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Rodney I. McCormick Award

The Rodney I. McCormick Award recognizes the outstanding research accomplishments of a physics undergraduate student. Beginning in 2011, the McCormick Award has been reserved for a graduating senior. Prior to 2011 the department presented the Senior Research Award.

Award Winners

2022 • Noah Wolfe  Physics in the Stellar Graveyard
2022 • Thomas Steckmann Simulationg Quantum Systems with Dubious Quantum Computers
2021 • Ana Sofia Uzsoy Hidden Worlds Large and Small
2020 • Daniela Fontecha Polymer Degradation by Photothermal Heating
2019 • Polina Pechnikova
Ultrathin C8-BTBT Films for 2D Organic Transistors
2018 • Johnathan Turner Organic Photovoltaics and the Dynamics of Charge
2017 • Ephraim Bililign Stressed Out: Measuring Forces in Granular Media
2016 • Mia de los Reyes The Evolution of Global Galaxy Properties at Intermediate Redshifts
2015 • Aaron Mahler Reduced Reaction Approximation Nucleosynthesis: A Case Study
2014 • Alex Mauney The Effect of Particle Shape on the Acoustic Modes of Granular Materials
2013 • Mark Schillaci Capillary Fracture of Ultrasoft Gels
2012 • Anne Watson Morphology and Performance of Spin-Cast Organic Thin-Film Transistors
2011 • Lewis Guignard Diffusion: Paving the Way to a Better Plastic Solar Cell
2010 • Melissa Fender Universal shapes formed by interacting cracks
2009 • Guilhem Ribeill Ultracold Neutron Production in Solid Deuterium and Oxygen
2008 • Ryan Neely Deep Ultraviolet Resonance Raman Spectroscopy: from NSOM to LIDAR but Not Between
2007 • Amit Lakhani Investigation of Chiral Thin Films of Tartaric Acid on Ag(111)
2006 • Casey de Deugd Growth and Characterization of Mixed Silane Monolayers
2006 • Mary (Williard) Elting Visualizing Viral Infection with Single Particle Florescence
2005 • Justin Brockman Supernova Neutrino Oscillations
2004 • David Ennis Spin Coating Multilayer Thin Films of Polymers with Similar Cohesive Energy Densities
2003 • Jennifer Huening Measurement of Nanostructure Stresses in Semiconducting Materials Using Raman Spectroscopy
2002 • Lucas Wagner Magic Sizes, Doping, and Optical Transitions in Silicon Nanocrystals
2001 • David Wood Formation of Cobalt Disilicide Films on (3X3) 6H-SiC(000-1)
2000 • Chad Mitchell Light-Front Analysis of Quantum Chromodynamic Exclusive Processes
1999 • Kjersten Bunker High-Resolution Radio Astronomy: Galaxies to Planetary Nebulae
1998 • Michael Binger Aspects of QCD and Non-perturbative Vacuum Condensation
1997 • David Picciotto Fabrication and Testing of Organic Light Emitting Diodes
1996 • William J. Lyerly Model X-Ray Spectra from Young Supernova Remnants

Rodney McCormick

Rod McCormick

Rod McCormick was born in Charleston, West Virginia. He graduated from St. Albans High School in 1964 and in 1968 magna cum laude from West Virginia State College. As an active member of ROTC, he participated in Pershing Rifles and Scabbard and Blade. His senior year he was the commander of the Corps of Cadets. In 1993, West Virginia State College honored Rod with his induction into the ROTC Hall of Fame. Upon graduation, Rod was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant in the Field of Artillery. Highlights of his 20 year Army career include service in Germany, Battery Commands in Vietnam and Fort Sill, service on the faculty of the US Military Academy at West Point, NY, and positions as a Battalion Executive Officer, and Deputy Division Inspector General, with the 82nd Airborne Division. Rod was the chief of the Technical Support Office, Army Research Office, RTP, NC. During this assignment, Rod returned to Duke University where he had received a Master’s degree in 1973, to pursue doctoral studies. He was awarded the Ph.D. in Physics in 1987. Among his decorations and awards are the Legion of Merit, Bronze Star Medal, Meritorious Service Medal (one Oak leaf cluster), Ranger Tab and Senior Parachutist Badge.

Upon retirement from the Army as a Lieutenant Colonel in 1988, Rod accepted a position as the Associate Director, Free Electron Laser Laboratory at Duke University. Subsequently, he accepted a position as Director, Physical Science Projects at Ohio State University. In 1992, Rod accepted the position he held at the time of his death, Special Assistant for Project Development, North Carolina State University, where he worked to develop the NC STAR project. He was also a driving force behind the successful proposal to the DoD’s Technology Reinvestment Program for establishing “A Regional Technology Alliance for High Aspect Ratio MEMS” led by MCNC.

Rod’s love of sailing is known to all and it exemplifies the exuberance and joy with which he embraced life and people.