Distinguished Lectureship Award on the Applications of Physics

APS’s Committee on Careers and Professional Development (CCPD) and the Forum on Industrial and Applied Physics (FIAP) seek to recognize and honor physicists in industrial and other non-academic careers for their significant contributions to the advancement of physics of a technical, industrial, or entrepreneurial nature and for their demonstrated ability to give interesting and engaging lectures to both experts and non-experts.  

This award will be given for a one year term. Recipients will be noted on the American Physical Society (APS) website, announced in APS News, and recognized at an annual meeting for their achievements in physics. The award recipients agree to give a minimum of three lectures over a term of one year delivered at a national APS conference, a sectional APS conference, and other venues, such as physics department colloquia, to be arranged by mutual agreement with the recipient and the Selection Committee Chair in consultation with the CCPD and with assistance from APS staff. The Distinguished Lectureship presentations should discuss key aspects of the recipient’s career and professional development in physics, they should be interactive and engaging, and they should be aimed especially at physicists early in their careers. The Distinguished Lectureship will include a $5,000 award and a plaque to be presented at an APS conference following the completion of the Distinguished Lectureship term. Travel costs will be reimbursed by APS up to $5,000.

Establishment & Support

This committee award, established in 2013 by the CCPD and FIAP, serves to stimulate interest and excitement in non-academic career paths in physics, and to expose students, faculty, and physics graduates to a variety of cutting-edge physics problems encountered throughout a successful industrial or other non-academic career. The award is endowed by FIAP.

Rules & Eligibility

This annual award will be given to an individual physicist, and more than one award may be made each year. Nominees need not be members of the APS or FIAP, and nominations remain active for three years.

Nomination & Selection Process

Deadline: Tuesday, June 1, 2021

The awardee, selected in June, will begin their lectureship in September of the same year and will conclude in March of the following year. The nomination must include:

  • A letter of not more than 2 pages evaluating the nominee’s most significant contributions that qualify the nominee for this award and other related accomplishments. Invited talks that the nominee has given on his/her research should be included.
  • A one sentence description of the work being cited, and suggested title for the lecture series.
  • The nominee’s curriculum vita of not more than three pages, and/or brief biographical sketch.

In addition, the nomination should include:

  • A list of the nominee’s important publications or patents relating to the work cited or lecture series topic
  • At least one, but not more than four, seconding letters.
  • Up to four of the most important reprints, preprints, patents, or other written publications from the above list
  • A video clip, at least 15 minutes long, of the nominee delivering a lecture. Please note: the video does not have to be an example of the official lecture the nominee would give if they are selected for the award. The intent is to give the selection committee a sense of the nominee's presentation style.

To start a new or update a continuing nomination, please see the Prize & Award Nomination Guidelines.

2021 Selection Committee Members: Buddhapriya Chakrabarti, John Deisz, Anne Matsuura, John Rumble

The membership of APS is diverse and global, and the nominees and recipients of APS Honors should reflect that diversity so that all are recognized for their impact on our community. Nominations of members belonging to groups traditionally underrepresented in physics, such as women, LGBT+ scientists, scientists who are Black, Indigenous, and people of color (BIPOC), disabled scientists, and scientists from outside the United States are especially encouraged.

Nominees for and holders of APS Honors (prizes, awards, and fellowship) and official leadership positions are expected to meet standards of professional conduct and integrity as described in the APS Ethics Guidelines. Violations of these standards may disqualify people from consideration or lead to revocation of honors or removal from office.

2021 Recipient

Sufi Zafar
IBM TJ Watson Research Center,Yorktown Heights, NY



Past Recipients

2020: Thirumalai Venkatesan
2019: Cynthia Keppel
2018: Robert Kleinberg
2017: Rudolf M. Tromp
2016: Raymond G. Beausoleil
2015: James J. Wynne
2014: Paul M. Grant