The physics department has another name to add to its list of American Physical Society (APS) fellows with the election of Professor Kate Jones. Elected by their peers, fewer than half of one percent of APS members are chosen for fellowship each year.
The APS reserves fellowship status for members who have advanced the field of physics through original research and publications or significant innovations in applying physics to science and technologies. Teaching and service to the profession are also factors for consideration.
Jones’s research area is nuclear physics. She studies nuclear reactions to learn more about how the atomic nucleus is structured and in turn develop a clearer picture of nucleosynthesis in stars—the process by which all the atoms in our bodies (except hydrogen) are produced. She is the 12th member of the current physics faculty to be named a fellow and was cited for "important contributions to understanding the structure of neutron-rich and weakly bound nuclei, in particular from neutron transfer reactions with radioactive 132Sn beams."
In 2009 Jones won an Outstanding Junior Investigator Award from the U.S. Department of Energy. That same year the College of Arts and Sciences recognized her for excellence in research and creative achievement (junior-level faculty); an award she won again as a senior-level faculty member in 2017. She is also a member of the Department of Energy/National Science Foundation Nuclear Science Advisory Committee, a 21-member committee that provides advice and recommendations on scientific, technical, and programmatic issues relating to the nuclear physics program.
Jones has taught courses on Introductory Astronomy, Elementary Nuclear Physics, and the Modern Physics Laboratory. This fall she is teaching Physics for Future Presidents as part of the First-Year Studies program. She also serves as associate department head in physics.
Jones earned both bachelor’s and doctoral degrees from the University of Surrey in England and joined the faculty in 2006.
The department is also happy to congratulate Adjunct Assistant Professor Gaute Hagen on his election to the 2018 class of APS Fellows. He is a staff research scientist at Oak Ridge National Laboratory.