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Virginia Tech News / Articles / 2015 / 10 

American Physical Society honors College of Science’s Michel Pleimling with Fellowship

October 19, 2015

Michel Pleimling
Michel Pleimling

The American Physical Society has elected Michel Pleimling, a professor with the Department of Physics and director of the Academy of Integrated Science, both in the Virginia Tech College of Science, as a Fellow.

The honor comes from the society’s Council of Representatives on the recommendation of its Statistical Nonlinear Physics topical group. Fellowships, according to the society, are limited to no more than one half of 1 percent of all members. Pleimling’s honorarium will read, “For seminal and sustained contributions to computational statistical physics, specifically his investigations of complex systems far from thermal equilibrium, and in-depth understanding of non-equilibrium relaxation and physical aging phenomena.”

A Luxembourg native, Pleimling joined the Virginia Tech faculty in 2006. As academy director, he leads the development and integration of science-based, interdisciplinary degree programs, with responsibility for fostering and enhancing research opportunities and for strengthening the college’s inter-departmental collaboration in discovery, learning, and engagement.

He also heads the academy’s Integrated Science Curriculum. Prior to Virginia Tech, Pleimling was on faculty with University of Erlangen’s Department of Physics. He earned his Ph.D. from the University Saarland (Germany) and worked as a postdoctoral research associate at the University of Aachen in Germany and the University of Nancy in France.

“Michel has been a leading educator and researcher of physics for the past 10 years, and as director of our new Academy of Integrated Science, which takes an innovative, interdisciplinary approach to solving the world’s challenges through biology, chemistry, math, statistics, and physics, he is making our college a national leader in the field of Virginia Tech’s mantra of inventing the future,” said Lay Nam Chang, dean of the College of Science.

He has published more than 110 papers covering statistical physics and condensed matter physics, edited two books, and authored a study on physical aging. He serves as vice-chairman for the Southeastern section of the American Physical Society and is a vice-chairman for the Marie Sklodowska-Curie Fellowships of the European Union’s physics panel. Pleimling has received research funding from the National Science Foundation, the U.S. Department of Energy, and the U.S. Army Research Laboratory.

According to its website, the American Physical Society is a nonprofit membership organization working to advance and diffuse the knowledge of physics through its outstanding research journals, scientific meetings, and education, outreach, advocacy, and international activities. It boasts more than 51,000 members, including physicists in academia, national laboratories, and industry throughout the world.