Rutgers University Department of Physics and Astronomy

Mohan S. Kalelkar Award

The Mohan S. Kalelkar Award is given annually to one or more Rutgers women physics majors who, in the judgment of the physics faculty, have demonstrated outstanding academic excellence. The award winners are announced at the Departmental Awards Banquet in April, sponsored by the Rutgers Society of Physics Students .

A photograph of Prof. Kalelkar is shown above. Click on the picture to see a larger image.

Mohan S. Kalelkar (1948-)

Mohan S. Kalelkar was born on April 24, 1948 in Bombay (now Mumbai), India. He came to the U.S. at the age of 12, and attended Bethesda-Chevy Chase High School in Bethesda, MD, graduating in 1964. He got his Bachelor's Degree at Harvard College in 1968. While at Harvard he joined Prof. Karl Strauch's group and worked on bubble chamber experiments.

Prof. Kalelkar went to graduate school at Columbia University, getting his PhD in 1974, with Prof. Charles Baltay as his thesis advisor. He first worked on an experiment using 1.75 GeV/c negative kaons interacting with protons in the Brookhaven 31-inch bubble chamber filled with liquid hydrogen. Notable results included then-best measurements of various properties of the negative and neutral xi (cascade) hyperons, such as weak decay parameters, mean lifetimes, and rare decay modes.

For his PhD thesis Prof. Kalelkar worked on an experiment using 15 GeV/c positive pions interacting with protons in the 82-inch Stanford Linear Accelerator Center (SLAC) bubble chamber filled with liquid hydrogen. Many results were published from this experiment, with Prof. Kalelkar's own PhD thesis being a comprehensive study of meson resonance production. After getting his PhD, Prof. Kalelkar remained at Columbia for four years as a Postdoctoral Research Associate.

In 1978 Prof. Kalelkar came to Rutgers as an Assistant Professor, and was subsequently promoted to Associate Professor and then Full Professor. He joined Prof. Richard Plano's group and worked for many years on a series of experiments studying neutrino interactions in the Fermilab 15-foot bubble chamber filled with a heavy liquid neon-hydrogen mixture. Many papers were published, with Prof. Kalelkar taking a particular interest in the physics of strange particle production. He also worked on a 147 GeV/c hadron-proton experiment and a 200 GeV/c hadron-nucleus experiment, both using the Fermilab 30-inch bubble chamber and hybrid spectrometer.

In 1989 Prof. Kalelkar began a dozen years of work on the SLD experiment at SLAC, studying electron-positron colliding beam interactions at the mass of the neutral Z boson, using a polarized electron beam. Numerous papers were published, including the best measurement of the weak mixing angle. Prof. Kalelkar was in overall charge ("czar") of the entire Monte Carlo effort for SLD.

Two of Prof. Kalelkar's graduate students who obtained PhD degrees were women. Prof. Kalelkar served on innumerable committees at Rutgers, including the University Senate for many years. He also served for several years as a Panelist for the U.S. Department of Education's Minority Science and Engineering Improvement Project.

In 2006 Prof. Kalelkar won the Warren I. Susman Award for Excellence in Teaching, which is Rutgers' highest teaching award. He had earlier won the Faculty of Arts and Sciences Award for Distinguished Contributions to Undergraduate Education, and the Outstanding Teacher Award of the Rutgers Society of Physics Students. He served as Graduate Program Director from 1985 to 1989, and Undergraduate Program Director from 1998 until his retirement in 2013. He established this award in his name as a retirement gift to Rutgers.

Winners of the Mohan S. Kalelkar Award

2013Christina KrawiecMargaret Zientek  
2014Julia Gonski   
2015Alexandra DeMaio   
2016Jaclyn Bradli   
2017Jennifer Coulter   

Photographs from Awards Banquets

Click on any picture to see a larger image.

Award winners Christina Krawiec (left) and Margaret Zientek (right). The prize was presented at the Departmental Awards Banquet on April 23, 2013.
Award winner Julia Gonski. The prize was presented at the Departmental Awards Banquet on April 22, 2014.
Award winner Alexandra Demaio. The prize was presented at the Departmental Awards Banquet on April 21, 2015.
Award winner Jaclyn Bradli. The prize was presented at the Departmental Awards Banquet on April 19, 2016.
Award winner Jennifer Coulter. The prize was presented at the Departmental Awards Banquet on April 25, 2017.

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This page is maintained by Prof. Mohan Kalelkar.