Awards & Awardees

The AVS Awards Ceremony will be held on Wednesday, November 9, 2016 at 6:30 p.m. in the Davidson Ballroom within the Music City Center to be followed immediately by an Awards Reception. This year, AVS honors the following awardees:

AVS Professional Awards


The Medard W. Welch Award was established in 1969 to commemorate the pioneering efforts of M.W. Welch in founding and supporting AVS. It is presented to recognize and encourage outstanding research in the fields of interest to AVS. The award consists of a cash award, a medal, a plaque, and an honorary lectureship at a regular session of the International Symposium.

Prof. Maki Kawai, Institute for Molecular Sci­ence and University of Tokyo, “for elucidation of the role of vibrational dynamics in single­molecule reactions at surfaces”

Maki Kawai is the Director General of the Institute for Molecular Science at Okazaki,Japan. She is also a Professor at University of Tokyo. She has coauthored over 300 publications on surface science, physical chemistry, catalysis and materials science. She received Surface Science Society of Japan award (2005), Chemical Society of Japan award (2008), 2015 IUPAC Distinguished women in Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, and 2015 Gerhard Ertl Lecture Award.

In addition to her fundamental scientific research, she is a widely­respected leader in scientific management. This activity, involving science in the USA, Germany, United Kingdom, and Japan has made her a highly valued member of the international scientific community, culminating with her former position as the RIKEN Executive Director in charge of research affairs. She is a member of the Science Council of Japan, and currently serving as an Executive Board Member representing Section III: Physical Sciences and Engineering. She is and has always been a highly respected member of the international community, serving as chair of the Surface Science Division, IUVSTA (International Union for Vacuum Science, Techniques, and Applications; 2001­2004), board member of the Institute of Physics, London, UK (20022004), as well as member of the Scientific Advisory Board at the Fritz Haber Institute of the Max Planck Society since 2010. She was elected an APS (American Physical Society) fellow in 2010.
Prof. Kawai has also played an important role in the Japanese government’s planning of its science & technology policy, contributing to the drafting of a model plan for intellectual property strategy (2003­2007), and for new system for education as a member of Prime Minister Abe’s Education Rebuilding Implementation Council (2013­2015).
Maki Kawai received her BS in Chemistry at the University of Tokyo in 1975 and her PhD there in 1980 under the guidance of Prof. Kenzi Tamaru. She then did postdoctoral research for 5 years in several places including RIKEN, the University of Tokyo, Osaka Industrial Research Institute, Ministry of International Trade and Industry (MITI) and at Osaka Gas Co. in Japan. These experiences of working in various places, university, governmental and private research institutes was especially important for Kawai to establish her direction of research in fundamental sciences.
Before becoming the chief scientist at RIKEN to direct Surface Chemistry Lab. in 1991, she worked at RIKEN (1985–1988) and served as TKD professor at Tokyo Institute of Technology (1988­1991). And from 2004, she is Professor at the University of Tokyo.
Maki Kawai is well known in her study on single­molecule chemistry, where spectroscopy of ultimate spatial resolution is performed.  Of the most, single molecule vibrational spectroscopy utilizing inelastic tunneling process and extracting vibrational spectra from action of molecules (Action Spectroscopy) using STM stands to be unique.  Interplay between the localized spin at adsorbed molecule and electrons at the Fermi sea of metal substrates is one of the recent topics of her group where Zeeman splitting or the Kondo resonance are resolved in sub­atomic resolution in space.


The Gaede Langmuir Award was established in 1977 by an endowing grant from Dr. Kenneth C.D. Hickman. It is resented to recognize and encourage outstanding discoveries and inventions in the sciences and technologies of interest to AVS. The award is conferred biennially as a suitable candidate may be identified. It consists of a cash award, a commemorative plaque stating the nature of the award, and an honorary lectureship at a regular session of the International Symposium.

Prof. Paul S. Bagus, University of North Texas, “for seminal contributions to understanding Photoelectron Spectra of Solid Surfaces and Molecules adsorbed thereupon”

