Prizes & Awards

Katherine E. Weimer Award for Women in Plasma Physics

Deadline: Monday, April 3, 2023

In 2001, the American Physical Society Division of Plasma Physics Executive Committee established the Katherine E. Weimer award to "recognize and encourage outstanding achievement in plasma science research by a woman physicist in the early years of her career."

Dr. Katherine E. Weimer was a pioneering research physicist at the Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory at Princeton University. She made many important contributions in magnetohydrodynamic equilibrium and stability theory for magnetically confined plasmas. Her obituary, written by John Johnson and John Greene, appeared in September 2001 in Physics Today. A list of her peer-reviewed journal publications may be found at Publications.

The Division of Plasma Physics has historically experienced significantly lower representation of women in its ranks compared to other divisions (7% vs. 11% in 2010). This award will play an important role in recognizing the contribution and potential of women in plasma science and will help to attract and retain women in this field.

To recognize and encourage outstanding achievement in plasma science research by a woman physicist in the early years of her career. The award consists of $4,000, a certificate citing the contributions made by the recipient and presented during the award ceremony at the Division of Plasma Physics Annual Meeting banquet, and a registration fee waiver. The recipient will be invited to give a talk at the Division of Plasma Physics annual meeting. The award was presented every three years beginning in 2002 and starting in 2019 will be presented every two years.

Establishment and Support
The Plasma Science community and the APS Division of Plasma Physics established the award through joint sponsorship in 2001. It was named after Dr. Katherine E. Weimer, a pioneering woman physicist at the Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory. Dr. Weimer made many important contributions to research advancements in magnetohydrodynamic equilibrium and stability theory for magnetically confined plasmas.

Rules and Eligibility

This award shall be presented to a woman during the early years of her career for scientific achievements within ten years of receiving her Ph.D. that demonstrate her potential as an outstanding plasma scientist. The award is open to any woman working in plasma science. The nominee's Ph.D. must have been received within the ten-year period prior to the nomination deadline. Nominations are active for a single selection cycle.

The Award endowment was funded with $15,000 from DPP and 15,000 of generous contributions from friends and colleagues of Katherine Weimer, and includes contributions from discretionary funds of fusion/plasma science research laboratories.

There is no provision for online submissions for the Weimer Award. Submissions must be emailed to the Selection Committee Chair. The standard APS Nomination Guidelines describe guidelines, but the submission instructions on the APS page should not be used for the DPP Weimer Award.

How to Nominate a Candidate

To nominate a candidate, email the following to the Katherine E. Weimer Award Committee members. 2023 Award Committee members will be announced by early 2023.

  • A letter evaluating the nominee's qualifications identifying the specific work to be recognized
  • A biographical sketch and a full curriculum vita
  • A list of the most important publications
  • At least two, but no more than four, seconding letters

2021 Selection Committee

Chair: Amy M Keesee, Univ. of New Hampshire

Past Chair: Paul Keiter, Los Alamos National Laboratory

2021 Recipient: Dr. Weichao Tu, West Virginia University

“For contributions to the understanding of the radiation belts, in particular by pioneering the technique of ‘event-specific’ radiation belt modeling to distinguished different physical processes that control radiation belt dynamics.”


Past Recipients

Nominees for and holders of APS Honors (prizes, awards, and fellowship) and official leadership positions are expected to meet standards of professional conduct and integrity as described in the APS Ethics Guidelines. Violations of these standards may disqualify people from consideration or lead to revocation of honors or removal from office.