Florida Tech Students Win Undergraduate Research Award

– The “Electrochemical Deposition Experiment,” won six Florida Tech physics undergraduates a 2003-2004 Undergraduate Research Award from the Society of
Physics Students, an organization of the American Institute of Physics. The award carries a $2,000 cash prize.

The winning students are Andrew Johnson, Chris Malone, Christina Pelzer, Doug Nickerson, Kristin White and Stephanie Rafferty. The advisor of the Florida
Tech chapter of the Society of Physics Students is Dr. Rong-Sheng Jin, associate professor of physics and space sciences.

The students’ experiment is the first of several to investigate the limiting effects of gravity on the fabrication of electrochemical-deposited thin films
for solar cells. They will seek to discover if the defects caused by gravity influence solar cell efficiency. Ground tests will begin this year. The team
hopes to complete microgravity tests on a NASA rocket in 2005 and on a Get-Away-Special canister on the Space Shuttle in 2006.

The award letter read, in part, “The awards committee was extremely impressed with your proposal, for its research potential and for its potential to
enhance SPS (Sigma Pi Sigma) on your campus.”

Florida Tech offers bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees in physics.

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