APS CUWiP Speakers

Professor Patricia Burchat, Stanford University
APS CUWiP Keynote Speaker

Patricia Burchat Patricia Burchat is the Gabilan Professor in the Physics Department at Stanford University. Her research focuses on studies of the Universe at both the smallest and the largest scales, to probe two questions: What is the Universe made of?  What are the laws of physics that govern the constituents of the Universe? She has held a number of leadership positions in experiments at accelerators that probe the elementary particles and the fundamental interactions.  She is now part of a large international team of scientists preparing for analysis of data from the Large Synoptic Survey Telescope, which will provide the most extensive census of the Universe to date. She and her collaborators will use these data to investigate the nature of dark matter and dark energy, and the cosmological evolution of the Universe.

Patricia Burchat is a “first-gen” high school graduate. She received her Bachelors degree in Engineering Science at University of Toronto in 1981, and her PhD in Physics from Stanford in 1986. She was a postdoc and faculty member at UC Santa Cruz before returning to Stanford as a faculty member in 1995. At Stanford, she has served as Chair of the Physics Department and has been very active in introducing research-based pedagogy in the teaching of physics. She has received the Dean’s Award for Distinguished Teaching and the Walter J. Gores Award for excellence in teaching, and was elected as Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and the American Physical Society. Patricia Burchat has played a leading role in the growth of the APS Conferences for Undergraduate Women in Physics.
Professor Christine Jones, Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics
GW CUWiP After Dinner Speaker 
Christine Jones
Christine Jones grew up near Dayton, Ohio. Her mother was a high-school math teacher, her father a PhD chemist. Her 9th-grade math teacher recommended Christine for the Ross summer math program at Ohio State University, where she learned number theory and abstract algebra. Since most students in her high school did not go on to college, her school arranged for students to spend time with someone employed in the area they planned to work in after graduation. Christine was interested in space science and was placed with astronomer Ken Kissell at Wright Patterson Air Force Base. In college, Christine worked with physicist Ed Fireman analyzing lunar samples and meteorites, then analyzed X-ray observations from the Uhuru satellite. Christine is now President of the American Astronomical Society and works at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, where she analyses observations from the Chandra and XMM-Newton missions to better understand how clusters of galaxies evolve over cosmic time.
Nancy Jo Nicholas, Associate Director for Threat Identification and Response, Los Alamos National Laboratory
GW CUWiP Plenary Speaker
Nancy Jo NicholasNancy Jo Nicholas has worked in the Global Security field at the Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) since 1990. She was appointed Associate Director for Threat Identification and Response on June 23, 2014. The Directorate is focused on non-proliferation and counter-proliferation R&D associated with weapons of mass destruction; space defense and systems applications, warfighter support, homeland security and intelligence analysis. She was recently elected to the position of Vice Chair of the very active American Nuclear Society (ANS) Trinity Section in New Mexico.  She is also currently serving on the National Academy of Science’s Nuclear and Radiation Studies Board and Intelligence Science and Technology Experts Group. She is a Fellow of the Institute for Nuclear Materials Management (INMM), and recently served a two-year term as president of the INMM, the premiere international professional society for nonproliferation, arms control and international safeguards. She recently served on the on the Board of Directors of WINS – the Vienna-based World Institute for Nuclear Security or WINS, the American Physical Society Panel on Public Affairs study on potential U.S.-Russian Nuclear Reductions After New START, and the Defense Science Board Task Force on the Assessment of Nuclear Treaty Monitoring and Verification Technologies. Her technical field of expertise is nondestructive assay measurements, and she earned a B.S. in Mathematics and Physics from Albright College and a Master’s degree in Experimental Nuclear Physics from George Washington University.
Kawtar Hafidi, Director of Physics, Argonne National Laboratory
GW CUWiP Plenary Speaker
Kawtar HafidiKawtar Hafidi is Argonne National Laboratory’s Director of Physics. Prior to this appointment, Hafidi was the Associate Chief Scientist for Laboratory-Directed Research and Development (LDRD). She is an experimental nuclear physicist with more than 18 years of experience in leading and conducting fundamental research at major accelerator facilities in the United States and Europe. Hafidi had been on detail assignment to the US Department of Energy, Office of Science, Office of Nuclear Physics. She was responsible for the management, oversight, and review of instrument and experiment construction projects in the United States and abroad. Hafidi is a fellow of the American Physical Society. She has received numerous awards recognizing her effective advocacy for increased diversity, both at Argonne and within the broader physics community. She is a co-author of more than 140 publications and has given more than 40 invited talks at international conferences, universities, and laboratories. Hafidi’s research focuses on the experimental study of the structure of nucleons and nuclei in terms of their basic constituents, namely quarks and gluons (also called partons) within the framework of the theory of strong interactions. Her work encompasses measurements of nuclear modification effects—three-dimensional imaging of nucleons and nuclei, the mechanisms of “vacuum” confinement, and tests of charge symmetry violations.Hafidi earned her PhD in nuclear physics from the University of Paris XI.