LeRoy Apker Award

An Undergraduate Physics Achievement Award

The LeRoy Apker Award recognizes outstanding achievements in physics by undergraduate students, and provides encouragement to young physicists who have demonstrated great potential for future scientific accomplishment. Two awards are presented each year, one to a student from a Ph. D. granting institution, and one to a student from a non-Ph. D. granting institution. The award consists of $5,000 for the recipient, $5,000 for their undergraduate institution's physics department to support undergraduate research, a certificate, and reimbursement for travel to an APS meeting to give an invited talk.

Six finalists are selected to present their research for the Apker Award Selection Committee. The 2016 Apker Award Selection Meeting will be held on August 22 in Washington, D.C. Each of the finalists will receive an honorarium of $2,000, $1,000 for their undergraduate institution's physics department to support undergraduate research, reimbursement for travel to the selection meeting, and a certificate.

Establishment & Support

The award was established as a memorial to LeRoy Apker through an endowment donated by Jean Dickey Apker.

Rules & Eligibility

Nominations are open to students at colleges and universities in the United States who were enrolled as undergraduates during at least part of the 12-month period preceding the submittal deadline. Only one graduate may be nominated per department. The candidate should have completed or be completing the requirements for an undergraduate degree with an excellent academic record and should have demonstrated exceptional potential for scientific research by an original contribution to physics.

Nomination & Selection Process

Deadline: Friday, June 9, 2017

The nomination should include:

  1. a letter of nomination from the head of the physics department,
  2. an official copy of the student's academic transcript,
  3. the student's original contribution, such as a manuscript or reprint of a research publication or senior thesis, and a 1,000-word summary thereof, written by the student,
  4. two letters of recommendation from physicists who know the candidate's individual contribution to the work submitted,
  5. the nominee's address and telephone number during the summer. 

The online nominations system will open toward the end of 2016. Watch for email and website announcements that the site is open to accept new nominations and update material for continuing nominations.

2016 Selection Committee Members: Malcolm R. Beasley (Chair), Samuel H. Aronson (Vice Chair), Charles Adler, John P. Cumalat, James Eckert, Joel Franklin, Amy R. Graves, Elizabeth McCormack, David Miller

Nomination Guidelines


Serving a diverse and inclusive community of physicists is a primary goal for APS. Nominations of qualified women and members of underrepresented minority groups are especially encouraged.

2016 Finalists

Michael Cantara
University of Connecticut

Christopher Doss
West Virginia University

Stephanie Gorczyca
University of San Diego

Maggie Lankford
The College of Wooster

Nick Rivera
Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Jonathan Vandermause
Dartmouth College

Zachary Weiner
Kenyon College

2015 Recipients

Adam Sean Jermyn
California Institute of Technology

Benjamin Lee Augenbraun
Williams College



Past Recipients

2014: Kevin Seltzer
          Michael Veit
2013: Guy Geyer Marcus
          Hao Shi
2012: Theodore Yoder
          Yuliya Dovzhenko
2011: Bethany Jochim
          Djordje Radicevic
2010: Chia Wei Hsu
          Christopher Chudzicki
2009: Bilin Zhuang
          Kathryn Greenberg
2008: Byron C. Drury
          Sujit S. Datta
2007: Bryce Gadway
          Matthew Becker
2006: Huanqian Loh
          Hugh Churchill
          Stephanie Moyerman
2005: David W. Miller
          Matthew Paoletti
          Nathaniel Craig
2004: Jonathan Heckman
          Nathan Oken Hodas
2003: Nathaniel Stern
          Peter Onyisi
2002: Jason Alicea
          S. Charles Doret
2001: Kathryn Todd
          Robert Wagner
2000: Heather J. Lynch
          Jacob Jonathan Krich
          Steven J. Oliver
1999: Brian Gerke
          Govind Krishnaswami
1998: Brian Richard D'Urso
          Gwendolyn Rae Bell
1997: Anna Lopatnikova
          Cameron Geddes
1996: Benjamin S. Williams
          Christopher Schaffer
1995: Benjamin F. Williams
          Frederick B. Mancoff
1994: Arthur Chu
          Brandon C. Collings
          Steven S. Gubser
1993: David I. Kaiser
1992: Christopher Barnes, Justin Mortara
1991: Dean Lee, Stephen Quake
1990: Charles J. Brabec
1989: Deborah L. Kuchnir, Steven H. Simon
1988: Leo R. Radzihovsky
1987: Gerard C.L. Wong, C. James Yeh
1986: Terrence L. Hwa
1985: Julia W.P. su
1984: Tak Leuk Kwok
1983: Raymond E. Goldstein
1982: Subir Sachdev
1981: Mark B. Ritter
1980: Richard P. Binzel
1979: Louis A. Bloomfield
1978: David E. Heckerman