Fellowships and Awards

The Department of Physics and Astronomy annually recognizes the progress and development of our undergraduate and graduate students with scholarships, essay competitions, and research funding. Each of these awards is recorded publicly on a plaque, located on the first floor of Allen Hall.

In addition to local awards, several students studying with the department achieve national recognition through such prestigious awards as the Goldwater and Marshall Scholarships.

Sigma Pi Sigma Inductees

Founded in 1921, Sigma Pi Sigma is a member honor society of the Association of College Honor Societies. Our chapter includes over 450 inductees. The National Society society has some 75,000 historical members. Election to Sigma Pi Sigma is a lifetime membership.

Students elected to membership must attain high standards of general scholarship and outstanding achievement in physics. Undergraduate candidates must be in the upper one-third of their class in general scholarship to meet the minimum standard that chapters may use. A higher minimum average is often established for physics courses. Undergraduate candidates must have completed at least three semesters of full-time college work and at least three semester courses in physics that can be credited toward a physics major.

National Award Winners

Year Awardee Award
2016 Emily Crabb NSF GFRP Award
2015 Joseph Johnston Goldwater Scholarship
2015 Olivia Telford NSF GFRP Award
2015 Sylvia Ujwary DAAD Research Internship in Science & Engineering
2015 Alexandre Gauthier National Defense Science & Engineering Graduate Fellowship
2015 Emily Crabb Science Undergraduate Laboratory Internship (SULI)
2014   Alexandre Gauthier Goldwater Scholarship
2014 Emily Crabb Goldwater Scholarship
2014 Bingjie Wang DAAD Research Internship in Science & Engineering
2013 Jeffrey Fein NSF GFRP Award
2013 Carsen Stringer NSF GFRP Award
2011 Edlyn Levine NSF GFRP Award
2010 Stanley Steers NSF GFRP Award
2008 Charles Sleasman Goldwater Scholarship
2008 Anna Quider NSF GFRP Award
2007 Anna Quider Marshall Scholarship
2007 Stanley Steers Goldwater Scholarship
2007 Pedram Roushan NSF GFRP Award
2005 Anna Quider Goldwater Scholarship
2003 Pedram Roushan Goldwater Scholarship
2002 Patrick Irvin Goldwater Scholarship
1999 Daniela Kusmierek NSF GFRP Award
1997 Daniela Kusmierek Goldwater Scholarship
1993 Allen Ho Goldwater Scholarship

Thomas-Lain Fund Scholarship

Sponsored by The Pittsburgh Foundation, this award is issued to both undergraduate and graduate students in the Department of Physics and Astronomy. The awardees are selected by a committee on the basis of essays submitted by the applicants that are based upon a scientific topic chosen for the contest each year.

Year Awardee Topic
2017 Emily Harris The Physics of Wind Turbines
2016 Kaelyn Seeley The Origin of the Lifiting Force on an Airplane Wing
2016 Michael Kister The Origin of the Lifiting Force on an Airplane Wing
2016 Stephen Hemmerle The Origin of the Lifiting Force on an Airplane Wing
2016 Joseph Griffith IV The Origin of the Lifiting Force on an Airplane Wing
2015 Sylvia Ujwary How to Beat the Abbe Diffraction Limit
2015 Bingjie Wang Circumventing Abbe's Diffraction Limit: From Microscopy to Nanos
2014  Alexandre Gauthier Which astronomical observation led to the hypothesis that the universe must contain a large amount of dark matter
2014 Daniel Salmon Astrophysical Evidence for the Existence of Dark Matter
2013 Emily Crabb The Red Helium-Neon Laser
2013 Michael DeLuca The Physics of Helium-Neon Lasers
2012 Arielle Uejo  Explain how an ordinary dry cell battery works
2011 John Galebach What area of science do you plan to explore, post graduation, with your degree in Physics and/or Astronomy and why is it important?
2011 Ross Walter What area of science do you plan to explore, post graduation, with your degree in Physics and/or Astronomy and why is it important?
2010 Edlyn Levine Essay entitled "A Theory of High-Temperture Superconductivity"
2010 Nelson Hua Essay
2010 Chelsea Vincent Essay
2010 Jonathan Bumstead Essay entitled "The Importance of Nuclear Physics"
2009 Matthew Kosko Examine the impact on science of the major scientific achievements of a Nobel Prize winner in physics whose prize winning work occurred between 1960 and 1990
2008 Jun Wu
Gary Lander
Write a paper on what you consider to be the three or four most important unsolved problems in physics/astrophysics and why.

 

2007

 

Jonathan S. Withers 

Shanti Wendler

Suchetana Chatterjee

Briefly discuss an area of research actively being pursued by faculty in the Department of Physics and Astronomy at the University of Pittsburgh.

Emil Sanielevici Undergraduate Research Scholarship

This $4,000 tuition scholarship is awarded annually to an undergraduate major in the Department of Physics and Astronomy in memory of our student, Emil Sanielevici (1979-2000), whose enthusiasm and love of scientific research continue to inspire us all.

