Three Ph.D. students in theÂ Department of Physics â all of whom are members of NIUâs team of researchers working on theÂ ATLAS experiment at theÂ Large Hadron Collider (LHC), based at theÂ CERN research facility near Geneva, Switzerland â recently haveÂ won highly competitive awards.
Chad Suhr was awarded a one-year $30,000 fellowship from theArgonne National Laboratory to continue his research. The fellowship is awarded to no more than two students each year. Suhr has been stationed at Argonne since September 2010, after returning from an 18-month research assignment at the LHC, the worldâs most powerful particle accelerator. He is engaged in the search for singly produced top quarks at the LHC.
Rob Calkins, who has been stationed at CERN since February 2009, is among six students who were awarded NIUâs Dissertation Completion Fellowship this year. Calkins also won the physics departmentâs âGraduate Student of the Yearâ award for 2011. He has made momentous contributions to studies of pair-produced top quarks.
Stephen Cole has been named theÂ recipient of a $15,000Â National Science Foundation fellowship. He will be stationed at CERN for a year or more, beginning this summer.
The funding will cover the additional expenses for the cost of living abroad and travel to conferences. Only 20 of these fellowships are awarded nationwide each year, and both Calkins and Suhr had won it in 2010. Cole is participating in a search for simultaneous production of W and Z bosons.
Both Calkins and Suhr, who are working under the supervision of NIU physics professor Dhiman Chakraborty, are on course to earn their Ph.Ds. in 2012, while Cole, working under the supervision of physics professorÂ Gerald Blazey, is expected to graduate in 2014.
âWinning these keenly contested awards speaks volumes of the high quality work that the NIU team, currently consisting ofÂ eight members, is doing on the ATLAS project,â Chakraborty said.