2021 Graduate Research and Dissertation Awards

Author: Shelly Goethals

Each year the Department of Physics recognizes the outstanding research and dissertation of a PhD graduate. This year the recipients are Erika Holmbeck and Nirupama Sensharma.

Holmbeck Headshot 2021 Physweb
Dr. Erica Holmbeck

Holmbeck's thesis is titled "The Looking-Glass and Beyond: Using Observations and Modeling of Stellar Actinide Abundances and Modeling of Stellar Actinide." She was advised by Professors Timothy Beers and Rebecca Surman. Earlier this year Holmbeck was awarded the NASA Hubble Fellowship, a highly competitive fellowship renewable for up to three years that will allow her to continue her research on the origin of the universe’s heaviest elements. Fellows select the institution at which they will complete their research. Holmbeck will further her research at Carnegie Observatories in Pasadena, California.

Nirupama Sensharma Web
Dr. Nirupama Sensharma

Sensharma's thesis is titled "Wobbling Motion in Nuclei:  Transverse, Longitudinal and and Chiral." She was advised by Professor Umesh Garg. Eariler this spring Sensharma received the 2021 Cornelius P. Browne Memorial Award in Nuclear Physics for her work on wobbling motion in gold nuclei and outstanding outreach effort through her project Nuclear Energy – The Better Energy. Sensharma is heading to a postdoc position at the University of North Carolina under the mentorship of another ND PhD alumni, Daniel Ayangeakaa.