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Dr. Avinash Kumar receives Dean’s Convocation Medal
By Sarah Close-Humayun
Dr. Kumar’s doctoral thesis, “Anomalous relaxation in colloidal systems”, examines the conditions whereby hot systems cool faster than cool ones and, inversely, what conditions are needed for cold systems to heat faster than warm ones. Dr. Kumar’s research experimentally demonstrated that, under certain conditions, a hot system could cool faster than a warm system when coupled to a common cold reservoir, a phenomenon known as the Mpmeba effect. He also demonstrated the inverse Mpemba effect, where a cold system heats up faster than a warm one under identical conditions. His work on anomalous heating in colloidal systems is the first observation of this in any system, opening avenues for this observation in other physical systems.
Dr. Kumar’s contribution extends well beyond his written thesis. Along with his academic achievements, Dr. Kumar has been recognized with many awards, including the Billy Jones Grad Award in Physics from SFU.
In commenting on Dr. Kumar’s research, external examiner Dr. Marija Vucelja from the Department of Physics at the University of Virginia said that, “The body of work shows mastery of experimental techniques in setting up the colloidal experiments, original results, and impactful conclusions on anomalous thermal relaxations.”
And in speaking of Dr. Kumar and his research, Dr. John Bechhoefer from the Department of Physics at SFU said Dr. Kumar’s, “record of achievement as a graduate student in physics is unmatched in the nearly 60-year history of the Department.”
Dr. Kumar says "I am thankful to SFU for this award that gracefully sums up my PhD journey. I am incredibly grateful to Prof. John Bechhoefer, who has been an excellent mentor and a source of inspiration for me to do science. I want to inherit his passion for science, organizational skills and out-of-the-box thinking in my life to become a successful researcher in the future."
Dr. Kumar is a Postdoctoral Associate in the Department of Cell Biology at Yale School of Medicine.