Undergraduate Awards

Ian W.  Shepherd Award

The Ian W. Shepherd Memorial Award was established in 1979 in honor of Department Chair Ian Shepherd, who led the department from August 1977 until his untimely death in January 1978. Shepherd, who was affiliated with Cornell University, Dupont, and Manchester University before joining Michigan Tech, was deeply interested polymer spectroscopy and hoped to make Michigan Tech a center for Raman spectroscopy.

The award is presented each year to the most outstanding physics graduate or graduates. The most promising of seniors are presented with a check and have their names engraved on a plaque, which is displayed in the physics department.

  • 2024 - Michael Martin
  • 2023 - Alexander Gonzalez
  • 2022 - Trevor Kieft
  • 2021 - Carter Mashburn

Elizabeth Henes Award

The Elizabeth Henes Award was established in 2022, in honor of Elizabeth Henes. Mrs. Henes, along with her husband Richard, were the benefactors of the The Elizabeth and Richard Henes Center for Quantum Phenomena. Mrs. Henes had a desire to honor female physics students, believing that students at Michigan Tech have the potential to change the world.

"Their gift changed our physics laboratories and made things start to happen. This will always be remembered."Jacek Borysow

The Henes Award is presented yearly to the most outstanding undergraduate woman in physics, as judged by the faculty of the Department of Physics. Students will receive a check and have their names engraved on a plaque placed permanently in the department.

  • 2024 - Lauren Megdanoff
  • 2023 - Tea Momirovska
  • 2022 - Betheny Hellman and Casey Aldrich

Department Scholar

The Department Scholar a rising senior who best represents student scholarship at Michigan Tech. This outstanding student is considered excellent not only by academic standards, but also for participation in research scholarship activity, levels of intellectual curiosity, creativity, and communication skills.

  • 2024 - Austin West
  • 2023 - Michael Martin
  • 2022 - Alex Gonzalez
  • 2021 - Carter Mashburn
  • 2020 - Casey Aldrich

Provost's Award for Scholarship

The recipient of this award is chosen from among the previous year’s Department Scholars.

  • 2013 - Michael Adler

Goldwater Scholar

The Barry Goldwater Scholarship is a highly competitive national award that supports juniors and seniors preparing for research careers in natural sciences, mathematics, and engineering.

  • 2011 - Hansen Nordsiek

Woodrow Wilson Georgia Teaching Fellowship

The Woodrow Wilson Georgia Teaching Fellowship seeks to attract talented, committed individuals with backgrounds in the STEM fields—science, technology, engineering, and mathematics—into teaching in high-need Georgia secondary schools.

  • 2017 - Ben Manning

Henes Summer Research Fellowships

  • 2022 - Grant Lambert
    Advisor: Issei Nakamura
    Project: New strategy to solve the traveling salesman problem using Molecular Dynamic simulations
  • 2022 - Willis Jonathan
    Project: νNECOLA: The pathway between COLA and QUIJOTE simulations
  • 2022 - Patz Breanna
    Advisor: Jacek Borysow
    Project: NASA challenge Starshade design
  • 2022 - Alexander Gonzalez
    Advisor: Claudio Mazzoleni
    Project: Designing a photoacoustic apparatus to measure light absorption of soot
  • 2022 - Benj Sloma
    Advisor: Claudio Mazzoleni
    Project: Use of dynamic photoacoustic spectroscopy (DPAS) to measure light absorbance of aerosols
  • 2022 - Sidney Ogilvie
    Advisor: Jacek Borysow
    Project: Calibrating a master oscillator power amplifier (MOPA) for detection of gaseous compounds via Raman spectroscopy
  • 2022 - Jason Flittie
    Advisor: Jae Yong Suh
    Project: Nanomaterial characterization with fluorescent photon time-correlation statistics
  • 2022 - James Turkovich
    Advisor: Yoke Khin Yap
    Project: Internally functionalized boron nitride nanotubes

Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowships

Summer Undergraduate Researcher Fellowships (SURF) are a competitively-awarded fellowship open to students who have at least one semester remaining after the summer.

  • 2023 - Logan Anderson
    Advisor: - Robert Nemiroff
    Project: Python Modeling Relativistic Image Doubling
  • 2022 - Jonathan Willis
    Advisor: Elena Giusarma
    Project: Using Advanced Computing Techniques to Simulate the Universe with Neutrinos
  • 2020 - Reed Downs
    Advisor: Claudio Mazzoleni
    Project: Extinction of Light by Water Droplets in a Turbulent Cloud
  • 2020 - Noah Wilson
    Advisor: Jacek Borysow
    Project: Non-invasive Breath Analysis for Testing Blood Glucose Levels in Diabetics