Year Awardee Year Awardee
    2017 Edan Alpern
2016 Kaelyn Seeley 2015 Sylvia Ujwary
2014 Bingjie Wang 2013 Leah Peker
2012 Jesse Cohen 2011 Nelson Hua
2010 Chelsea Vincent 2009 Jeffrey Fein
2008 Joseph Myers
Melanie Good
2007 Charles Sleasman
2006 Moss Clark 2005 Nichelle Madison
2004 Gabriel Haboubi 2003 Pedram Roushan
2002 Romeo M. Ahohe 2001 Patrick R. Irvin

Halliday Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Research

This award is given in recognition of outstanding research performed by an undergraduate student. Any University of Pittsburgh undergraduate student who has conducted research with a faculty member in the Department of Physics and Astronomy is eligible for this award, regardless of whether she or he is a physics or physics and astronomy major. Students are nominated by their research advisor.

Year Awardee Year Awardee
    2017 Andrew Aukerman
2016 Joseph Johnston 2015 Bingjie Wang
2014 Matthew Rosenberg
Alexandre Gauthier
2013 Daniel Yates
2012 Andrew Espenlaub 2011 Anna Yoney
2010 Stanley Steers 2009 Charles Sleasman
Timothy Adamo
2008 Matthew Relich 2007 Charles Warren
2006 John Allison
Vanita Srinivasa
2005 Shanti Wendler
Anna Quider
2003 Patrick R. Irvin
Ryan Sorensen
2002 Robyn Levine
Michelle L. Leber
2001 Quentin Bailey 2000 Christopher J. Butler
1999 Heather Ray 1998 Michael Mulhearn
1997 Keith Bordonaro 1996 Donette Noll
1994 Ashuwin Vaidya 1993 Cindy Sue Miller
1991 Eric Monier 1990 Scott Curtis
1989 David Kreithen 1988 Carrie Lucci
1987 John Varriano 1986 Meritt Jacob
1985 Robert Egler 1984 Richard Wilkens

Peter F. M. Koehler Academic Achievement Award

The Peter F.M. Koehler Academic Achievement Awards were established in 2000 to recognize the top achieving physics and astronomy majors in their sophomore/junior and junior/senior years. This award is given annually and recognizes overall academic performance. Students are eligible for this award, regardless of whether she or he won this award in the past. 

Junior/Senior Level
Year Awardee Year Awardee
    2017 Aaron Miller
2016 Reginald Caginalp 2015 Daniel Salmon
2014 Daniel Yates 2013 Jonathan Vannucci
2012 Andrew Espenlaub 2011 Edlyn Levine
2010 Bridget Bertoni 2009 Christopher Irwin
2008 Charles Sleasman 2007 Elizabeth J. Hines
2006 John Allison 2005 Josh Sullivan
2004 Pedram Roushan 2003 Ryan Sorensen
2002 Emily Rice 2001 Malcolm O'Sullivan-Hale
2000 Quentin Bailey    
Sophmore/Junior Level
    2017 Nicholas Corrado
2016 Wesley Roberts 2015 Joseph Johnston
2014 Alexandre Gauthier 2013 Matthew Rosenberg
2012 Carsen Stringer 2011 Bruce Howard
2010 Adam Burch 2009 Edlyn Levine
Bridget Bertoni
2008 Stanley Steers 2007 Charles Sleasman
2006 Michael Masiar 2005 Zachary Pozun
Elizabeth Hines
2004 Anna Quider 2003 Pedram Roushan
2002 Scott Margeson 2001 Romeo Ahohe
2000 Monica Brucker    

Julia Thompson Excellence in Undergraduate Writing

This award encourages and recognizes the ability of departmental undergraduate majors to write about scientific matters clearly, interestingly and accurately. The student is nominated by their professor.

Year Awardee Year Awardee
    2017 Nicholas Suarez
2016 Binjie Wang 2015 Adam Palenchar
2014 Matthew Smylie 2013 Alexandre Gauthier
2012 Matthew Rosenberg 2011 Andrew Espenlaub
2010 Stanley Steers 2009 Rosanna Smith
2008 Melanie Good 2007 Alexander Bell
2006 Vanita Srinivasa 2005 Josh Sullivan
2003 Patrick Irvin 2002 Patrick Irvin
2001 David Gemas
Leigh Anderson
Derek Hohman
Shanti Wendler
2000 Pedram Boghrat
1999 Sarah Graff
Jonathan Palmer
1997 Ari Goldbert
1996 Anthony Carmen 1995 Matthew B. Anticole
1994 Jonathan Hill 1992 Allen Householder
1991 Jean Philpott 1990 John Rutsky
1989 Bryan Beatty 1988 Carrie Lucci
1987 Gregory Sofish 1986 John Varriano
1985 Cynthia Zelenka 1984 Kenneth Warner

Halliday Award for Outstanding Undergraduate Research Poster

This award is presented to a Physics and Astronomy major for an outstanding poster presentation on their research project at the department's annual poster session in the Spring semester.

