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College Convocation Honors for Yuri Efremenko
and Sean Lindsay

December 13, 2018

Yuri Efremenko and Sean Lindsay were among the honorees at the annual College of Arts and Sciences Faculty Awards Ceremony on December 6. The awards recognize faculty from across the college for their teaching, research, creative activity, advising, and leadership in diversity efforts.

Yuri EfremenkoProfessor Efremenko received the Distinguished Career in Research and Creativity Activity Award for his accomplishments over the last decade, which have placed him as a worldwide leader in the important field of neutrino research. Neutrinos, elementary subatomic particles with infinitesimal mass and no electric charge, are extremely challenging to detect. Professor Efremenko was on the team proving that neutrinos have in fact a tiny mass and change ‘flavor’ as they travel through space. He recently led a team of 80 researchers that spotted these elusive particles when bouncing off atomic nuclei in a coherent fashion. This achievement fulfilled a four decade-long search, using a portable detector that weighs as little as a microwave oven. Such small neutrino detectors might someday help monitor nuclear reactors to ensure they are running according to nuclear nonproliferation regulations, or search for even-more-elusive sterile neutrinos. This work was featured on the cover of Science Magazine and selected by the public as the second most important breakthrough of 2017.

Sean LindsayLindsay, lecturer and astronomy coordinator, received a Lecturer Excellence in Teaching Award. He brings new life to the astronomy courses through his scientifically rich, technology adept, and student-focused classes.

“Sean is a real star in the classroom,” said Associate Dean for Academic Programs Chuck Collins. “As a student says – ‘best instructor I’ve had at UT. His passion for astronomy lights up the room. You can’t help but be excited with him.’ Another echoes this sentiment – ‘terrific teacher and went the extra-mile to make sure I succeeded.’”

One of the best indication of his excellence is that since his arrival, the astronomy program has seen a remarkable renaissance.

Content courtesy of the College of Arts and Sciences. See the full awards summary on the college website.

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