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National Keynote Speaker

Nadya Mason – professor of physics

Nadya Mason, University of Illinois, Urbana Champaign

NADYA MASON is the Rosalyn S. Yalow Professor of Physics at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, where she specializes in experimental studies of materials. She received her B.S. from Harvard University and her PhD from Stanford University, both in physics. Dr. Mason’s research focuses on the electronic properties of small-scale materials, such as nano-scale wires and atomically thin membranes. Her research is relevant to applications involving nano-scale and quantum computing elements. She currently serves as founding Director of the Illinois Materials Research Science and Engineering Center (I-MRSEC), a $16.1 million multidisciplinary research and education center funded by the National Science Foundation, and was recently named Director of the Illinois Beckman Institute. In addition to maintaining a rigorous research program and teaching, Dr. Mason works to increase diversity in the physical sciences, particularly through mentoring, and is former chair of the American Physical Society (APS) Committee on Minorities. Dr. Mason can also be seen promoting science on local TV, at the Chicago Museum of Science and Industry, and in a TED talk on “Scientific Curiosity.” Dr. Mason has been recognized for her work with numerous awards, including the 2009 Denise Denton Emerging Leader Award, the 2012 APS Maria Goeppert Mayer Award, and the 2019 APS Bouchet Award. In 2021 she was elected to both the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the National Academy of Sciences.

TCU Keynote Speaker

Official portrait of Colonel Diana Loucks for the Research Grant Award announcement taken on the roof of Bartlett Hall, West Point, New York on April 5, 2022. (U.S. Army Photo by John Pellino/USMA)

Colonel Diana Loucks, United States Military Academy at West Point

COLONEL DIANA LOUCKS serves as the Director of Advanced Physics in the Department of Physics and Nuclear Engineering at the United States Military Academy at West Point. She attended Texas Christian University as a four-year Army Reserved Officer Training Corps recipient. She graduated and commissioned in December 1996 with a Bachelor of Science in Mathematics. COL Loucks’ Army career spans over 25 years, seven duty stations, four continents, two graduate degrees, and three specialties: Army Signal Corps, Army FA40 Space Operations, and now a West Point Academy Professor – the first woman to hold this position in her department.

Colonel Loucks earned both a masters and a PhD in Aerospace Engineering Sciences from the University of Colorado, Boulder Colorado, and was recently named the first West Point recipient of the National Science Foundation Faculty Early Career Development Program for her research focused on the physical mechanisms & operational effects of ionospheric interference on unencrypted navigation solution parameters.

Amy Sue Bix, Iowa State University

AMY SUE BIX is Professor of History at Iowa State University. Her 2013 book ‘Girls Coming to Tech!’: A History of American Engineering Education for Women (MIT Press) has won three major awards, including the 2015 Margaret Rossiter Prize from the History of Science Society. Bix has written widely on many topics in the history of science, technology, and medicine, including her book Inventing Ourselves Out of Jobs?: America’s Debate over Technological Unemployment, 1929-1981. Her book in progress is Recruiting Engineer Jane and Astrophysicist Amy: American STEM Advocacy for Girls, 1965-2015. 

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