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Saturday, September 30, 2023


UH prof to make scientists winners

An award winning UH professor will soon have the opportunity to review candidates for a prestigious award that he once received.

UH physics professor Paul Ching-Wu Chu has been appointed to the President’s Committee on the National Medal of Science as one of 12 notable scientists to assess nominees for the nation’s top scientific prize.

"(Professor Chu) will review the nominations for the National Medal of Science. Approximately 180 nominations are reviewed annually, but only eight medals are awarded," National Medal of Science Program Manager Mayra Montrose said.

Established by the 86th Congress in 1959, the National Medal of Science is presented to those "deserving of special recognition by reason of their outstanding contributions to knowledge in the physical, biological, mathematical or engineering sciences."

"I will be involved in evaluating the nominees for the National Medal of Science as one of the Committee members," Chu said. "The National Medal of Science is the highest honor for scientific achievements for the nation. I feel very honored to be appointed to be able to get involved in the selecting process of such a distinguished award."

With a Ph.D. in physics, Chu took up employment at the University in 1979 after serving as associate professor and professor of physics for two years at Cleveland State University.

Since then, he was named best researcher in the U.S. by U.S. News ‘ World Report in 1990 and has received several awards and honors, including the National Medal of Science for his work in high temperature superconductivity in 1988, the only UH professor to receive such an honor.

"The medal represents a token, but significant, gesture in our national commitment to science," Chu said in a release.

Since established, the award has decorated 425 engineers and scientists. Chu will be expected to review the nominated physicists and will contribute in the selection of winners in all categories. Though the President’s Committee meets annually, Montrose said that Chu’s teaching should not be affected.

"The committee meets annually to review nominations and make selections. (Chu) will continue to teach throughout," Montrose said. "His commitment to the committee will be of a few weeks to review nominations each year, including one half day meeting in Washington D.C. We schedule the annual meeting to impact the members’ schedule as little as possible."

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