, and the dynamics and formation of galaxies and globular clusters. Harvey is among 30 UBC Science researchers elected to the society since 2000. This year the RSC elected 90 new fellows, including three foreign fellows, three specially elected fellows, and one honorary fellow this year. Five were from UBC.
Harvey Richer received the 2014 Carlyle S. Beals Award from the Canadian Astronomical Society (CASCA). The Carlyle S. Beals Award was established by CASCA in 1981 in recognition of the groundbreaking research of the late C.S. Beals. More information.
The ALPHA-Canada team received the NSERC John C Polanyi Award for their work in creating, capturing and characterizing the antihydrogen atom. The team includes PHAS physicists Dr. Walter Hardy, Dr. Takamasa Momose (associate from chemistry), along with Nathan Evetts, Andrea Gutierrez, Mario Michan and Sarah Seif El Nasr. Dr. Fujiwara of TRIUMF, UBC Green College, and of the University of Calgary (also the spokesperson for the ALPHA-Canada team) and Dr. Michael Hayden of Simon Fraser University on the team are both alumni of UBC Physics & Astronomy. More information.
Anna Celler received the NSERC Brockhouse Canada Prize for Interdisciplinary Research in Science and Engineering together with Paul Schaffer (TRIUMF), François Bénard (The University of British Columbia), Michael Kovacs (Western University), Thomas J. Ruth (TRIUMF), and John Valliant (McMaster University). "Dr. Paul Schaffer and his multi-disciplinary team of researchers that boasts expertise in fields including physics, chemistry and nuclear medicine. With funding support from NSERC, CIHR and Natural Resources Canada, this team has developed breakthrough technology that uses medical cyclotrons already installed and operational in major hospitals across Canada."
Theresa Liao and Mandana Amiri received the UBC Physics & Astronomy 2014 Staff Achievement Awards. Theresa was recognized for "outstanding leadership in communications and outreach" and Mandana for "playing a transformative role in experimental cosmology."
Mona Berciu was awarded this year’s CAP Medal for Excellence in Teaching Undergraduate Physics. This medal honours faculty members who have a comprehensive knowledge and deep understanding of their subject and who possess an exceptional ability to communicate their knowledge and understanding in such a way as to lead their students to high academic achievement in physics. Mona received the medal "for her exceptional ability to communicate knowledge and understanding and lead students to high academic achievement in physics through her own example, for her leading role in the Welcome Women (WOW) initiative to recruit female students and for her efforts to generally improve the quality of physics teaching through such work as undertaken by the Carl Weiman Science Education Initiative."
Jens Dilling received the 2013 CAP-TRIUMF Vogt Medal for Outstanding Experimental or Theoretical Contributions to Subatomic Physics. The purpose of this award is to recognize and encourage outstanding experimental or theoretical contributions to subatomic physics. Dilling was recognized "for his leadership in the development and implementation of new ion trapping and precision mass measurement techniques applied to radioactive nuclei which have dramatically advanced our understanding of halo nuclei and the role of 3 body forces in nuclear systems."
Janis McKenna received the 2013 UBC Science Achievement Awards (Faculty). She was recognized "for ongoing contributions to the Department of Physics and Astronomy and the larger community. She inspires students both in and out of lecture halls, and encourages students to take part in extracurricular activities and the Co-op program to build professional skills which cannot be obtained in lecture halls."
Gordon Semenoff received the most prestigious research prize the University offers, the Jacob Biely Research Prize. Gordon has been a professor at UBC since 1990. His research interests have been in superstring theory and duality of string theories with strongly coupled gauge field theories and in quantum gravity. He is noted for his co-invention of the parity anomaly in odd-dimensional gauge field theories and his pioneering work on graphene. He was recently appointed Officer of the Order of Canada in 2012. An award reception for all faculty research award recipients will be held on Monday March 25, 2013 in the Glass Lobby of the Chan Centre.
