October 20, 2021

Three professors to receive Purdue’s most prestigious research awards

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. — Three Purdue professors advancing quantum science and work-life and work-life family research policy have been chosen to receive the university's most prestigious research and scholarship awards. Each recognizes recent accomplishments of high significance and impact.

kossek-ellen Ellen Kossek Download image

2021 Lu Ann Aday Award: Ellen Ernst Kossek

Ellen Ernst Kossek, the Basil S. Turner Distinguished Professor of Management in the Krannert School of Management, will receive the 2021 Lu Ann Aday Award, the most prestigious award given by the university for exceptional work in the humanities and social sciences.

Kossek, a leading social scientist whose work has shaped the field of work-life and work-family research policy in the U.S. and internationally, is being recognized for her contributions on the topic, including the equity issues that it implicitly addresses.

Kossek studies how people, managers and organizations can improve workplace cultures and the effectiveness of work-family policies (e.g., flexibility), on fostering well-being at work and home. Her work considers the role of work in people’s lives and how work can be designed to uplift employees’ abilities to manage their lives on and off the job. One of her most foundational contributions, completed with support from the National Institutes of Health, is the development of the construct of family-supportive supervision and an intervention to increase it, resulting in health benefits for workers and improved family supportiveness from leaders.

In addition to her research, Kossek organizes the “Dismantling Biases: Bridging Research to Practice” conference, which appeals to both practitioners and researchers. Materials from this conference, which is next planned for March 22-24, have been published as books and referred articles.

Her scholarly contributions regularly appear in prominent journals, and she is often quoted in national and business media, invited to testify before congressional committees, and speak at government and academic events. Her perspective and thought leadership have been highly sought during the COVID-19 pandemic, which has significantly affected the work-life balance of U.S. workers.

Kossek will deliver the Lu Ann Aday Distinguished Lecture at 2 p.m. ET on Nov. 1. The virtual lecture will be made available to the public.

The Lu Ann Aday Award was established in 2017 by Purdue alumna Lu Ann Aday, the Lorne D. Bain Distinguished Professor Emerita in Public Health and Medicine at the University of Texas School of Public Health-Houston. It annually recognizes a member of the Purdue faculty who has made a major impact on their field in the humanities and social sciences. Winners are nominated by colleagues, recommended by a faculty committee and named by the university president.

manfra-michael Michael Manfra Download image

2021 Arden L. Bement Jr. Award: Michael J. Manfra

Michael J. Manfra, the Bill and Dee O’Brien Distinguished Professor of Physics and Astronomy in the College of Science, and professor of materials engineering and of electrical and computer engineering in the College of Engineering, will receive the 2021 Arden L. Bement Jr. Award, the most prestigious award given by the university in pure and applied science and engineering.

Manfra, a leading condensed matter experimentalist, is being honored for his field-defining work in quantum physics.

Manfra and his research team reported in 2020 a landmark experiment that found evidence for fractional statistics of quasiparticles called anyons. This was the first time that anyone showed direct evidence of the fractional statistics of anyons since the quasiparticles were first proposed in the early 1980s, following the discovery of the fractional quantum Hall effect in 1982 (awarded a Nobel prize in 1998).

This advance is an important step in our understanding of the physics of quasiparticles, which are particle-like entities that emerge from complicated electronic interactions that occur in certain low dimensional materials. Anyons have characteristics not seen in ordinary matter, including exhibiting fractional charge and fractional braiding statistics that maintain a "memory" of their interactions with other quasiparticles by inducing quantum mechanical phase changes. This property may make anyons promising for quantum computers.

Nominators for the award noted that Manfra’s unique breadth of expertise in condensed matter physics, from growth of high purity martials to quantum transport experiments, enabled Manfra and his team to control every step of designing and executing the experiments. His team developed a new device structure to screen out interactions that might obscure the anyon behavior.

Manfra serves as the scientific director of Microsoft Quantum Lab West Lafayette and is an important contributor to Quantum Science Center, the Department of Energy QISR Center that was funded in 2020 with $115 million over a five-year window (2020 to 2025). Microsoft is also a QSC contributor.

