22 July 2009

Lab scientists reap rewards in 2008

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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — The year 2008 was good to the Mag Lab, bringing prizes, professional honors and even some cash to scientists who work and do research here.

Sylvie Fuzier, a scholar scientist in the Cryogenics Group, received the Best Paper Award from the international journal Cryogenics for her paper, "Experimental measurements and modeling of transient heat transfer in force flow of He II at high velocities."

Cryogenics is the world's leading journal focusing on all aspects of cryoengineering and cryogenics; its editorial board selected the paper for revealing "new and original data on forced flow superfluid helium." The work is based on Fuzier's Ph.D. research under the direction of Steven Van Sciver, who shared the award with Fuzier.

"They show new and original data on forced flow superfluid helium and compare these results with numerical analysis," said Tom Haruyama, a technical editor with the journal and a researcher at the Institute of Particle and Nuclear Studies in Tsukuba, Japan. "The obtained data are valuable for understanding basic superfluid phenomena and for design of the cryogenic systems. It is worth publishing as new reference data in a book."

Fuzier and Van Sciver received their cash prize, certificate and a one-year free subscription to the journal at the Cryogenic Engineering Conference and International Cryogenic Materials Conference in Tucson, Arizona, held June 28-July 2, 2009.

Vladimir Dobrosavljevic, director of the lab's Condensed Matter Theory group and a physics professor at Florida State University, received the award for exceptional research in physics established by the Professor Marko Jaric Fund. The award, the highest honor in the field of physical science in the scientist's native Serbia, recognized Dobrosavljevic's contribution to the development of the theory of correlated disordered electronic systems.

Vladimir Dobrosavljevic Deputy Prime Minister for EU integration and Minister of Science and Technological Development Bozidar Djelic presented Vladimir Dobrosavljevic with the award for exceptional research in physics, established by the Professor Marko Jaric Fund.

Another senior Mag Lab scientist accorded kudos in 2008 was David Larbalestier, director of the Applied Superconductivity Center. Larbalestier is among an elite group studying iron oxypnictides, a promising class of high-temperature superconductors that has been called "the hottest thing in superconductivity." Research published by Larbalestier in Superconductor Science and Technology was named one of the journal's top papers of 2008. The article, "Evidence for two distinct scales of current flow in polycrystalline Sm and Nd iron oxypnictides," was widely read and praised in the scientific community.

Interest in high-temperature superconductivity produced other high-profile research at the Mag Lab in 2008. A paper by physicist Suchitra Sebastian, the Trinity College Research Fellow at the University of Cambridge, was selected by editors of Journal of Physics: Condensed Matter as one of the year's best. The article, "Quantum oscillations in the parent magnetic phase of an iron arsenide high temperature superconductor," was based on research done in the Mag Lab's world-record hybrid magnet. Sebastian travels frequently to the lab and has published numerous papers on experiments conducted here.

The lab's Ion Cyclotron Resonance program garnered its share of recognition in 2008. Leading by example was ICR Director Alan Marshall, who added the Ralph and Helen Oesper Award from the Cincinnati Section of the American Chemical Society to an ever-growing list of professional honors. (Marshall has already chalked up his first award for 2009, the New Frontiers in Hydrocarbons Award from the Italian energy company Eni.)

Following Marshall's example, two Ph.D. students working in the ICR program also won awards last year. Amy McKenna collected the American Chemical Society Petroleum Chemistry Student Award, while Hui-Min Zhang received a 2008-2009 FSU Graduate Student Research and Creativity Award.

"The Magnet Lab, thanks to the support of the National Science Foundation and the State of Florida, provides a thriving collaborative environment in which scientists are free to do their best work," said Lab Director Greg Boebinger. "These honors are well deserved."

Other Mag Lab-affiliated scientists honored for their work in 2008 include:

  • Huan-Xiang Zhou, associate professor of physics at FSU and member of the lab's Nuclear Magnetic Resonance program. Zhou was elected a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.
  • Art Hebard, Distinguished Professor of Physics at the University of Florida. Hebard, affiliated with the Mag Lab condensed matter science group at UF, was co-winner of the James C. McGroddy Prize for New Materials bestowed by the American Physical Society.
  • Rafael Brüschweiler, a professor in FSU's Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry and associate director for Biophysics at the Mag Lab, and Alex Gurevich, a scholar/scientist and principal investigator with the Applied Superconductivity Center. The two scientists were named fellows of the American Physical Society.
  • Wei Pan, a longtime collaborator with the Mab Lab's High B/T Facility in the Microkelvin Laboratory at UF, was named a winner of the Presidential Early Career Award. Pan is a principal member of the technical staff in the Physical, Chemical and Nano Sciences Center at Sandia National Laboratories.