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NIU Today | Two students earn NICADD awards for cutting-edge physics

The Northern Illinois Center for Accelerator and Detector Development (NICADD) is celebrating the accomplishments of two NIU student researchers.

Prudhvi Bhattiprolu, who earned his doctorate in physics in December and is now a postdoctoral research fellow at the University of Michigan, has been named as NICADD’s 2022 Thesis Award winner. Senior physics major August Lee, who will be heading to Notre Dame for graduate school, was named winner of the Undergraduate Research Award.

This is NICADD’s inaugural year of the awards, which provides stipends to the students of $750 (Thesis Award) and $350 (Undergraduate Research Award).

“We know that the great research success we have in NICADD would not be possible without our most valuable resource—our students,” said Physics Professor Jahred Adelman, NICADD director. “We wanted to do something to recognize their hard work.”

Bhattiprolu’s dissertation was titled: “Signal-Background Analysis for New Physics at Particle Colliders and the Criteria for its Discovery.”

“Prudhvi constantly amazed me with his incredibly hard work and attention to detail, and clever insights and solutions to difficult challenges,” said his advisor, Physics Professor Stephen Martin. “The products of his theoretical work have already been used by experimentalists searching for new particles at the Large Hadron Collider.”

Lee’s research project was titled: “A Study of Vector Boson Fusion of di-Higgs to Two Bottom Quarks and Two Photons.”

“August is the most hard-working, resourceful, mature and technically competent undergraduate that I’ve met in a long time,” said Adelman, his advisor, who noted that Lee also won the physics department’s Outstanding Senior Award.

In addition to more than two dozen faculty and scientific staff members, NICADD has roughly 30 graduate and 20 undergraduate students involved in developing a new generation of particle accelerator and detector technologies. The center’s members collaborate on research with colleagues at Argonne National Laboratory, Fermilab, the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN) and other institutions.

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