Laurent Bellaiche, Ph.D., who now serves as a Distinguished Professor of physics at the University of Arkansas, has followed a stellar career path since he was a Ralph E. Powe Junior Faculty Enhancement Award winner in 1999. This competitive research award is granted to full-time assistant professors at ORAU member institutions.
Using the funds received from the Powe Award, Bellaiche conducted research on electronic and optical properties of alloys made of semiconductors. The award funding facilitated the investigation of the effect of alloying in varying and optimizing physical properties.
“I am indebted to ORAU for advancing and supporting my career because this research was the foundation for the line of research I have pursued ever since, in various classes of materials,” said Bellaiche.
The Powe Award was only one milestone in his distinguished career. More recently, Bellaiche received the 2019 SEC Faculty Award, an award honoring a faculty member for extraordinary teaching and internationally recognized scholarship.
“Dr. Bellaiche conducts research at the cutting edge of physics, and he takes a truly international approach to his work, collaborating with teams from around the world and mentoring students from across the globe,” said University of Arkansas Chancellor Joseph Steinmetz. “His dedication to building a better world through research, teaching and scholarship makes him truly worthy of this recognition.”
Bellaiche, who holds a doctorate from the University of Paris, uses modern computational and simulation methods to study ferroelectrics, semiconductors, magnetic compounds and two-dimensional systems. His research contributes to the fundamental understanding needed for progress in applied fields such as semiconductor technology, piezoelectric devices and material science.
For his research, Bellaiche has secured nearly $45 million in grants and awards from a dozen agencies, including the National Science Foundation, the U.S. Department of Energy, the U.S. Department of Defense, and NATO. He has published about 300 articles in leading journals and delivered more than 200 invited presentations across the globe.
In addition to his professorship at the University of Arkansas, Bellaiche also serves as a visiting faculty professor at Ecole Centrale in Paris, France, Xi’an Jiaotong University in China and the Luxembourg Institute of Science and Technology.
He is a fellow of the American Physical Society and of the Arkansas Research Alliance. He received the Faculty Early Career Development Award from the National Science Foundation in 2000.