Year Awardee
2017 Jessica Kroboth
2016 Jessica Montone
2015 Michael Kister
2014  

Charles Lewandowski

Christina McDonald

NASA Pennsylvania Space Grant Consortium Scholarship Award

The  NASA Space Grant program encourages students to enter STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) fields to support undergradaute research. This scholarship is given on a semester basis to awardees expecting to work fulltime on a research project directed by a faculty mentor.

Year Research Advisor Awardee
2016 (Fall) Michael Hatridge Edan Alpern
2016 (Fall) Brian D'Urso Stephen Hemmerle
2016 (Fall) Arthur Kosowsky Bryan Malumphy
2016 (Summer) Vladimir Savinov Anthony Zummo
2016 (Spring) Joseph Boudreau David Dimond
2016 (Spring) Brian D'Urso Stephen Hemmerle
2016 (Spring) Jeremy Levy Jessica Montone
2016 (Spring) Vladimir Savinov Gregory Suehr
2016 (Spring) Vladimir Savinov Anthony Zummo
2015 (Fall) Vladimir Savinov Simonseth Roffe
2015 (Fall) Steve Dytman Joseph Johnston
2015 (Summer) Vladimir Savinov Gregory Suehr
2015 (Summer) Steve Dytman Nicholas Suarez
2015 (Summer) Vladimir Savinov

Simonseth Roffe

2015 (Spring) Jeremy Levy Sylvia Ujwary
2015 (Spring) Brian D'Urso Charles Lewandowski
2015 (Spring) Brian D'Urso Christopher Bracken
2014 (Fall) Jeremy Levy Sylvia Ujwary
2014 (Fall) Steve Dytman Garrett Green
2014 (Fall) Jeremy Levy Alexandre Gauthier
2014 (Summer) Arthur Kosowsky Sean Brawley
2013 (Fall) Brian D'Urso Jocelyn Sunseri
2013 (Summer) Brian D'Urso Jocelyn Sunseri
2013 (Summer) Brian D'Urso Charles Lewandowski
2013 (Spring) Gurudev Dutt Jonathan Vannucci
2012 (Fall) Regina Schulte-Ladbeck Arielle Uejo
2012 (Fall) Brian D'Urso Harold Gilliland
2012 (Fall) Jeremy Levy Alexandre Gauthier
2012 (Summer) Tao Han Daniel Salmon
2012 (Summer) Brian D'Urso Harold Gilliland
2012 (Summer) Jeffrey Newman Kent Berthoud
2012 (Spring) Jeffrey Newman Olivia Telford
2012 (Spring) Brian D'Urso Erin Millen
2012 (Spring) Michael Wood-Vasey Jesse Cohen
2011 (Fall) Hanna Salman Anna Yoney
2011 (Fall) Jeffrey Newman Olivia Telford
2011 (Fall) Brian D'Urso Connor McPartland
2011 (Summer) Vittorio Paolone William McGinley
2011 (Summer) Michael Wood-Vasey Nelson Hua
2011 (Summer) Walter Goldburg James Castiglione
2011 (Spring) Michael Wood-Vasey Chelsea Vincent
2011 (Spring) David Jasnow Carsen Stringer
2011 (Spring) Arthur Kosowsky Arvind Prasadan
2011 (Spring) Brian D'Urso Nathan Furman
2010 (Fall) Arthur Kosowsky Andrew Weis
2010 (Fall) Eric Swanson Dara Krute
2010 (Fall) Brian D'Urso Nathan Furman
2010 (Summer) Arthur Kosowsky Andrew Weis
2010 (Summer) Michael Wood-Vasey Gwendolyn Weaver
2010 (Summer) Gurudev Dutt Lori Stover
2010 (Summer) Hannah Salman Niketh Nair
2010 (Summer) Anna Vainchtein Edlyn Levine
2010 (Summer) Arthur Kosowsky Nelson Hua
2010 (Summer) Jeremy Levy Ricki Garden
2010 (Summer) Brian D'Urso Nathan Furman
2010 (Spring) Jeremy Levy Ricki Garden
2010 (Spring) Michael Wood-Vasey Henry Borish
2009 (Fall) Arthur Kosowsky Justin Stickel
2009 (Fall) Michael Wood-Vasey Henry Borish
2009 (Summer) Jeffrey Newman Chelsea Vincent
2009 (Summer) Arthur Kosowsky Justin Stickel
2009 (Summer) Michael Wood-Vasey Henry Borish
2009 (Spring) Arthur Kosowsky Justin Stickel
2009 (Spring) Arthur Kosowsky Rosanna Smith
2009 (Spring) Xiao-lun Wu Aaron Meyer
2008 (Fall) Jeremy Levy Charles Sleasman
2008 (Fall) Xiao-lun Wu Aaron Meyer
2008 (Fall) David Snoke Bridget Bertoni
2008 (Summer) Arthur Kosowsky Rosanna Smith
2008 (Summer) Xiao-lun Wu Aaron Meyer
2008 (Summer) Xiao-lun Wu Edlyn Levine
2008 (Summer) David Snoke Christopher Irwin
2008 (Summer) Arthur Kosowsky Maya Hunt
2008 (Summer) David Snoke Bridget Bertoni