Dodge accepts U.S. award

Jun 12, 2003, vol. 27, no. 4
By Carol Thorbes

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It is a unique combination of talents - the ability to see into a world that is invisible to the human eye and extrapolate concepts that are inconceivable to most human minds.

That is one talent SFU physicist Steve Dodge (above) possesses as a scientist delving into the world of quantum materials: new materials and phenomena that are the product of unexpected interactions between electrons.

Dodge's other unique, and even rarer, talent is the ability to design experiments that help students grasp and push the boundaries of the seemingly intangible world of quantum physics.

In recognition of this rare duality of talents, the Research Corporation, a philanthropic organization in Tucson, Arizona has named Dodge a Cottrell scholar.

The prize is named after Frederick Cottrell, an inventor and the founder of the Research Corporation.

The $75,000 U.S. award for teaching and research is among the most prestigious fellowships for beginning faculty in the sciences.

Dodge, an assistant professor of physics at SFU since September 2001, is one of only 12 recipients (out of 122 applications) of the award.

It will help Dodge build new experimental teaching facilities in SFU physics labs. They will be modeled after San Francisco's famous Exploratorium, a museum of science, art and human perception.

Its displays and experiments are designed to help visitors directly experience methods and conclusions in various disciplines.

“Students of science need these experiences, as much as, if not more than, the general public, if they are to apply their formal skills outside the domain of single-topic problem sets and examinations,” says Dodge.

A former exhibit developer at the Exploratorium, Dodge will also use his award to further his work as a member of the Canadian Institute for Advanced Research (CIAR) on high temperature superconductors.

CIAR brings together thinkers worldwide to discover new technologies. In collaboration with SFU physicists Brett Heinrich (CIAR member) and Igor Herbut, Dodge is exploring the overarching organizing principles that govern the collective behaviour of electrons.

In 2001, Dodge was one of only 100 young professors in North America to be awarded an A.P. Sloan Foundation fellowship worth $40,000 U.S.

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