Justin Jankunas Doctoral Dissertation Award in Chemical Physics
The Division of Chemical Physics (DCP) offers an annual award for the best doctoral dissertation in any area of chemical physics. The Justin Jankunas Doctoral Dissertation Award in Chemical Physics consists of a check for $1,000, a certificate describing the achievements of the recipient, and a grant of up to $1,000 for the awardee to travel to the March APS meeting (Baltimore, March 14-18, 2016) to receive the award and give an oral presentation describing his or her doctoral research.
Establishment & Support
Justin Jankunas obtained his doctorate from Prof. Richard Zare at Stanford in 2013 and then worked with Prof. Andreas Osterwalder at the École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne until 2015. In this short period he published 19 papers in molecular reaction dynamics until his tragic death in a motorcycle accident in 2015. Justin’s family, friends, and colleagues have established this award to encourage and recognize other promising chemical physicists. A campaign has begun to raise an endowment of $50K to support the annual $1K award and related expenses. DCP will support the award initially until the funds are raised.
Rules & Eligibility
Eligible candidates should have passed their thesis defense between November 1, 2014 and November 1, 2015. The thesis advisor should verify that the defense occurred between these dates. The nominee and thesis advisor must be members of DCP.
Nomination & Selection Process
The thesis advisor should verify that the defense occurred between these dates. Applications consisting of an electronic copy of the nominee’s thesis, a summary of up to 1,000 words (12 point font, in addition to figures, captions, and references), the nominee’s CV, a letter by the advisor, and a seconding letter should be sent to email@example.com no later than December 1, 2015. The thesis, summary, and CV should be bundled in a single pdf file, and the supporting letters should be sent independently. The nominee and thesis advisor must be members of DCP.
All candidates are encouraged to submit a 12 minute oral presentation at the March meeting, while the award winner will give a 36 minute presentation at a special award session. Candidates are also encouraged to apply for a travel award of up to $500 (http://www.aps.org/units/dcp/awards/gsta.cfm) to defray part of the travel expenses. Up to five travel awards will be issued.
Recipient of the 2015 DCP Doctoral Thesis Award
Alexander J. White, University of California, San Diego
(currently at Los Alamos National Laboratory)
Alexander White was born and raised in Southern California. He earned his bachelor's degree in 2008 from California Polytechnic State University in San Luis Obispo, California. After spending a year working as a bench chemist, he began his doctoral studies in chemistry at the University of California, San Diego. In late 2010, Alexander transitioned to theoretical chemistry. He joined the research group of Prof. Michael Galperin at UCSD and began using molecular many-body state methods to describe non-equilibrium properties of single molecule junctions. Alexander made contributions in correlated and inelastic electron transport, correlated energy-electron transfer, and the optical response of current carrying molecular junctions. In 2011, he was a summer graduate student at Los Alamos National Laboratory, working with Dr. Sergei Tretiak. There he worked on developing an approach for calculating the Raman spectra of current carrying molecular junctions within a many-body states framework. In March 2014, Alexander began as a postdoctoral research associate at Los Alamos National Laboratory working with Dr. Dmitry Mozyrsky and Dr. Sergei Tretiak. He is working on the development of first principles based semiclassical methods for describing non-adiabatic molecular dynamics.