Paul Bagus received his Ph.D. in 1965 at the University of Chicago under Prof. C. J. J. Roothaan in the Laboratory of Molecular Structure and Spectra, LMSS, directed by Profs. R. S. Mulliken and Roothaan. The LMSS was one of the major centers for the early development and applications of ab initio Quantum Chemistry and Paul Bagus was a major contributor to these efforts. His thesis work on the ionization of closed shell atoms showed, for the first time, that ab initio wavefunction methods could be successfully applied to the core-level excitations measured in X-Ray Photoemission Spectroscopy, XPS. This was followed by demonstrations of the importance of many body effects for the XPS of open shell systems and of the localization of coreholes. Based on this XPS work, he was named an APS Fellow in 1975. Starting in 1968, he spent several years at the IBM Research Laboratories in San Jose where he continued his efforts on the development of rigorous theoretical methods and he began his study of surface processes. This effort was, in large measure, inspired by the outstanding Surface Science program at IBM San Jose. Several of his postdoctoral visitors at IBM now hold significant academic positions. He left IBM in 1993, was a visitor at several institutions, primarily in Europe, and is now a Research Professor in the Chemistry Department at the University of North Texas. He has over 350 publications and his work is highly cited.
Paul Bagus’ theoretical research has focused on topics in two separate but closely related scientific areas: (1) chemistry of surfaces with particular emphasis on the bonding between adsorbates and surfaces and (2) core level ionization and excitation. Essentially all of his research has involved using computations to determine the electronic structure of atoms, molecules, and condensed systems. He has demonstrated that clusters containing a few to many atoms can be successfully used as models of bulk and surface processes since they permit a focus on local aspects of atomic and molecular interactions. An important objective of his research has been to understand the physical and chemical reasons for observed properties. Contributing to this understanding is a role of theory that is easily as important as predicting values for these properties in close agreement with experiment. In order to reach this objective, He has pioneered in the development of programs that can be used to analyze the computed wavefunctions and to decompose the properties resulting from a chemical interaction into contributions from different physical and chemical mechanisms. A recurring theme of his efforts has been interaction and collaboration with experimentalists since this both guides his research efforts and helps to insure that they have a direct impact. These collaborations began during his tenure at IBM and were enhanced with continuing collaborations after his Humboldt Senior Scientist Award, originally made in 1979 with later extensions. In particular, at present, he maintains strong collaborations at the Fritz-Haber Institute, FHI, in Berlin and the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, PNNL, in Richland, WA.


The George T. Hanyo Award was established in 1996 by the Kurt J. Lesker Company in the memory of George T. Hanyo, a highly skilled, long-time employee of the company. The award is presented to recognize outstanding performance in technical support of research or development in areas of interest to AVS. It recognizes valuable contributions made by persons outside normal professional circles. Typical nominees should have received mention in the “Acknowledgments” sections of the published papers but, with the possible exception of papers describing new apparatus or procedures, would rarely have been authors or co-authors. The award consists of a cash award and a plaque setting forth the reasons for the award.
Mr. Stanley B. Christman, Hickory Hill Designs, “for outstanding technical support on a variety of projects at Bell Labs” 

Stanley Christman from Bell Laboratories, Murray Hill, Surface Physics Dept was responsible for equipment purchase, design, data taking, and maintenance. Design activities involved electronics, electrical, instrument to computer interfacing, software, vacuum, and mechanical. After graduation in 1957 from Schuylkill Valley HS, Leesport, Berks Co., Pa., Stan completed a BS in Physics at Penn State Univ. He first encountered vacuum technology at his first job as an Operating Engineer of the PrincetonPennsylvania 3Bev Proton Accelerator in 1962. When he arrived, there was a claim that there was a beam for a short time. The machine was eventually producing beam around the clock with Stan leading one of the operating crews. The maintenance and improvement of the RF Cavity Accelerating System was also his direct responsibility. This was the time when Quarks were yet to be discovered. This accelerator became obsolete in 7 years, as other higher energy accelerators came on line. While working at Princeton, Stan completed an MA in Physics at The College of NJ, where he developed an NMR facility for the college. His thesis project resulted in the first published NMR spectra of some new Nematic Liquid Crystal compounds.

In 1970, Stan joined Bell Labs Surface Physics department to became part of a team that was to develop a UV and x-ray photoemission experimental capability. This was the time when vacuum experimental work was transitioning from all glass chambers to stainless steel chambers, with the then new conflat flanges. A few chambers were built that allowed the sample to be rotated to allow the sample to be examined by UV, AES, LEED, HEED, and MBE. All chambers had custom computer controlled Residual Gas Analyzers. Single and Double Cylindrical Mirror Analyzers were utilized to detect the photoemitted electrons. Channel Plate Detectors were utilized to collect angleresolved data. Chambers were taken to accelerators that produced more intense UV light (synchrotron radiation) than was possible in the home lab.
In 1982 he became part of a team to establish an infrared internal reflection diagnostic technique at Bell Labs. to do studies of semiconductor surfaces in a vacuum environment. This led to the design and construction of a number of vacuum stations with IR windows and optics to focus the beam in and out of the polished sample plate beveled edges. These chambers also had Residual Gas Analyzer, LEED, and Auger optics. A unique Vacuum FTIR System was designed that had the IR source to detector completely in a vacuum environment, thus eliminating the bothersome spectral lines of water and carbon dioxide. The external IR detectors required low noise preamplifiers to be designed. Since many experiments were performed at low temperatures, he developed a Proportional Flow Liquid Nitrogen Control System to minimize turbulence and the quantity of nitrogen required to keep a reservoir full. A 4 point ohmic heating system was developed to uniformly heat the semiconductor plates. Many custom electronic and software solutions were provided. Stan and Sandy operate a small farm in NJ that produces trees, eggs, honey, and firewood. They enjoy hiking, camping, folk dancing, and classical music. Amateur Radio (W2GCU–E) is a longstanding hobby for Stan. He regularly visits students and faculty at Rutgers U. as a Visiting Courtesy Appointee in the Physics Department. Since retiring from Bell Labs. in 2002, he has been designing custom instruments and solving laboratory instrumentation problems, as a consultant, for research groups at various universities, national labs, and Bell Labs.

