News and Events


Society of Physics Students
Duquesne Chapter of the Society of Physics Students receives the 2019-20 Distinguished Chapter Award

The Duquesne Chapter of the Society of Physics Students has been recognized with the 2019 - 2020 Distinguished Chapter Award. This Award acknowledges the impact of our Chapter during the period of 2019 - 2020 under the leadership of the 2019 - 2020 officers Connor Pecar (President), Matthew Knauss (Vice president), Emily Matthews (Secretary) and Louise Ferris (Treasurer).

This is the third time our Chapter has received this recognition, which is the second highest. We have also been awarded the third category (Notable Chapter) twice:

  • 2019 - 2020 Distinguished Chapter Award, under SPS president Connor Pecar
  • 2018 - 2019 Distinguished Chapter Award, under SPS president Connor Pecar
  • 2015 - 2016 Notable Chapter Award, under SPS President Ben Torisky
  • 2014 - 2015 Distinguished Chapter Award, under SPS President Courtney Au-Yeung
  • 2013 - 2014 Notable Chapter Award, under SPS President Julia Limongelli
Dr. Fatiha Benmokhtar
July 2020: Associate physics professor Dr. Fatiha Benmokhtar receives NSF grant.

Dr. Fatiha Benmokhtar has received a grant from the National Science Foundation in the amount of $209,997 for project titled "Parton Distributions in the Nucleus". The grant will support the participation of several undergraduate students in the project.

Madelyn Hoying Bluff Stories 2019
Senior physics major Madelyn Hoying featured in the "Pittsburgh Magazine".

Read the post here: The Sky is the Limit

Physics Department JLab summer interns
Five DUQ Physics Majors Interning at JLAB Summer 2020

Five physics majors are headed for Jefferson Lab with SULI internships this summer! Here are the project titles:

Asia Parker: Simulations for the future Electron Ion Collider

Alyssa Gadsby: Characterization of Multi-Anode Photo-Multipliers for the second CLAS12 RICH detector

Nick Trotta: Design of a positron source at Jefferson lab.

Michael Veltre: Studies of multiplicities and fragmentation functions for CLAS12 SIDIS experiments.

Josh Goodwill: Analysis of Heavy Photon Search (HPS) experiment.

Louise Ferris SULI intern at Los Alamos National Lab
Duquesne Pysics Major Interning at LANL Summer 2020

Junior Louise Ferris has accepted an offer of a Science Undergraduate Laboratory Internsip (SULI) at Los Alamos National Laboratory for Summer 2020. She is the first Duquesne physics major to be accepted as a SULI intern at Los Alamos National Laboratory. To learn more about SULI internships visit:

Robert Behary INFN Italy Summer 2019
Physics major Robert Behary gets published based on work in Italy, Summer 2019

New paper with @DuqPhysics undergraduate coauthors (*) accepted for publication in Nuclear Instruments and Methods in Physics Research Section A: Accelerators, Spectrometers, Detectors and Associated Equipment:

A.Acker, D.Attié, S.Aune, J.Ball, P.Baron, M.Bashkanov, M.Battaglieri,
R.Behary(*), F.Benmokhtar, A.Bersani, Q.Bertrand, D.Besin, T.Bey, P.Black, P.Bonneau, F.Bossù, R.Boudouin, M.Boyer...L.Zana

"The CLAS12 Forward Tagger"

Abigail Ferris with Gabriela Gonzalez Spokesperson for LIGO Scientific Collaboration
Physics major takes selfie with famous LIGO scientist... in Spain!
Sophomore (Abigail) Louise Ferris is doing a study abroad in Spain this summer and was lucky to catch a conference in gravitational waves... in Spanish! Ondas gravitationales, as we say in Spain. Best of two worlds! Here she is in a selfie with Gabriela Gonzalez, spokesperson for the LIGO Scientific Collaboration and TED speaker. Looking good, Louise! Have fun in Spain!
DU Experimental Nuclear Physics Group
Duquesne joins particle physics collaboration as a member institution
Duquesne is now a member institution of the CLAS collaboration at Jefferson Lab, in recognition of its contributions to the experiments using the CLAS12 spectrometer in Hall B. Assistant Professor Fatiha Benmokhtar presented the membership application at last week's collaboration meeting, highlighting student contributions of the last five years: Andrew Witchger (BS 2014), Andrew Lendacky (BA 2017), Josh and Justin Goodwill (BA 2018), Morgen Benninghoff, Elise Aaron, Collin McCauley, Nick and Rich Trotta (BS 2016), Connor Pecar and Robert Behary. Congratulations to the members of our experimental nuclear physics group, past and present!
Madeline Galbraith

Physics major wins prestigious NSF graduate fellowship
Senior Madeline Galbraith is one of this years' awardees of the Graduate Research Fellowship Program of the National Science Foundation. Fellows receive a three year stipend while they work towards the completion of their PhD. The GRFP this year had an acceptance rate of less than 17%.
National Science Foundation Awardee List

Madeline is the second student from the Duquesne undergraduate physics program to win this prestigious graduate award, after Courtney Au-Yeung (BS 2015) who received it in 2017 while attending the PhD program in materials research at Lehigh University.

After graduating this May, Madeline plans to attend the PhD program in the department of physics and astronomy at Rice University.

Read also: Duquesne University professor inspired Goldwater scholar to excel