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Release: Immediate

UI's Yasar Onel awarded Van Allen Fellowship

IOWA CITY, Iowa -- Yasar Onel, professor of physics in the University of Iowa College of Liberal Arts, has been awarded the 1998-99 James Van Allen Natural Science Fellowship.

Onel is a member of a group of UI and Iowa State University physicists who are part of a $6 billion international project to construct the world's largest atom smasher at the CERN particle physics laboratory on the French-Swiss border by 2005. The ultimate goal of the project is to detect and study the basic building blocks of matter, says Onel, who is the U.S. coordinator for the forward calorimetry, or energy measurement, component.

The Van Allen Award, valued at about $15,000, is designed to encourage and support scholarly work in the physical, natural, and mathematical sciences. Onel says he will use his fellowship to study and design the energy measurement device, more formally called the Quartz Fiber Forward Calorimetry for the CMS Detector, for the atom smasher.

Onel received his doctorate from the University of London in 1975 . Prior to joining the UI faculty in 1987, he served as a researcher and instructor at the University of Neuchatel, Switzerland, 1975-78 and at the University of Geneva, Switzerland, 1978-86. He was a visiting associate professor at the University of Texas, Austin, 1986-87. He is the author or co-author of more than 100 articles in scientific journals, a member of the European Physical Society and the American Physical Society and has received UI Old Gold Fellowships in 1988, 1989 and 1990.

The Van Allen Fellowship is one of two UI faculty fellowships currently being awarded in alternate years, the other being the May Brodbeck Humanities Fellowship. Previous Van Allen Fellowship recipients and their academic departments are: 1996-97, Amitava Bhattacharjee, physics and astronomy; 1994-95, Edward A. Wasserman, psychology; 1992-93, Christoph Goertz, physics and astronomy (awarded posthumously); 1991-92, Florian A. Potra, mathematics; 1990-91, Oguz C. Durumeric, mathematics; 1989-90, Hyeong In Choi, mathematics, and David C. Manderscheid, mathematics; 1988-89, Daniel D. Anderson, mathematics; and 1987-88, Walter I. Seaman, mathematics.