Rutgers names physicist to new endowed chair position


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Jacques Chakhalian was named as the first new Claud Lovelace Endowed Chair in Experimental Physics. Chakhalian is currently a professor at the University of Arizona.


Rutgers has named physicist Jacques Chakhalian as the first appointed to the new Professor Claud Lovelace Endowed Chair in Experimental Physics, according to a press release.

The announcement was made on Feb. 3 at a board meeting.

Chakhalian, a professor of physics at the University of Arkansas, is happy to do what he loves most — teaching students and learning about the miracles of nature, according to 100lives.com.

His ancestry is Armenian, and his grandmother escaped the genocide. He said he is happy to see his extended family now living safe and happy lives in many different countries, according to the website. 

Chakhalian was named the Scharlau Endowed Chair in 2010 at the University of Arkansas, according to the press release. 

He was also selected as an investigator by the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, which developed a $1.8 million grant to the University to support his research, according to Newswise.com.

He will begin working at Rutgers—New Brunswick in September 2016. He is planning to teach public service activities and maintain a high level of research over a five-year term, according to the press release.

His research focuses on artificial quantum materials with strongly correlated electrons, a field in modern condensed matter physics.

Claud Lovelace was a Rutgers professor in the Department of Physics and Astronomy and an expert in string theory, according to the press release. He died in 2012 and pledged $1.5 million toward the new faculty position, part of a larger gift of $27 million to establish 18 endowed chairs at Rutgers for “Our Rutgers, Our Future," a fundraising campaign.

Endowed chairs are a main method of fundraising for Rutgers, which supplies a permanent source of funding. It is one of the highest honors Rutgers can offer faculty members.

“We are delighted Professor Chakhalian will continue his internationally recognized career at Rutgers as holder of the Lovelace Endowed Chair, and add to the prestige of our acclaimed Department of Physics and Astronomy,” said University Chancellor Richard L. Edwards in the press release.

These positions help draw world-class scholars, strengthen academic disciplines and improve Rutgers’ reputation, he said. Faculty selected to hold chairs draw excellent faculty, top graduate students and increased funding for research.

Chakhalian's short-term goal at Rutgers is to establish an internationally competitive laboratory for artificial quantum materials and advanced spectroscopies, he said in the press release.

“I want to lead a group which provides a diverse and exciting research and educational environment for students and early stage researchers for future advanced careers in condensed matter physics and material science,” he said in the press release.

His mid-term and long-term goals are to work with colleagues to create at Rutgers a state-of-the-art, collaboration-driven hub for rationally designed quantum materials with outstanding properties, he said in the press release.

“One of the decisive factors was Rutgers’ unique combination of talented researchers spanning quantum materials synthesis, state-of-the-art experimental facilities and outstanding theory. It’s hard to think of any other university in the country where such synergy would be present.”

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Noa Halff is a School of Arts and Sciences sophomore. She is an associate news editor for The Daily Targum. Follow her on Twitter @NoaHalff for more.


Noa Halff

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