Thesis Prize Winners

The Hertz Foundation's mission is to focus on supporting graduate students in the  applied physical, biological, and engineering sciences for the purpose of solving difficult, real-world problems.  Our approach is to examine the work of the Hertz Doctoral Thesis Prize Winners in this context.

Each Fellow is required to furnish the Foundation with a copy of his or her doctoral dissertation upon receiving the Ph.D. Early in the summer of each year, members of the Foundation's Thesis Prize Committee examine the Ph.D. dissertations completed by Hertz Fellows during the preceding academic year for their overall excellence and pertinence to high-impact applications of the physical sciences. Some years there are no Thesis Prize winners; in other years more than one Prize is awarded.

Each Thesis Prize winner receives an honorarium of $5000. In addition, two faculty members, designated by Prize winners, who profoundly influenced the winner also receive  $1000 honoraria. Some of the winning theses have resulted in patents, others have resulted in the formation of highly-successful companies, and still others have contributed to the solutions of major societal problems.


2013
Alex Hegyi
Nanodiamonds: A New Molecular Imaging Approach

2012
Dario Amodei
Network-Scale Electrophysiology: Measuring and Understanding the Collective Behavior of Neural Circuits

2012
Vincent Holmberg
Semiconductor Nanowires: From a Nanoscale System to a Macroscopic Material

2012
Daniel Slichter
Quantum Jumps and Measurement Backaction in a Superconducting Qubit

2011
Anna Bershteyn
Lipid-coated micro- and nanoparticles as a biomimetic vaccine delivery platform

2011
Kevin Esvelt
A System for the Continuous Directed Evolution of Biomolecules

2011
Monika Schleier-Smith
Cavity-Enabled Spin Squeezing for a Quantum-Enhanced Atomic Clock

2010
Erez Lieberman-Aiden
Evolution and the Emergence of Structure

2009
Paul Podsiadlo
Layer-by-Layer Assembly of Nanostructures Composites: Mechanics and Applications

2009
Mikhail Shapiro
Genetically Engineered Sensors for Non-Invasive Molecular Imaging using MRI

2008
Alexander Wissner-Gross
Physically Programmable Surfaces

2007
Lilian Childress
Coherent Manipulation of Single Quantum Systems in the Solid State

2007
Christopher Loose
The Production, Design, and Application of Antimicrobial Peptides

2007
Cindy Regal
Experimental Realization of BCS-BEC Crossover Physics with a Fermi Gas of Atoms

2006
Edward Boyden
Task-Selective Neural Mechanisms of Memory Encoding

2005
Cameron G. R. Geddes
Plasma Channel Guided Laser Wakefield Accelerator

2004
Youssef Marzouk
Vorticity Structure and Evolution in a Transverse Jet with New Algorithms for Scalable Particle Simulation

2003
David Kent IV
New Quantum Monte Carlo Algorithms to Efficiently Utilize Massively Parallel Computers

2002
Daniel Steck
Quantum Chaos, Transport, and Decoherence in Atom Optics

2001
Krishna S. Nayak
Fast Cardiovascular Magnetic Resonance Imaging

2000
Joseph H. Thywissen
Internal State Manipulation for Neutral Atom Lithography

1999
Andrew J. Thiel
Detection of DNA Hybridization to Oligonucleotide Arrays on Gold Surfaces Using In Situ Surface Plasmon Resonance and Fluorescence Imaging Techniques

1997
Eli N. Glezer
Ultrafast Electronic and Structural Dynamics in Solids

1997
Deirdre Olynick
In-Situ Studies of Copper Nano-Particles Using a Novel Tandem Ultra-High Vacuum Particle Production Chamber Transmission Electron Microscope

1996
Andrew H. Miklich
Low-Frequency Noise in High-T2 Superconductor Josephson Junctions, SQUIDs, and Magnetometers

1996
Krishna Shenoy
Monolithic Optoelectronic VLSI Circuit Design and Fabrication for Optical Interconnects

1995
Eric Altschuler
The Movement Rehearsal Paradigm is a Mental Communication Channel

1994
Richard D. Braatz
Robust Loopshaping for Process Control

1992
Robert C. Barrett
Development and Applications of Atomic Force Spectroscopy

1992
Kenneth L. Shepard
Electron Transport in Mesoscopic Conductors

1990
Scott L. Rakestraw
Monoclonal Antibody-Targeted Laser Photolysis of Tumor Tissue

1990
H. Paul Shuch
Near Midair Collisions as an Indicator of General Aviation Collision Risk

1989
W. Neil McCasland
Sensor and Actuator Selection for Fault-Tolerant Control of Flexible Structures

1988
K. Peter Beiersdorfer
High Resolution Studies of the X-Ray Transitions in Highly Charged Neonlike Ions of the PLT Tokamak

1988
Michael Reed
Si-SiO2 Interface Trap Anneal Kinetics

1988
Eric Swartz
Solid-Solid Thermal Boundary Resistance

1987
Douglas Bowman
High Speed Polycrystalline Silicon Photoconductors for On-Chip Pulsing and Gating

1987
Brian Heffner
Switchable Optical Fiber Taps Using the Acousto-Optic Bragg Interaction

1987
Dale Stuart
A Guidance Algorithm for Cooperative Tether-Mediated Orbital Rendezvous

1987
Aryeh M. Weiss
Real Time Control of the Permeability of Crosslinked Polyelectrolyte Membranes to Fluorescent Solutes

1986
Joel Fajans
Radiation Measurements of an Intermediate Energy Free Electron Laser

1986
Lawrence C. West
Spectroscopy of GaAs Quantum Wells

1985
Stephen P. Boyd
Volterra Series: Engineering Fundamentals

1985
Steven R. Hall
A Failure Detection Algorithm for Linear Dynamic Systems

1985
W. Daniel Hillis
The Connection Machine

1984
Michel A. Floyd
Single-Step Optimal Control of Large Space Structures

1984
David Tuckerman
Heat-Transfer Microstructures for Integrated Circuits

1984
Andrew M. Weiner
Femtosecond Optical Pulse Generation and Dephasing Measurements in Condensed Matter

1983
Emanuel M. Sachs
Edge Stabilized Ribbon Growth: A New Method for the Manufacture of Photovoltaic Substrates

1982
Michael Farmwald
On the Design of High Performance Digital Arithmetic Units

1982
Curtis Widdoes, Jr.
Automatic Physical Design of Large Wire-Wrap Digital Systems

1981
Sherman Chan
Small Signal Control of Multiterminal DC/AC Power Systems

1981
Peter Hagelstein
Physics of Short Wavelength Laser Design

1981
Charles E. Leiserson
Area-Efficient VLSI Computation

1981
Thomas McWilliams
Verification of Timing Constraints on Large Digital Systems