He will deliver the Arden L. Bement Jr. Distinguished Lecture at 3 p.m. ET on Nov. 12. This will be a virtual lecture and will be made available to the public.

The Arden L. Bement Jr. Award was established in 2015 by Distinguished Professor Emeritus Arden Bement and his wife, Louise Bement, to annually recognize a Purdue faculty member for recent outstanding accomplishments in pure and applied sciences and engineering. Winners of the Bement Award are nominated by colleagues, recommended by a faculty committee and named by the university president.

chen-y21 Yong Chen Download image

2021 Herbert Newby McCoy Award: Yong Chen

Yong Chen, the Karl Lark-Horovitz Professor of Physics and Astronomy in the College of Science, professor of electrical and computer engineering in the College of Engineering, and the director of Purdue Quantum Science and Engineering Institute, will receive the 2021 Herbert Newby McCoy Award, the most prestigious award given by the university for outstanding work in the natural sciences.

Chen is being recognized for his significant research achievements and innovations in the synthesis and studies of various novel quantum materials and matters.

During Chen’s career at Purdue, he has implemented a successful program focusing on timely problems in nanoscience. Chen leads a large interdisciplinary research group that works on quantum matter and devices involving such systems as graphene and 2D materials, topological insulators, and cold atoms and molecules, and explores their applications in electronics, sensors, energy and quantum information.

Nominators noted that Chen’s research is at the convergence of two fields with successful experiments in both condensed matter physics and atomic, molecular, and optical physics. His key achievement in this latter area is the synthesis of new molecules and the development of a new method of quantum control in chemistry.

Chen is also widely regarded as a global leader in graphene-based materials, which have promising applications for the development of quantum computers. Chen was one of the first to synthesize and study large-scale graphene and graphene single crystals, a critical advance in graphene from a research novelty to large-scale practical applications.

Chen’s achievements and innovations also include realizing best-quality topological insulators and topological quantum transport phenomena. Topological insulators are exciting materials being investigated in condensed matter physics due to their quantum properties and promising applications for quantum information science. A recent demonstration of a new topological insulator material developed in Chen’s lab has lowered the bulk conduction by several orders of magnitude from the previous best record. Chen also demonstrated for the first time a truly intrinsic 3D topological insulator in electronic transport, and made an observation that provided smoking-gun evidence for topological surface state conduction.

In addition to the focus on his work, Chen has been a mentor and advisor to more than 15 postdoctoral researchers and 20 graduate students, many of whom have gone on to positions as faculty or research positions in government or industry.

Chen also serves as a member of the Governance Advisory Board for Quantum Science Center, the Department of Energy QISR Center that was funded in 2020 with $115 million over a five-year window (2020 to 2025).

Chen will deliver the Herbert Newby McCoy Distinguished Lecture at 9 a.m. ET on Nov. 19. This will be a virtual lecture and will be made available to the public.

The Herbert Newby McCoy Award was established in 1964 by Ethel Terry McCoy in honor of her husband, a distinguished Purdue University alumnus. Winners of the McCoy Award are nominated by colleagues, recommended by a faculty committee and named by the university president.

All award winners were nominated by colleagues, recommended by a faculty committee and approved by the executive vice president for research and partnerships and the president of the university. The 2021 recipients will receive a cash prize along with a small grant for their university scholarly activities.

The Office of the Executive Vice President for Research and Partnerships will honor the selected recipients at the annual Excellence in Research Awards ceremony in the spring. The ceremony also will recognize the Academic Research Awards, the Morrill Award, and Sigma Xi awards, among others.

More information about Purdue’s prestigious awards, including past recipients, is online.

About Purdue University

Purdue University is a top public research institution developing practical solutions to today’s toughest challenges. Ranked in each of the last four years as one of the 10 Most Innovative universities in the United States by U.S. News & World Report, Purdue delivers world-changing research and out-of-this-world discovery. Committed to hands-on and online, real-world learning, Purdue offers a transformative education to all. Committed to affordability and accessibility, Purdue has frozen tuition and most fees at 2012-13 levels, enabling more students than ever to graduate debt-free. See how Purdue never stops in the persistent pursuit of the next giant leap at https://purdue.edu/.

Media contact: Jim Bush, 765-336-1909, jsbush@purdue.edu


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