University graduate student wins award at international conference

Physics graduate student ties for first place in poster competition at 23rd conference

8/6/2014 | By: Annie Conway  |

A University of Nevada, Reno physics graduate student tied for first in the Atomic and Molecular and Optical Physics poster award competition. The competition was held in San Antonio, Texas at the 23rd biannual Conference of the Application of Accelerators in Research and Industry.

Kiattichart (KC) Chartkunchand is a graduate student in the Physics Department in the College of Science. He, along with students, scientists, engineers and professors from around the world attended the conference to learn more about the international use of particle accelerators in research and industrial applications. The conference included a poster completion with six categories for undergraduates and graduate students where the students were asked questions about their research by judges.

"We are very pleased that KC's work was recognized at a national meeting," Paul Neill, physics professor and department chair, said. "Good communication is an essential tool for today's scientists. He won this award, not only for the quality of the science he presented, but also for his excellent communication skills."  

Chartkunchand's research examines negative ions by using lasers to probe their structure. He is a graduate research assistant at the University's Nevada Terawatt Facility and works under the guidance of Assistant Research Physics Professor Aaron Covington. The conference gave Chartkunchand the opportunity to display his research, network with scientists and learn about new research being done in the field.

"The conference allowed me to gain more exposure to other people's findings, to get a different perspective on similar research as well as draw more attention to the fundamental details of our research with negative ions that are important in our field," Chartkunchand said.

Chartkunchand received his undergraduate degree at the University of Nevada, Reno in physics and will graduate with a doctoral degree in the same department in December.

"KC is, and will continue to be, a wonderful ambassador for the physics graduate program, and the University," Neill said.

For more information about the conference, visit, and for more information about the University's physics program, visit


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