Physical Sciences professors sweep 2019-20 Academic Senate awards for research

Friday, July 26, 2019
Fe Valencia

Left to Right: Professors Eric Rignot, Jenny Yang, Timothy Tait

Professors Eric Rignot, Tim Tait and Jenny Yang have been named recipients of the 2019 Academic Senate awards for research making the UCI School of Physical Sciences the only school on campus to win awards in the research category. These awards are conferred by the Senate on a faculty member who has made significant contributions to scholarship through sustained, distinguished research. It is among the most prestigious awards University of California faculty members can receive from their colleagues.

“I am proud of my colleagues for this well deserved honor,” says James Bullock, Dean of the UCI School of Physical Sciences. “Winning all three research awards is a testament of the research excellence taking place in all our departments. The work of Professors Rignot, Tait and Yang are fantastic examples of our School’s mission to deliver scientific breakthroughs that reshape our understanding of the physical world and provide solutions to the most profound problems our age.”

Jenny Yang, UCI Assistant Professor of Chemistry, received the Academic Senate Early-Career Faculty Award for Research. She studies the development of efficient and inexpensive metal catalysts to produce carbon-neutral fuels and feedstock chemicals using renewable energy. 


Timothy Tait, UCI Professor of Physics & Astronomy, received the Academic Senate Mid-Career Faculty Award for Research. He studies theoretical physics, elementary particles and theories of dark matter.

Eric Rignot, Chair and Donald Bren Professor of Earth System Science, received the Academic Senate Senior Faculty Award for Research. He studies the interactions of ice and climate, in particular to determine how the ice sheets in Antarctica and Greenland will respond to climate change in the coming century and how they will affect global sea level.


Recipients will be presented their awards at the 2020 Senate Faculty Awards Event in Winter Quarter 2020.

The Department of Earth System Science acknowledges our presence on the ancestral and unceded territory of the Acjachemen and Tongva peoples, who still hold strong cultural, spiritual and physical ties to this region.