Prizes & Awards

Emerging Soft Matter Excellence Award

The DSOFT Emerging Soft Matter Excellence (ESME) Award recognizes an exceptional graduate student pursuing research in soft matter physics. Help us continue to offer this new award by giving to our fundraising campaign here.

To be considered for the ESME Award the student must:

  1. be a DSOFT member; 
  2. be currently pursuing a PhD;
  3. not have completed the PhD requirements before the October 27, 2024 application deadline. 

The DSOFT ESME committee will select 12 finalists who will be invited to give a 12-minute talk in a special DSOFT Early Career Awards Symposium at the March Meeting. Finalists will also be invited to a celebratory dinner with the DSOFT Chair and ESME Committee. 

The Awards Symposium will be open to all March Meeting attendees and advertised broadly to DSOFT members. Following the Symposium, the ESME Committee will select the ESME Awardee based on the quality of the candidate’s research, their presentation, and their response to questions. The winner will be announced and recognized at the DSOFT Business Meeting, and will receive $250 honorarium. 

Call for Nominations

To apply for the Emerging Soft Matter Excellence Award, eligible graduate students should complete the ESME Application, which consists of:

  1. An abstract for a contributed talk to the DSOFT program at the March Meeting.**
  2. Proof of abstract submission,
  3. A curriculum vitae (2 page limit - longer CVs will not be considered),
  4. A nominating letter (2 page limit - longer letters will not be considered) from a faculty member familiar with you and your work. A link to provide to your nominator to submit their letter is in the ESME application. Nominators can only make one nomination per year.

Complete Applications are due October 27, 2024. Finalists will be notified in January 2025.

**To be eligible applicants must submit their abstract to the DSOFT sorting category 02.01.01: DSOFT Early Career and Student Awards Session using the general abstract submission site for the March Meeting before the general abstract deadline. In the Special Instructions space, enter "ESME Award or X” where X is your preferred DSOFT sorting category if your abstract is not selected for the ESME Symposium.

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2024 ESME Awardee

Congratulations to Tali Khain from University of Chicago who was awarded the 2024 Emerging Soft Matter Excellence Award (ESME)! Tali was awarded the prize for research on vortex shedding in chiral fluids.

The wake of a sphere in a chiral fluid

Tali Khain, Michel Fruchart, Vincenzo Vitelli

Systems composed of spinning particles or driven by a magnetic field break mirror symmetry at the microscopic level. These chiral fluids can be described by adding additional so-called "odd" viscosities, which do not dissipate energy, in the Navier-Stokes equation. Here, we ask: how does odd viscosity affect the wake of a sphere as the Reynolds number increases? In ordinary fluids, the wake undergoes several bifurcations, first from an axisymmetric to a non-axisymmetric steady state, and then to a state where it periodically sheds vortices, similar to the von Karman vortex street familiar from everyday fluid flows. Using a combination of numerical and analytical methods, we describe the transitional flow regime in a chiral fluid. We find that odd viscosity reshapes the vortex structure of the wake, which in turn affects the onset and nature of the periodic vortex shedding state. Our work sheds light on the transition to turbulence in chiral fluids, a regime that could be realized experimentally in collections of spinning inertial particles.

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.