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Michael Lisa

Distinguished Scholar Award, 2020

Michael Lisa, professor in the Department of Physics, has received the Distinguished Scholar Award, which honors six Ohio State faculty members who demonstrate scholarly activity, research or other creative works representing exceptional achievements in their respective fields.

Lisa is an internationally renowned experimental scientist whose research focuses on the creation and characterization of quark-gluon plasma, an exotic form of matter that exists only at astronomically high temperatures and densities, in collisions between atomic nuclei at ultra-high energies.

"Mike is one of the top two to three experimentalists worldwide working in the field of high-energy nuclear collisions,” wrote one of Lisa’s nominators. “His deep understanding of all physics, whether it’s the study of the smallest flecks of matter or the physics of the shot put, is truly spectacular — as are his lectures on either topic. He is a true Ohio State treasure.”

“Dr. Lisa didn’t have to recruit me — I recruited myself solely to work with him,” wrote one of Lisa’s former students. “He has this electrifying desire to work on the problem until he fully understands it. His ethics in performing research was very important in shaping me as a scientist.”

Recipients of the award receive a $20,000 research grant and a $3,000 honorarium to pursue their scholarly activity.

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