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Department of Physics

Brett DePaolaPhysics professor earns Commerce Bank Distinguished Graduate Faculty Award

MANHATTAN — Uwe Thumm, professor of physics, is one of Kansas State University's newest Commerce Bank Distinguished Graduate Faculty Award recipients.

The award honors Thumm for his outstanding scholarly achievements and contributions to graduate education at Kansas State University. He receives a $2,500 honorarium. The award is supported by the William T. Kemper Foundation and the Commerce Bancshares Foundation, and is coordinated through the Kansas State University Foundation and the university president's office.

"Continuing a 20-year tradition, Commerce Bank and the William T. Kemper Foundation are collaborating with Kansas State University to honor outstanding faculty with the Commerce Bank Distinguished Graduate Faculty Awards," said Tom Giller, community bank president of Commerce Bank, Manhattan. "We are proud to continue promoting excellent instruction at K-State and honor exceptional faculty members who excel in research as well as teaching and mentoring Kansas State University students."

Thumm will be recognized at the Graduate School commencement ceremony at 1 p.m. Friday, Dec. 12, in Bramlage Coliseum. He also will present a lecture on his research to the campus community during the 2014-2015 academic year.

Thumm, a researcher in the James R. Macdonald Laboratory, currently focuses on attosecond physics, which is the study of laser systems capable of producing ultrashort flashes of light allowing the stroboscopic mapping of electrons in motion. Attosecond time-resolved investigations target the physical underpinning of chemistry, biochemistry and the biochemical basis of life. Thumm has made contributions in different areas of theoretical atomic physics, including the theoretical and numerical modeling of the electronic structure of atoms, the light-induced fragmentation of molecules, and interactions of ions and electrons with atoms, clusters and solid surfaces. He has contributed 97 published works in refereed journals and books, 225 reports and abstracts, and 158 presentations at universities and conferences. He was elected as a fellow of the American Physical Society in 2011.

Thumm studied physics and mathematics in Germany and France, earning his master's degree and doctoral degree from the University of Freiburg in Germany. He spent two years as a postdoctoral researcher at the Joint Institute for Laboratory Astrophysics in Boulder, Colorado, before becoming a faculty member in the K-State physics department in 1992. He has spent sabbaticals at the University of Freiburg, the Max-Planck Institute for Nuclear Physics in Heidelberg, Germany, the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics and the Center for Free-Electron-Laser Research in Hamburg, Germany.

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