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Physics Professor Awarded $80,000 in Research Funding from Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada


Discovery Grant Funding to Support Dr. Rachel Wortis and her Work in Condensed Matter Physics

Friday, September 8, 2006, Peterborough

As part of a funding announcement made today, Trent Physics Professor Rachel Wortis will receive a total of $79,134 ($26,378 for the next three years) in funding from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC) of Canada to support her research in condensed matter physics.

Condensed matter physics is the study of materials and patterns that can be constructed from atoms and molecules, seeking simple ways to express the origins of the diversity of physical properties which emerge from the essential ingredients of electrons, nuclei, and electromagnetic forces. Professor Wortis’ research program focuses on understanding electronic properties, which are of tremendous technological importance and present fascinating conceptual puzzles.

“This grant makes the continuation of my research possible,” said Professor Wortis. “There is almost no other source of funding for research in theoretical physics in Canada. This will make it possible for me to pay graduate students, to attend conferences, and to travel for collaboration with other researchers.”

NSERC Discovery Grants support ongoing programs of research and recognize the creativity and innovation that are at the heart of all research advances. Recipients of the Discovery Grant are not restricted to any specific projects and have the ability to explore new research interests provided they are within NSERC’s mandate.

"We are extremely pleased that NSERC continues to recognize the calibre of one of our newest physics researchers and the potential of her research," said James D. A. Parker, Trent's Associate Vice-President, Research.

Professor Wortis has also successfully renewed a University Faculty Award from NSERC, valued at $40,000 for two years. Originally receiving the grant in 2002 when she joined the faculty at Trent, this award is designed to increase the representation of women and Aboriginal peoples in faculty positions in natural sciences and engineering by encouraging Canadian universities to appoint promising researchers to tenure-track or tenured positions in science and engineering.

Professor Wortis holds an A.B. in physics from Harvard University and a Ph.D. in physics from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Prior to coming to Trent, she completed postdoctoral research at McMaster University and l'Université de Sherbrooke. Her work focuses on building bridges between theory and experiment, especially those techniques which fall under the broad umbrella of nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR).


For more information, please contact:
Professor Rachel Wortis, Trent University, (705) 748-1011 x5372