Pictured are, from left, Bin He (co-awardee for highest grade point average), Qi Lu (winner of the best research paper award), Eva Daicar, and Adeel Ajaib (co-awardee for highest grade point average).

Daicar-Bata honorees

Daicar-Bata Prizes awarded to doctoral students Ajaib, He and Lu

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8:36 a.m., Oct. 5, 2011--Three doctoral students in the University of Delaware Department of Physics and Astronomy have been awarded prestigious Daicar-Bata Prizes.

Each year, the department recognizes exceptional doctoral student accomplishments by awarding two Daicar-Bata Prizes -- one for the best research paper in a physics or astronomy peer reviewed journal published during the previous academic year and another for the highest grade point average in physics and astronomy courses at the end of the student's sixth semester in the program.

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“The Daicar-Bata Prizes serve to recognize and support achievement excellence and to advance the physics graduate program to a higher level of academic and research performance,” said Prof. Ed Nowak, who is the director of the Physics Graduate Program. Nowak added, “Each recipient receives a $2,500 prize and a certificate of recognition.”

The Daicar-Bata Fund was established in 1992 in honor of Otto Daicar and to commemorate his lifetime contributions throughout the world as an individual and as a senior executive at the Bata Shoe Corporation. Eva Daicar, daughter of Otto Daicar, introduced the prizes and underscored his commitment to quality. “My father was an inspiring leader with a strong moral compass who turned visions into reality and created work atmospheres which fueled performance excellence,” she said.

Three finalists for the best research paper presented their work during a Departmental Colloquium and immediately afterwards a panel of faculty met to decide on the winner.

“Ten brilliant papers were nominated this year, making the panel’s decision challenging,” said Nowak.

The best research paper award was awarded to Qi Lu for his work “Supercapacitor Electrodes with High-Energy and Power Densities Prepared from Monolithic NiO/Ni Nanocomposites,” which was published in and featured on the cover of Angewandte Chemie International Edition.

The other two finalists, Zhiyuan Chen and Dana Saxon were presented with $250 prizes and a certificate for excellence in scholarship.

The highest grade point average (GPA) award recognizing exceptional academic performance was given this year to two students, Adeel Ajaib and Bin He. Both students maintain 4.0 GPAs and each received a $2,500 prize.

Addressing the junior graduate students in the audience, Nowak noted, “As much as today is a celebration of achievements I also hope it serves to inspire you to be passionate, work hard, and make your unique scientific contribution to our discipline.”

The initial donation for the fund came from the Bata Corporation and the Daicar and Glyde families, and the remainder was raised from the alumni of the Department of Physics and Astronomy and matching funds from the University of Delaware.

Photo by Ambre Alexander

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