Texas Tech University

2015 Departmental News

  • Tony Kaye was one of the few winners of the 2015 competition for the Presidential Collaborative Research Grants Program and will receive full funding of $50K.
  • In May 2015, the Space Telescope Science Institute, AURA awarded Dave Sand $26K in support of his HST project, "A New Dwarf Galaxy Associated with an UltraCompact High Velocity Cloud."
  • Tom Maccarone's project "Deep Observations of NGC 4472: A Special ULX, Point Sources, and Diffuse Emission" has been funded at the level of $68K by NASA.
  • Charles Ramey II, a Physics Education Research (PER) graduate student working with Beth Thacker, contributed "Redesigning the Structure and Pedagogy of a Modern Physics Laboratory" to the American Association of Physics Teachers (AAPT) conference in July. Charles was also awarded a Physics Education Research Topical Group (PERTG) scholarship-in-residence grant from the PER Leadership Organizing Council (PERLOC) for continued work and collaboration on researching, developing and assessing upper level laboratories. Hani Dulli, a visiting assistant professor in our department, discussed "How Educated Is Educated Guess, Anyway? Cueing Effects in Physics Concept Inventories" at the same conference.
  • The NSF awarded Dave Sand a grant of $538K for support of his project entitled, "Unveiling the Physics and Progenitors of Cosmic Explosions with a One-Day Cadence Supernova Search." This award starts in 2015 and ends in 2018.
  • Kazim Gümüs (PhD 2008) was promoted to associate professor in October 2015. He is with Erciyes University in Turkey.
  • Sung-Won Lee and Shuichi Kunori were featured, along with other U.S. physicists, in the Jan. 30, 2015, issue of Fermilab Today. Their research contributions were described as crucial to the search for resonances and quantum black holes using dijet mass spectra in proton-proton collisions at CERN's Large Hadron Collider.
  • James Faulkner was awarded TTU's Doctoral Dissertation Completion Fellowship earlier this year. James is working with Dr. S.W. Lee in the high energy physics group.
  • The department hosted a lecture on “The Discovery of Pulsars,” by Dame Jocelyn Bell Burnell, who was the dis- coverer of pulsars. She spoke to an audience of about 200 people from both physics and the general Lubbock community about her discoveries and her experiences as a pioneer for women in science in March.
  • Alessandra Corsi won an NSF CAREER grant for $720K for the next five years for her project, "Radio and Gravitational-Wave Emission from the Largest Explosions Since the Big Bang."
  • James Faulkner and Zhixing "Tyler" Wang, graduate students in the high energy physics group, were awarded Guest Visitor Fellowships for 2 months each at Fermilab
  • The high energy physics group, Nural Akchurin, Shuichi Kunori, Sung-Won Lee and Igor Volobouev, was awarded $250K in supplementary funds by the Department of Energy for their work at the LHC this year.
  • Phil Dudero, a high energy physics postdoc, was awarded the LPC Distinguished Researcher Fellowship in 2015 for his analysis work on dibosons in CMS. The award carries $58K for stipend and research travel.
  • The high energy physics group has won funding for "SPRACE-UNESP and TTU Collaboration in High-energy Physics in the Compact Muon Solenoid Experiment at the Large Hadron Collider" from the state of Sao Paulo FAPESP (Brazil) and TTU for joint projects for two years.
  • Stefan K. Estreicher talked about heat flow in nanostructures and about the history of wine at Zhejiang University in Hangzhou (China). He also learned to say nihao and xiexie – two expressions you actually should use in public. Stefan also gave talks at the Universities of Bologna (June) and Oslo (July). He then chaired the International Advisory Committee meeting for the ICDS conference series (International Conference on Defects in Semiconductors) in Helsinki. This was his last time chairing this committee: after six years with the gavel, it was high time to rotate out of the position. Next on his agenda are invited talks at two conferences: “Gettering And Defect Engineering in Semiconductor Technology” in Southern Germany (September) and then “Probing Potential Energy Surfaces” in Switzerland (April). The latter conference is held at the base camp of the Matterhorn in Zermatt, a region almost as at as Lubbock (with emphasis on ‘almost').
  • Sung-Won Lee received a service award from the AKPA (Association of Korean Physicists in America) for his outstanding service as Membership Director. The award was granted during the American Physical Society March meeting in San Antonio, TX.
  • Ben Owen received a $60K grant from NSF to study “Gravitational Waves from Compact Objects” last summer, and he wrote a book review for Physics Today of “Gravity” by Eric Poisson and Clifford Will.