Kirk Madison and Joerg Rottler received the UBC Killam Faculty Research Fellowships (Junior Category). Kirk’s areas of research include condensed matter and atomic, molecular and optical physics. He is also a CIFAR scholar in Quantum Materials. Joerg’s areas of research include condensed matter and computational physics. Before joining UBC, he was a Postdoctoral Fellow at Princeton University.
Andrea Damascelli was elected a Senior Fellow of the CIFAR Quantum Materials Program in January.
Martin O'Keane and Swarn Raid received the UBC Physics & Astronomy 2013 2013 Staff Achievement Awards. Martin "in recognition of exceptional leadership in technical services," and Swarn "in recognition of administrative excellence"
Jon Nakane and Benhard Zender receive the 2013 President’s Staff Awards for "Enhancing the UBC Experience." The President’s Staff Awards (Vancouver Campus) recognize the personal achievements and contributions of staff to UBC and to the vision and goals of the University. More information.
The department received the UBC Alfred Scow Award on April 25, 2012. This annual award is given to an undergraduate program or department that has had a significant positive impact on student life and student development at UBC.
Ian Affleck received the American Physical Society Onsager Prize. The purpose of the Prize is "to recognize outstanding research in theoretical statistical physics including the quantum fluids." Ian was awarded "for his pioneering role in developing and applying the ideas and methods of conformal field theory to important problems in statistical and condensed matter physics, including the quantum critical behavior of spin chains and (with Ludwig) the universal behavior of quantum impurity systems." For more information.
Gordon Semenoff was named one of the Officers of the Order of Canada in 2013. Gordon has been a professor at UBC since 1990. His research interests have been in superstring theory and duality of string theories with strongly coupled gauge field theories and in quantum gravity. He is noted for his co-invention of the parity anomaly in odd-dimensional gauge field theories and his pioneering work on graphene.
Mark Halpern and Gary Hinshaw of UBC Physics & Astronomy have been awarded the 2012 Gruber Cosmology Prize for their work as part of a 2003 NASA mission that pinpointed the age of the Universe at 13.75 billion years. They will share the $500,000 award with NASA Wilkinson Microwave Anisotropy Probe (WMAP) lead Charles Bennett and other colleagues from the team.
Gordon Semenoff received the 2012 CAP Medal for Lifetime Achievement in Physics, for his seminal contributions to quantum field theory, statistical mechanics and condensed matter physics. "The CAP Medal for Lifetime Achievement in Physics is awarded on the basis of distinguished service to physics over an extended period of time, and/or recent outstanding achievement. This medal was introduced in 1956 and has been awarded annually since. "
Javed Iqbal and Mark Van Raamsdonk received the Killam Teaching Prizes for 2011/2012. The prizes are awarded annually, from the Killam Endowment Fund, to faculty nominated by students, colleagues, and alumni in recognition of excellence in teaching.
David Jones received the 2011/12 Killiam Faculty Research Fellowship. Recipients were recognized at the Celebrate Research Awards Gala on March 8, 2012. Killam Faculty Research Fellowships are awarded to assist promising faculty members, who wish to devote full time to research and study in their field during a recognized study leave.
Andrea Damascelli received the Friedrich Wilhelm Bessel Research Award, Humboldt Foundation, Germany (March 2012).
Douglas Bonn received the 2012 CAP/DCMMP Brockhouse Medal for his contributions to the field of high temperature superconductivity. "The purpose of CAP's Brockhouse Medal, which is sponsored jointly by the Division of Condensed Matter and Materials Physics (DCMMP) and the Canadian Association of Physicists (CAP), is to recognize and encourage outstanding experimental or theoretical contributions to condensed matter and materials physics."
Theresa Liao received the 2012 Faculty of Science Achievement Award in the staff category, for her promotion of the Physics and Astronomy Department to the public, and facilitation of an atmosphere of easy communication between physics undergraduate students and the department, as well as her guidance of the development of our new departmental website. The award recognizes staff, students and faculty whose contributions in areas such as service, administration, leadership and outreach have had a significant positive impact in achieving the goals of the Faculty of Science.
