Woollam receives national physics prize

John Wollam
John Wollam

John Woollam, professor of electrical engineering, received the 2013 Prize for Industrial Application of Physics from the American Physical Society. The award was presented during the society's March 18-22 meeting in Baltimore.

The purpose of the prize is to recognize excellence in the industrial application of physics, publicize the value of physics in industry, encourage physics research in industry, and enhance students' awareness of and interest in the role of physics in commercial product development.

A member of the UNL faculty since 1979, Woollam was recognized for sustained contribution of spectroscopic ellipsometry, including greatly improved instrumentation and numerous new applications.

In 1987, he founded the J.A. Woollam Co. Inc., now a worldwide leader in ellipsometry, a process that use reflected polarized light to detect properties of materials and make precise measurements of films that are only an atom or two thick.

The prize includes $10,000 and a certificate citing the contribution for which the prize was awarded. It is presented in odd-numbered years, with the first prize awarded in 2009.

— Tom Simons, University Communications