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Departmental Awards

Brief history of the Daicar-Bata fund

The Daicar-Bata Fund was established in 1992 in honor of Mr. Otto Daicar and to commemorate his lifetime contributions throughout the world to the Bata Corporation. Mr. Daicar, as an individual and senior executive, exemplified a devotion to performance excellence, unconditional integrity, and kindness, which guided and inspired people of diverse cultures. The initial donation for the fund came from the Bata Corporation and the Daicar family, and the remainder was raised from the alumni of the Department of Physics and Astronomy and matching funds from the University of Delaware.

Past recipients of the Daicar-Bata Prize for best Ph.D. student research paper

  • 2019 - Tyler Williamson for Periastron observations of TeV gamma-ray emissions from a binary system with a 50-year period, The American Astronomical Society, 867 (2018).
  • 2018 - Muhammad Shahbaz for Do semilocal density-functional approximations recover dispersion energies at small intermonomer separations? Physical Review Letters 121, 113402 (2018).
  • 2017 - Michael Metz for Automatic generation of intermolecular potential energy surfaces, The Journal of Chemical Theory and Computation 12, 5895 (2016).
  • 2016 - Jesus Nieto-Pescador for Heterogeneous electron-transfer dynamics through dipole-bridge groups, The Journal of Physical Chemistry C 120, 48 (2016).
  • 2015 - Yunpeng Chen for Designing and tuning magnetic resonance with exchange interaction, Advanced Materials 27, 1351 (2015).
  • 2014 - Halise Celik for Quantifying interface and bulk contributions to spin-orbit torque In magnetic bilayers Nature Communications 5,3042 (2014).
  • 2013 - Bin Fang for State engineering of  photon pairs produced through duel-pump spontaneous four-wave mixing, Optics Express 21, 2707 (2013).
  • 2012 - Ryan Stearrett for Influence of exchange bias on magnetic losses in CoFeB/MgO/CoFeB tunnel junctions, Physical Review Letters B 86, 014415 (2012).
  • 2011 - Q. Lu for Supercapacitor electrodes with high-energy and power densities prepared from monolithic NiO/Ni nanocomposites, Angewandte Chemie International Edition; 50, 6847 (2011).
  • 2010 - Rizwan Khalid for Constrained minimal supersymmetric standard model spectroscopy in light of PAMELA and ATIC observations, Physical Review Letters D 79, 055019 (2009).
  • 2009 - Xiaoming Kou for Tunable ferromagnetic resonance in NiFe nanowires with strong magnetostatic interaction, Applied Physics Letters 94, 112509 (2009).
  • 2008 - Ralitsa L. Dragomirova for Spin and charge shot noise in mesoscopic spin Hall systems, Europhysics Letters 84, 37004 (2008).
  • 2007 - Thomas Madura forA nozzle analysis of slow-acceleration solutions in one-dimensional models of rotating hot-star winds, Astrophysics Journal 660, 687 (2007).
  • 2006 - Sasikumar Palaniyappan for Ultrastrong field ionization of Nen+ (n <= 8): Rescattering and the role of the magnetic field, Physical Review Letters 94, 243003 (2005).


Past recipients of the Daicar-Bata Prize for the highest Ph.D. student GPA:

  • 2019 - Riddhi Bandyopadhyay
  • 2018 - Hassan Shahfar
  • 2017 - Yue Pan
  • 2016 - Alexander Wise
  • 2015 - Yunjiao Cao
  • 2014 - Colby Haggerty
  • 2013 - Bin Fang
  • 2012 - Farzad Mahfouzi
  • 2011 - Adeel Ajaib and Bin He
  • 2010 - Hassnain Jaffari
  • 2009 - Rizwan Khalid
  • 2008 - Mansoor Rehman
  • 2007 - Rupsi Pal
  • 2006 - Meijun Lu


Rules of the competition

Nominations for this award may be made by the advisor, a colleague or a fellow student and must include:

  1. a letter of nomination which includes i) a short statement of why the paper is significant and merits the Daicar-Bata prize, and ii) clearly identifies the contributions of the nominee to the paper
  2. a reprint of the scientific paper that is the basis for the prize
  3. a one-page resume of the nominee
  4. the nominated student should supply a one page explanation in the simplest terms of the content and main results of the nominated paper.

The three top candidates for this prize will present their work during a Colloquium of the Fall semester, and the winner will be decided by a panel of DPA faculty.