Fei Zhou was awarded the UBC Killam Research Fellowship. This fellowship assists promising faculty members who wish to devote full time to research and study in their field during a recognized study leave. It is awarded based on special distinction of intellect with due regard for sound character and personal qualities
Gordon Semenoff has been awarded an honorary degree from the University of Lethbridge at their Spring Convocation in June 2011. The Doctor of Science, honoris causa, recognises Gordon as an expert on quantum field theory. More information.
Doug Bryman received the 2011 W. K. H. Panofsky Prize in Experimental Particle Physics. This prestigious award from the American Physical Society will be shared with Laurence Littenberg, Brookhaven National Laboratory and A.J. Stewart Smith, Princeton University. More information.
Sarah Burke received a Peter Wall Early Career Scholar Award.
Andre Marziali received the 2011 LifeScience BC award for Innovation and Achievement award.
Bridget Hamilton and Bernhard Zender received the 2011 Physics & Astronomy Staff Service Awards. Bridget was awarded for her twenty-three years of dedicated service as the Departmental Receptionist; Bernhard was awarded for his outstanding service to the Engineering Physics Program as the Engineering Technician. Congratulations Bridget and Bernhard!
Jon Nakane has been named to receive a 2011 Faculty of Science Achievement Award. These awards recognize staff, students and faculty whose contributions in areas such as service, administration, leadership and outreach have had a significant positive impact in achieving the goals of the Faculty of Science. More information.
Ian Affleck was elected as a Fellow of the Royal Society in its 350th anniversary year. The Fellowship of the Royal Society is composed of 1300 of the most distinguished scientists from the United Kingdom, other Commonwealth countries and the Republic of Ireland. Fellows of the Royal Society are elected for life. More information.
Ludovic Van Waerbeke was named by the Peter Wall Institute for Advanced Studies as a 2010 Early Career Scholar. The objective of this program is to bring outstanding UBC early-career researchers together to share ideas and research approaches.
Mark van Raamsdonk won the 2010 Gravity Research Foundation Essay Competition. The title of Mark's winning essay was "Building Up Spacetime with Quantum Entanglement" and was published in the Journal of General Relativity and Gravitation (GRG). The top essay also earns Mark $4000. The Gravity Research Foundation was established in 1949 to encourage the study of gravity.
Andrzej Kotlicki recently received the 2009/2010 Rethink Award, given by the student-led group Common Energy, whose mission is to "bring UBC beyond climate neutral." The purpose of the Rethink Award is to recognize faculty members who are sustainability leaders for their achievements and contributions.
Chris Waltham received the 2009/2010 Faculty of Science Achievement Award (Faculty). The awards recognize staff, students and faculty whose contributions in areas such as service, administration, leadership and outreach have had significant positive impact in achieving the goals of the Faculty of Science.
Gordon Semenoff received the 200 CAP/DCMMP Brockhouse Medal for his seminal contributions to the theory of Graphene and its massless quasiparticles.
Sarah Burke received a prestigious Canada Research Chair II when she joined the department this year. Tier 2 Chairs, tenable for five years and renewable once, are for exceptional emerging researchers, acknowledged by their peers as having the potential to lead in their field. For each Tier 2 Chair, the university receives $100,000 annually for five years.
Steve Plotkin was recognized with the Journal of Molecular Graphics and Modeling Graphics 2010 Prize.
Mona Berciu was nominated for the 2010 YWCA Women of Distinction Awards. She was cited for her work in encouraging participation of women in physics. She was the faculty organizer for the annual Physics & Astronomy Welcome Orientation for Women (WOW) event in the past few years.
Joshua Folk received the 2010 Sloan Research Fellowship; fellowships are awarded to 118 outstanding US and Canadian early reserachers. The fellowship program is the oldest program of the New York-based Alfred P. Sloan Foundation.
