Performance and promise earn graduate student a year of unrestricted funding

Written by
Scott Lyon
April 22, 2019

The Graduate School has awarded an honorific fellowship to Edwin Yoonjang Chung for the 2019-20 academic year. Four such honorific fellowships were awarded across the University.

Chung received the Wallace Memorial Fellowship in Engineering, which funds one year of graduate work and does not stipulate project outcomes. It presents a rare opportunity to carry out research with no external mandates.

"I get to pursue research the way I want to do it," said Chung, who will enter his fifth year as a graduate student in electrical engineering. "It gives me an extra degree of academic freedom, with no strings attached." He stressed how the funding will allow him to collaborate more closely with colleagues in his two labs, where he combines fundamental approaches to electron-electron interactions with a practical approach to materials science.

Chung's research seeks to make extremely high-quality samples for the observation of exotic quantum-mechanical effects. In particular, he works with aluminum arsenide, an important material in the control of delicate quantum states that could open new pathways to future devices. His thesis is co-advised by Mansour Shayegan, professor of electrical engineering, and Loren Pfeiffer, a senior research scholar.

Honorific fellowships recognize the performance and professional promise of graduate students in their later years of a Ph.D. program, according to documents sent out by the graduate school. Fellows refrain from teaching during their award period in order to focus solely on their dissertation research.