WSU Physicist Yogendra Gupta to Receive National Award

PULLMAN, Wash. — Yogendra Gupta, Washington State University professor of physics and director of the WSU Institute for Shock Physics, has been selected to receive the 2001 Shock Compression Science Award by the American Physical Society. The award recognizes his contributions to understanding condensed matter and nonlinear physics through shock-wave compression.

Gupta is the founding director of the institute, which has received strong federal support, including two major grants. In 1997 an initial $10 million, five-year grant from the Department of Energy was made as part of the DOE’s “strategic investment in selected scientific disciplines important to the science-based stockpile-stewardship program,” as directed by President Clinton. A $5 million grant was received in 1999 from the Office of Naval Research to enhance research efforts on energetic materials.

Research work at the institute involves understanding fast physical and chemical changes produced by the propagation of high-pressure shock waves in condensed matter. Shock waves are generated by high-velocity impact on samples. Using sensors and recording equipment, the researchers analyze extremely fast microscopic changes.

“As director of the shock physics institute, Gupta is a strong advocate for quality research at Washington State University, and his tireless efforts have put WSU on the national map as an outstanding center for shock-wave research,” said V.S. Manoranjan, associate dean of sciences.

Gupta will receive $3,000 and a plaque at the 2001 Topical Conference on Shock Compression of Condensed Matter June 24-29 in Atlanta. The citation inscribed on the plaque will read: “For many significant contributions to the mechanical optical and X-ray measurement of both continuum and microscopic aspects of shock waves in condensed matter.”

Gupta earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees at the Birla Institute of Technology and Science at Pilani, India, and his doctorate at WSU.

He is an APS fellow and was awarded the President’s Faculty Excellence Award for Research and Creativity in 1994. He was named the WSU Westinghouse Distinguished Professor of Material Science and Engineering, 1996-97. Gupta has produced more than 160 publications, including articles on shock waves in the Encyclopedia of Physics and the Encyclopedia of Science and Technology. He is a member of the External Review and Advisory Committee for the Applied Physics Division at Los Alamos National Laboratory, the Physics and Space Technology Directorate at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, and the High Energy Density Physics Program Advisory Committee at Sandia National Laboratory. He is also chair of the DOE Subcritical Experiment Evaluation Committee.