Andrea Damascelli received a UBC Killam Research Prize for his work involving the understanding of the electronic properties of complex systems which differ substantially from those of conventional metals and insulators.
This year, two staff members were awarded the Physics & Astronomy Staff Service Award. Salena Li was awarded for her tireless contributions to the PHAS undergraduate program. Gar Fisher was awarded for his dedicated service to the PHAS Electronics Lab.
Bill Unruh has joined Stephen Hawking and other eminent physicists as a Distinguished Research Chair at the Perimeter Institute". The citation points to Bill's "seminal contributions to our understanding of gravity, black holes, cosmology, quantum fields in curved spaces, and the foundations of quantum mechanics, including the discovery of the Unruh effect." Perimeter's Press Release.
Douglas Scott has been recognized by the APS as an Outstanding Referee. The Outstanding Referee program expresses appreciation for the essential work that anonymous peer reviewers do for our journals. Each year a small percentage of our 42,000 referees are to be selected and honored with the Outstanding Referee designation. Selections are made based on the number, quality, and timeliness of referee reports as collected in a database over the last 20 years. APS press release.
Steven Plotkin and Andrea Damascelli were honoured as Killam Faculty Research Junior Fellows. The Killam research awards are given annually from the Killam Endowment Fund to faculty nominated by students, colleagues and alumni in recognition of excellence in research.
Robert Raussendorf was awarded a Slfred P. Sloan Research Fellowship. Fellowships are awarded to 118 outstanding US and Canadian early researchers. The fellowship program is the oldest program of the New York-based Alfred P. Sloan Foundation.
Jeff Young was awarded a Faculty of Science Achievement Award for five years of tireless service as the department head.
Andrea Damascelli received the UBC Killam Research Fellowship.
Kim Fugate (Tkaczuk) received the 2009 Physics & Astronomy Staff Service Award for her contributions as the Director of Finance/Operations since 2001.
Shaun Woodruff was awarded a Faculty of Science Achievement Award for his Herculean efforts in the Hebb Demo room.
Chris Waltham will receive an Alumni Achievement Award for Outstanding Faculty Community Outreach Award. Noted among his Outreach achievements, is Chris's work with the Michael Crooks Physics & Astronomy Outreach Laboratory which aims to reconnect education with the natural and high-technology world around us, and the excitement and fulfillment of being able to understand and contribute to it.
The American Physical Society announced a highly selective award program to recognize scientists, including UBC's Ian Affleck who have been exceptionally helpful in assessing manuscripts for publication in the APS journals. Learn more about the Outstanding Referee program.
The 2008 CAP/DCMMP Brockhouse Medal for Outstanding Achievement in Condensed Matter and Materials Physics is awarded to Jess Brewer, University of British Columbia. The purpose of this award is to recognize and encourage outstanding experimental or theoretical contributions to condensed matter and materials physics.
UBC astronomy and astrophysics professor Jaymie Matthews was inducted Friday (2008-02-22) in Ottawa as an officer of the Order of Canada by Governor-General Michaelle Jean. Matthews is recognized internationally for his studies in stellar seismology, the use of star pulsations to probe their composition and history. He is also the principle investigator of Canada's space telescope MOST.
Scott Oser received an Alfred Sloan Research Fellowship Award. Only 22 such awards were given to physicists across North America this year, and Scott received one of only two awarded to researchers at Canadian Universities.
George Sawatzky was named a Fellow of the Royal Society. The Royal Society's citation points to George's work (both experimental and theoretical) in understanding important transition metal oxides.
Kris Sigurdson was appointed as an Early Career Scholar of the Peter Wall Institute for Advanced Studies (PWIAS) for the 2008-2009 academic year and as a permanent faculty associate of the PWIAS. Ten UBC researchers were selected at the Assistant Professor level representing five different Faculties.
Andrea Damascelli received the Kavli Fellow from US National Academy of Science, in November 2008.
Derek Gagnier was awarded the 2008 Physics & Astronomy Staff Service Award at the department's Christmas party on December 16, 2008 for outstanding undergraduate program support.
