Mehmet Baykara (Engineering & Applied Science) won the Silver Award at the fall meeting of the Materials Research Society (MRS) in Boston. This award spotlights graduate students whose academic achievements and current research exhibit a high level of excellence and promise for significant future achievement, and Mehmet is only the second Yale student ever to receive it. He works on high-resolution scanning probe microscopy in the area of nanotribology, which is the study of friction, wear, and lubrication at the nano-scale level. He has authored and co-authored five peer-reviewed papers for journals, including Nature Nanotechnology and Advanced Materials. Mehmet earned his bachelor's degree in mechanical engineering from Boğaziçi University in Istanbul, Turkey. He is currently working with his advisor Udo Schwarz on high-resolution atomic force microscopy and its applications in friction and surface catalysis.
Adele Plunkett (Astronomy) received the Chambliss Astronomy Achievement Student Award from the American Astronomical Society at its January 2012 meeting in Austin, Texas. The award honors graduate students who have performed exemplary research and communicated the results exceptionally well in a poster presentation. Adele’s winning poster was titled “The Impact of Molecular Outflows in the Protostellar Cluster NGC1333.” She explains, “Molecular gas outflows are a critical component of the star formation process. Considering that most stars form in very complex clustered environments, we expect these outflows to interact and impact the surrounding environment.” Adele observed NGC1333, a very active cluster about 800 light years away where young stars are known to be forming. “Using a technique called interferometry, we were able to detect carbon monoxide with very good resolution in order to investigate the impact of molecular outflows within this young stellar environment.” Her dissertation, advised by Hector Arce, will expand this research by comparing the impacts of molecular outflows in star formation regions at several evolutionary stages. Adele is currently in Chile on a Fulbright. She is pictured in front of a poster about Astrobites.com, a daily blog aimed primarily at undergraduates interested in astrophysical research to which she contributes as part of a team of graduate students from around the country.
Brandon Terry (Political Science, African American Studies) has won the post-doctoral Prize Fellowship in History, Economics, and Politics at Harvard University. He will begin his fellowship in the fall and be affiliated with Harvard’s Center for History and Economics and the Project on Justice, Welfare, and Economics. Brandon’s dissertation explores the philosophical foundations and political implications of the recent historiographical debate over the “Long Civil Rights Movement” in contemporary political and social theory. His advisers are Seyla Benhabib and Gerald Jaynes. Brandon earned his undergraduate degree from Harvard, concentrating in Government and African and African American Studies, and received an MSc in Political Theory Research from the University of Oxford in 2006 as the Michael von Clemm Fellow at Corpus Christi College.
Chi Xiong (Engineering & Applied Science) is first author of three recent journal papers, two of which were published in Optics Express and one in Applied Physics Letters. He is also co-author of an article in Nature and another in Optics Express. The goal of Chi’s research is to combine photonics (the study of light) and mechanics (the study of physical bodies in motion) at the nanoscale in order to develop ultra-small, fast, and energy-efficient solid-state devices for computing and telecommunications. Chi was invited to speak about his work at the annual meeting of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Photonics Society and the National Nanotechnology Infrastructure Network in Boulder, Colorado, last May. His adviser is Hong Tang. Before coming to Yale, Chi earned his BS degree in microelectronics from Peking University.