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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 2020 - Casey Aldrich
  • 2019 - River Leversee
  • 2018 - Jon Berman
  • 2017 - Crystal Massoglia
  • 2016 - Floyd Johnson

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

  • 2020 - Alan Larson
    Advisor: Petra Huentemeyer
    Project: X-ray Analysis of the Supernova Remnant IC 443
  • 2020 - Carter Mashburn
    Advisor: Jacek Borysow
    Project: Raman Spectroscopy as a High Precision Temperature Sensor
  • 2020 - Kaiden O'Neill
    Advisor: Will Cantrell
    Project:  Understanding the Heterogeneous Freezing of Water Using Dilute Solutions and Mica as a Model System
  • 2020 - Wolfgang Vallazza-Margl
    Advisor: Claudio Mazzoleni
    Project: Developing a New Method of Determining the Absorption Coefficient of Aerosols


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.

  • 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