2017 M. Hildred Blewett Fellowship Recipients

Blewett Fellowship Recipients:  2017  |  2016  |  2015  |  2014  |  2013  |  2012  |  2011 | 2010  |  2009  |  2008  |  2007  |  2006  |  2005
Gray Arrow About the M. Hildred Blewett Fellowship

Samadrita Roy Chowdhury
Samadrita Roy Chowdhury

Soma Chattopadhyay
Soma Chattopadhyay

Wafia Bensalem
Wafia Bensalem

Samadrita Roy Chowdhury
University of Massachusetts, Lowell
My name is Samadrita Roy Chowdhury. I reside in the greater Boston area with my husband and two daughters. I grew up in India and studied at the Indian Institute of Technology, Chennai where I got a M.Sc. in Physics. I emigrated to the United States as a graduate student in Physics at Duke University, Durham, NC. I completed my dissertation on high brightness electron and photon beams and successfully defended my thesis in 2006 graduating with a Ph.D. from Duke University. After graduating from Duke, I worked at Xerox Corporation in Rochester, NY. I took a career break to cope with the familial crisis of my father’s failing health while taking care of my young children. I have now returned to active research as a researcher in the department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at the University of Massachusetts, Lowell. I am currently working on automatic image segmentation of multi-modal images. My research goal is to utilize my understanding of Physics in solving open problems at the intersection of physics, biology and imaging.

Soma Chattopadhyay
Elgin Community College
Soma Chattopadhyay did her B.S. and M.S. in Physics from University of Calcutta. She obtained her Ph.D. in Condensed Matter Physics from Tata Institute of Fundamental Research in Bombay, India with a GPA of 3.9 under Prof. Manu S. Multani. Her Ph.D. thesis was titled “Effect of Size on the Phase Transition in Oxide Materials”. After completing her postdoctoral fellowships at NWU, NCSU and NSF Center for Advanced Materials and Smart Structures at Greensboro, NC, she started working for Illinois Institute of Technology as beamline staff scientist at an insertion device beamline (10-ID) of the Advanced Photon Source at Argonne National Laboratory. Here, she learnt EXAFS (extended X-ray absorption fine structure) and XANES (X-ray absorption near edge structure) spectroscopy and used these techniques to study nanomaterials. At this national user facility, she helped users from all over USA and various other countries of this world to obtain spectroscopy data and helped in data analysis. Soma is interested in synthesis and characterization of nanoparticles and thin films using advanced techniques. She specializes in structure-property correlations in functional nanomaterials and uses synchrotron radiation based experiments to predict pathways for synthesizing novel materials for various applications. She has collaborated with researchers and professors from various divisions of ANL, UofC, UIC, IIT, Rice University, UNT and several other university from across USA and from other countries like UK, S. Korea, Canada and India. Soma has more than 80 publications in journals like Science, Nano Lett, PRL, PRB, ACS Nano, JACS etc. Presently, she teaches Physics and Engineering at Elgin Community College in Elgin, IL and continues her collaborative research work. Along with research and teaching, Soma also enjoys travelling, music, reading biographies and doing community work.

Wafia Bensalem
Carlton University
Wafia Bensalem received her Ph.D. from l’Université de Montréal (Montreal, Canada) in theoretical particle physics, in 2003. Wafia had just had her third daughter when she finished her Ph.D., while her two other children were six and two years old. So, she had to interrupt her research career to take care of her children. Three years later, Wafia started working in Saudi Arabia. She spent nine years teaching at the physics department of Imam University (Riyadh). Moreover, she had her fourth daughter in Riyadh, in 2009. Although Wafia was happy with her experience in teaching physics, she was very disappointed for not having the opportunity to continue research in theoretical physics. The Blewett Fellowship has enabled Wafia to return to what she likes the most: research. As a postdoc at the department of physics of Carleton University (Ottawa, Canada), she will explore asymmetric dark matter theories, and will focus in dark QCD. Besides the fact that this research could solve the dark matter puzzle, it also could establish a relevant new physic beyond the Standard model.

*** Citation does not apply to this award