Nobel laureate Carl Wieman's website Physics Education Technology Project (PhET)was honoured in the fifth annual International Science and Technology Visualization Challenge in the category of interactive media. Carl is at UBC as the director of the Carl Wieman Science Education Initiative a $12 million project to improve undergraduate science education. UBC Media Release.
Congratulations to Andrea Damascelli, who has just been awarded a Sloan Fellowship. Richly deserved, Andrea! This is the fifth Sloan Fellowship awarded to faculty members in our department over the past 3 years. Also note that one of the graduate students supervised recently by Matt Choptuik, Frans Pretorius, has also been awarded a Sloan.
Andre Marziali has been awarded the 2007 Innovation Award by the Association for Laboratory Automation. The $10,000 award was presented for A Powerful New Device and Method for Detecting and Concentrating Nucleic Acids from Complex and Dilute Samples. See the Genetic Engineering News Article.
Congratulations to George Sawatzky who received the Henry Marshall Troy Medal from the Royal Society of Canada, The Academies of Arts, Humanity & Science this past weekend. He joins a very select group of scientists. See RSC site for details.
Mark Halpern was recognized, along with his colleagues on the WMAP mission, with a prestigious NASA Group Achievement Award. Wilkinson Microwave Anisotropy Probe (WMAP) has been continuously making observations of the cosmic microwave background for 3 years. The interpretation of these observations support the concept of inflation, which poses that the universe expanded many trillion times its size in less than a trillionth of a second at the outset of the big bang. See NASA's WMAP site for details.
Mona Berciu was awarded a Faculty of Science Killam Prize for Excellence in Teaching.
Marina Milner-Bolotin, a Research Associate with the department, received the Faculty of Science Achievement Award (Faculty).
Andrea Damascelli received the Sloan Research Fellowship. The fellowship program is the oldest program of the New York-based Alfred P. Sloan Foundation.
Vesna Sossi received the Career Investigator Awards from the Michael Smith Foundation. Vesna was awarded as a Senior Scholar in the Clinical field. Her project is "Imaging studies: Towards understanding the complications related to advanced monoaminergic disease and treatment"
Carl Hansen received the Career Investigator Awards from the Michael Smith Foundation. Carl was recognized as a Scholar in the Biomedical field. His project is titled "Microfluidic instrumentation for single-cell chemical genetics"
Stan Knotek received the Faculty of Science Achievement Award. He was the Electronics Shop Manager and Engineer for the Department of Physics & Astronomy.
Bridget Hamilton 2007 President's Service Award for Excellence. This story was covered by the UBC Reports.
Domenic Di Tomaso and Jon Nakane received the 2007 Physics & Astronomy Staff Service Awards.
Awards between 2000 and 2007
Scott Oser and Chris Waltham, NSERC John C. Polanyi Award 2006
Gordon Semenoff 2006 Majorana Prize
Ian Affleck 2006 CAP Medal for Lifetime Achievement
Mona Berciu 2006 Sloan Fellowship
Andrzej Kotlicki 2006 Faculty of Science Achievement Award
Walter Hardy 2005 BC Innovation Council Award
Doug Bonn 2005 Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada
Janis McKenna 2005 Killam Teaching
Andre Marziali 2005 CAP Medal 05
Fei Zhou 2005 Sloan Fellowship
Mark van Raamsdonk 2005 Sloan Fellowship
Steve Plotkin 2005 Sloan Fellowship
Robert Francis Kiefl 2005 American Physical Society Fellow
Eileen Campbell and Doug Wong 2005 Physics & Astronomy Staff Service Awards
Harold Davis, Tom Felton and Tony Walters 2004 Physics & Astronomy Staff Service Awards
Gordon Semenoff 2000 CAP/CRM Medal for Theoretical and Mathematical Physics
Gordon Semenoff 2000 Elected Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada
Mary Ann Potts 2003 Physics & Astronomy Staff Service Award