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UTSA physicist Miguel José Yacamán honored for lifetime research contributions

UTSA physicist Miguel José Yacamán honored for lifetime research contributions

Miguel José Yacamán has transformed physics at UTSA to a leadership role in discovery and the development of minority students and faculty.

(March 9, 2018) -- At the March 2018 meeting of the American Physical Society (APS), Miguel José Yacamán, Lutcher Brown Endowed Chair and chair of the UTSA Department of Physics and Astronomy, has been presented with the 2018 Edward A. Bouchet Award.

“Professor José Yacamán has transformed Physics at UTSA to a leadership role in discovery and the development of minority students and faculty,” said George Perry, dean of the UTSA College of Sciences.

The award promotes the participation of under-represented minorities in physics by identifying and recognizing a distinguished minority physicist who has made significant contributions to physics research. The APS will help publicize the recipient's work and career development to the physics community, especially among minority physics students.

“I am extremely proud of this award since It recognizes achievement in research by a Hispanic researcher,” José Yacamán said. “This is sometimes more difficult to achieve since the social field is still not level. My aspiration is that this award, from the most important society of physicists in this country, helps to attract Hispanics to the physical sciences.”

According to the APS, José Yacamán was selected for the award “for far-ranging, high-impact contributions to nanoscale science using electron microscopy, and for his mentorship and promotion of Latinos in physics, ranging from undergraduates to faculty."

José Yacamán received his B.S., M.Sc. and Ph.D. from the National University of Mexico (UNAM) and had postdoctoral stays in Oxford in 1976 and Nasa Ames, California in 1978. He became director of the Institute of Physics UNAM in 1983. Later, he was the scientific director of CONACYT and the Nuclear Institute of Mexico. In 2000, he was appointed a distinguished professor at the University of Texas at Austin, and in 2008, to UTSA as Lutcher Brown Endowed Chair.

The physicist has published more than 550 papers in scientific journals and eight books. He has also been granted five patents, directed more than 50 Ph.D. theses and mentored about 150 postdocs.

Among his scientific achievements are developing the first method to determine the shape of nanoparticles using weak diffracted beams. This technique has been used to characterize particle catalysts. He was also the first to show that nanoparticles can be described in terms of a crystal structure different from the bulk and found the first catalytic method to produce carbon nanotubes using nanoparticles. This method became the standard method to produce carbon nanotubes. 

The American Physical Society is a nonprofit membership organization working to advance and diffuse the knowledge of physics through its outstanding research journals, scientific meetings and education, outreach, advocacy and international activities. APS represents over 55,000 members, including physicists in academia, national laboratories and industry in the United States and throughout the world.

Learn more about Miguel José Yacamán.

Learn more about the UTSA Department of Physics and Astronomy.

Learn more about the American Physical Society.

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