Physics professor named APS Fellow

Janet Tate, Dr. Russ and Dolores Gorman Faculty Scholar and professor in the Department of Physics, has been elected a Fellow of the American Physical Society (APS). Election to fellowship in the APS is a rare and highly prestigious honor that is conferred upon no more than one half of one half percent of the society’s membership. Tate’s election is a testament to her outstanding contributions to physics and the recognition of her research by her peers, both nationally and internationally.

She was nominated for the honor by the Society’s Division of Condensed Matter Physics. Tate’s Fellowship citation commends her: “For contributions to structural, transport and optical properties of a wide variety of electronic and superconducting materials.” Her fellowship will be formally announced during the APS March 2016 meeting in Baltimore, Maryland.

APS’s criterion for election to Fellowship is exceptional contributions to the physics enterprise, which includes outstanding physics research, important applications of physics, leadership in or service to physics, or significant contributions to physics education.

APS is one of the oldest non-profit membership organizations working to diffuse and advance the knowledge of physics through research journals, scientific meetings and outreach activities. The organization represents more than 51,000 members, including physicists in academia, national laboratories, and industry in the country and throughout the world.

Tate joins a distinguished roster of APS Fellows from the College of Science, including Tevian Dray (Department of Mathematics, 2010), Henri Jansen (2005), Corinne Manogue (2004), Heidi Schellman (1999) and William Warren (1980). A total of 12 College of Science faculty have been elected to the APS Fellowship.

“I am very proud of Janet for receiving this honor by the American Physical Society. She is an extraordinary leader in the Physics Department, in the College of Science and at OSU because of her outstanding research contributions, teaching excellence and selfless service in the field,” said Sastry G. Pantula, Dean of the College of Science.

“Janet continues to make deep and lasting impacts on the field of materials physics by educating and training many outstanding young physicists.”

Tate, who joined OSU as an assistant professor in 1989, is a global leader in the field of materials physics, and has made many important advances in the study of superconductors, new materials known as p-type transparent conductors, transparent semiconductors and photovoltaic materials.

Currently, her research focuses on the structural, transport and optical properties of transparent semiconductors and photovoltaic materials, with the objective of improving electronic devices such as solar cells, which use semiconductors to maximize the collection of light and the extraction of energy. Tate’s research on transparent and photovoltaic materials has been supported by National Science Foundation. She and her collaborators have received grants from the U.S. Department of Energy to support their research on designing the next generation of semiconductors.

“I am honored to be an APS Fellow, and to join several of my OSU colleagues who are also APS Fellows. It has been a real privilege to work with the many students and collaborators who have contributed to this recognition,” said Tate.

Tate’s tremendous research contributions, dedicated teaching, mentoring and leadership in the field have garnered her many awards and honors. Recently, she was named OSU’s first Dr. Russ and Delores Gorman Faculty Scholar. The three-year endowed award recognizes faculty who bring distinction to the College of Science, connect with industry and have a strong record of innovative research with practical impact. This award supports Tate’s novel research on transparent semiconductors with the potential for real-world application.

Tate was one of seven international scientists and former Technical University of Munich (TUM) research alumni awarded the title of “TUM Ambassador” for 2014. She is also the recipient of the F.A. Gilfillan Memorial Award for Distinguished Scholarship in Science, the OSU Alumni Association Distinguished Professor Award, the College’s Milton Harris Award in Basic Research, a Sloan Research Fellowship and the Frederick H. Horne Award for excellence in teaching in the College.

Tate was a leader in developing Paradigms in Physics, an NSF-funded program that has been in the Department of Physics at OSU for more than 17 years. This nationally recognized, innovative curriculum approach teaches students to think like physicists and is regarded as a standard in physics education nationwide.

She currently chairs the American Physical Society’s Committee on Careers and Professional Development, which steers the national effort towards linking physics research with industry. Tate is also very active in encouraging diversity in science and is leading her department to host the national conference of undergraduate women in physics in 2016.

Originally from South Africa, Tate holds a Ph.D. from Stanford University.

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