AVS Graduate Student Awards

There are five (5) top-level named Graduate Student Awards and four (3) Graduate Research Awards, described below. The recipients of these awards are determined after a general competition with all the graduate research applicants and a presentation to the Awards Committee at the International Symposium.
The finalists are:

  • Swetha Barkam, University of Central Florida
  • Grant Langlois, University of Chicago
  • Hyosun Lee, Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST)
  • Andrew Mannix, Northwestern University
  • Takat Rawal, University of Central Florida
  • Kasra Sardashti, University of California, San Diego
  • Debalaya Sarker, Indian Institue of Technology Delhi, India
  • Thomas Winkler, University of Maryland, College Park

The Russell and Sigurd Varian Award was established in 1982 to commemorate the pioneering work of Russell and Sigurd
Varian. It is presented to recognize and encourage excellence in graduate studies in the sciences and technologies of interest to AVS. The award is supported by Varian, Inc. It consists of a cash award, a certificate, and reimbursed travel support to attend the International Symposium.

The Nellie Yeoh Whetten Award was established in 1989, in the spirit of Nellie Yeoh Whetten, to recognize and encourage excellence by women in graduate studies in the sciences and technologies of interest to AVS. A fund to support the award was established by Timothy J. Whetten, friends and family of Nellie Yeoh Whetten, and AVS. The award consists of a cash award, a certificate, and reimbursed travel support to attend the International Symposium.

The Dorothy M. and Earl S. Hoffman Award was established in 2002 to recognize and encourage excellence in graduate studies in the sciences and technologies of interest to AVS. It is funded by a bequest from Dorothy M. Hoffman, who was president of AVS in 1974 and held other positions of responsibility in the Society. The award consists of a cash award, a certificate, and reimbursed travel support to attend the International Symposium.

The Dorothy M. and Earl S. Hoffman Scholarships were established in 2002 to recognize and encourage excellence in graduate studies in the sciences and technologies of interest to AVS. They are funded by a bequest from Dorothy M. Hoffman. The scholarships consist of a cash award, a certificate, and reimbursed travel support to attend the International Symposium.

The Graduate Research Awards were established in 1984 to recognize and encourage excellence in graduate studies in the sciences and technologies of interest to AVS. Each consists of a cash award, a certificate, and reimbursed travel support to attend the International Symposium.


AVS Fellows

AVS Fellows are members who have made outstanding contributions in areas of interest to AVS.

  • Susan Burkett, The University of Alabama
  • Charles T. Campbell, University of Washington
  • Matthew J. Goeckner, The University of Texas at Dallas
  • Alberto HerreraGomez, CINVESTAV-Unidad Querétaro
  • Gregory Kimmel, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory
  • Yue Kuo, Texas A&M University
  • Rosa A. Lukaszew, The College of William and Mary
  • Manos Mavrikakis, University of WisconsinMadison
  • Sally McArthur, Swinburne University of Technology, Australia
  • Anders Mikkelsen, Lund University, Sweden
  • Talat Rahman, University of Central Florida
  • Steven J. Sibener, The University of Chicago
  • Arthur Utz, Tufts University
  • Peter L.G. Ventzek, Tokyo Electron America Inc.
  • Jason F. Weaver, University of Florida


Wednesday, November 9, 2016
Davidson Ballroom
Music City Center

6:30 PM

Recognition of outstanding scientific research and technological innovation is one of the most important activities within AVS.

Through our prestigious award program, the Society seeks to honor a wide range of extraordinary accomplishments vital to progress in fields of interest to AVS. Selection for an AVS award is a reflection of contributions judged exceptional by the AVS Trustees who are elected by the AVS membership.

Awards given by AVS are offered to recognize outstanding individual accomplishments in the fields of interest to the Society.

Procedures and Forms:

Professional Awards (Due 3/31):
Nomination Procedures Checklist

George T. Hanyo Award (Due 3/31):
Nomination Procedures Checklist

Fellow (Due 3/31):
Nomination Procedures Checklist

Theodore E. Madey Award (Due 2/4/15):
Nomination Procedures

National Student Awards (Due 5/4):
Nomination Procedures Checklist