Accolades: Engineering, Geosciences Professors Earn Recognition

Accolades is an occasional News Center feature that highlights recent accomplishments of The University of Texas at Dallas faculty and students. To submit items for consideration, contact your school’s communication manager. 

Materials Science Leader Named AVS President-Elect

Dr. Amy Walker

Dr. Amy Walker, interim head of the Department of Materials Science and Engineering, was recently named president-elect of AVS, originally the American Vacuum Society, an international organization affiliated with the American Institute of Physics that focuses on materials, interfaces and processing.

Walker, also a professor in the Erik Jonsson School of Engineering and Computer Science, was chosen by her peers to lead the organization of about 4,000 members.

AVS hosts international conferences and social networking events, and publishes three major professional journals. Walker hopes to expand the organization’s focus to improve support of recent graduates and professional technicians.

A Texas Chapter leader for the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex since 2013, Walker said she has made “invaluable” friends and mentors through AVS. 

“Technicians and recent graduates can give AVS huge and wonderful contributions,” Walker said. “I’m going to spend some time figuring out how to support people wherever they are in their careers.”

Walker’s research has focused on manipulating interfacial chemistry in order to develop simple, robust materials with complex two-dimensional and 3D surfaces.

“AVS is a home for many of our faculty,” Walker said. “It is a true honor to be nominated and elected president by my peers.”

Geosciences Professor Garners International Prize

Dr. Robert Stern

Dr. Robert Stern, professor of geosciences in the School of Natural Sciences and Mathematics, has been awarded the 2019 International Prize of the Geological Society of Japan for his contributions to geological research.

The citation for the award notes Stern’s status as a world leader in the fields of geology, petrology, geochemistry and geochronology. The award recognizes his outstanding contributions to the geoscience community in Japan through research exchange and academic cooperation.

A fellow of the Geological Society of America and of the American Geophysical Union, Stern has studied complex geological systems from the Pacific Ocean to the African desert. His research has led to a better understanding of how new subduction zones form and the evolution of plate tectonics throughout Earth’s history.

Stern also leads the University’s participation in a joint U.S.-Japanese Mariana Trench research group, which over several years has involved faculty, research scientists and students in oceanographic field studies. The Mariana Trench, located in the western Pacific Ocean just south of Japan, is the site of the ocean’s deepest point and marks a boundary between two slowly moving plates of the Earth’s crust.

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