Jie Shan and Prineha Narang will receive the Mildred Dresselhaus Prize 2021

Special honors for two outstanding female scientists: Jie Shan, Professor of Applied and Engineering Physics and Physics at Cornell University (USA), and Prineha Narang, Assistant Professor of Computational Materials Science at Harvard University (USA), will be awarded the Mildred Dresselhaus Prize 2021 within the Mildred Dresselhaus Guest Professorship Program of the Hamburg Centre for Ultrafast Imaging (CUI), in which the MPSD is a partner. The Program includes an extended research stay at the Cluster of Excellence "CUI: Advanced Imaging of Matter" as well as prize money of €20,000 for the senior prize and €10,000 for the junior prize. 

Senior awardee Jie Shan has been teaching as a professor at the Cornell University School of Applied and Engineering Physics since 2018. Her research focuses on the optical and electronic properties of nanoscale materials, particularly atomically thin two-dimensional crystals (such as graphene and MoS2) and their heterostructures. Her group develops experimental techniques to probe, image, and control the internal degrees of freedom of electrons and their new phases in these nanoscale systems, using linear and nonlinear optical spectroscopy and microscopy techniques.

Jie Shan

"It is my great honor to accept the award. Professor Mildred Dresselhaus has been a role model for generations of female scientists. She was a hero of mine! I am extremely excited about the opportunity to spend an extended research stay at Hamburg and to start a new collaboration with colleagues there on light matter interactions, particularly, in nanoscale materials," says Shan. Research projects with Andrea Cavalleri and Angel Rubio from the MPSD and scientists from Universität Hamburg are being discussed.

Jie Shan received her diploma in Mathematics and Physics from Moscow State University, Russia in 1996 and her Ph.D. in Physics from Columbia University in 2001. From 2002 to 2014, she was an assistant and associate professor in Physics at Case Western Reserve University and from 2014 to 2017, an associate and full professor at the Pennsylvania State University. From 2014 to 2018, Shan worked with CUI researcher and MPSD Theory Director Angel Rubio on a highly successful Air Force Office of Scientific Research (AFOSR) project on two-dimensional materials. In 2013, she was elected a Fellow of the American Physical Society. She also received a Marie Tharp Fellowship from the Earth Institute at Columbia University, the National Science Foundation CAREER Award, and Max Planck Sabbatical Award.

Junior laureate Prineha Narang holds a professorship at Harvard University's John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences and is currently on an extended research stay at the MPSD. She conducts research at the intersection of computational science, nonequilibrium phenomena and the control of dynamical correlations in materials and molecules and has made key contributions in predicting the behavior of quantum systems and how to harness these effects.

Prineha Narang

"I’m deeply honored to receive this award and it means a lot to me on a personal level. I had the privilege of interacting with Millie while I was at MIT and I remember distinctly our in-depth discussion about challenges in calculating electron-phonon interactions," Narang says. “Hamburg, with DESY, CUI and the MPSD, is a dream location for theorists in non-equilibrium phenomena in condensed matter. I’m particularly excited to collaborate with Francesca Calegari and her Attosecond Science Group. Further, there is the powerful draw of collaborating with Andrea Cavalleri, the leading experimentalist in this field of driven systems, and Angel Rubio, a leader in electronic structure theory of non-equilibrium quantum dynamics. Philip Moll at the MPSD has already been collaborating with my group and we now have projects with James McIver as well. Many reasons to be in Hamburg!"

Prineha Narang came to Harvard University from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology where she worked as a Research Scholar in Condensed Matter Theory in the Department of Physics, and began her research stay at the MPSD in June 2021. She received an M.S. and Ph.D. in Applied Physics from the California Institute of Technology (Caltech). Prineha’s work has been recognized by many awards and special designations, including the IUPAP Young Scientist Prize in Computational Physics (2021), an NSF CAREER Award in 2020, being named a Moore Inventor Fellow by the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, CIFAR Azrieli Global Scholar by the Canadian Institute for Advanced Research, a Top Innovator by MIT Tech Review (MIT TR35), and a Young Scientist by the World Economic Forum in 2018. In 2017, she was named by Forbes Magazine on their “30under30” list for her work in atom-by-atom quantum matter engineering. In 2021, a Max Planck Sabbatical Award and the Friedrich Wilhelm Bessel Research Award of the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation enabled a longer research stay at the MPSD.

Text by Ingeborg Adler, CUI : Advanced Imaging of Matter

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