Lusaka Bhattacharya Receives APS M. Hildred Blewett Fellowship
17 September 2014
One of our Physics Department members, Lusaka Bhattacharya, has received one of the five M. Hildred Blewett Fellowships awarded nationally this year. This award has been given out annually over the past decade to women who are returning to their careers after they take some time off for family or other reasons. Dr. Bhattacharya studied theoretical nuclear physics at the Saha Institute of Nuclear Physics in India and received her PhD from the University of Calcutta in 2012. Studying nuclear physics there, she focused on studying quark gluon plasma, and traveled a great deal to present her work around the world. She traveled to universities and research institutions in Israel, Germany, Spain, Switzerland, Finland and the United States. While working on her doctorate, she met her husband and the two married in 2010. He finished his degree early and traveled first to Helsinki then Oklahoma for his post-doc work. After Bhattacharya finished her doctorate in 2012, she moved to Oklahoma to join her husband. "My husband is a theoretical physicist like me, but it is very difficult to get a post doctoral position in the same university," she said.
It was the first time the two had been able to live in the same city for an extended period of time. Bhattacharya decided to take some time away from research and start a family. Earlier this year, her first son was born. "Now he's almost nine months old so now I think I should start my career again," she said. She started volunteering at Oklahoma State University to collaborate with her mentor at Kent State University. She's helping to develop a photon probe for detecting when quark gluon plasma has been created in accelerator collisions.
More details are available at the APS News Site.