The Peter R. Antoniewicz Endowed Presidential Fellowship in Condensed Matter Physics was established by the Board of Regents of The University of Texas System in 2016 to benefit the College of Natural Sciences
. Gift funds were provided by Susan S. Antoniewicz to honor her husband Pete Antoniewicz, a professor of physics at The University of Texas at Austin for more than 40 years. Pete died in 2015.
The Antoniewiczes were married in 1961, while Pete was pursuing his Ph.D. in condensed matter physics. Although he was a prolific researcher and writer during graduate school at Purdue, producing a number of papers with his supervisor, Susan remembers the hardships they encountered while starting a family on a graduate student’s income. Susan hopes that in establishing this fellowship, future graduate students can pursue excellence in physics research without facing the same struggles she and Pete endured at the start of his career.
In 1969, Pete was awarded a Fulbright Fellowship to spend a year working with Professor Roberto Lobo at the University of São Paulo in São Carlos, Brazil. This resulted in a paper published in the Physical Review of Letters in 1970, “Energy Spectrum of a Dilute Hard-Sphere Bose Gas.” Thanks to the fellowship, Pete was able to bring Susan and his two children with him to Brazil while pursuing his research. Within the next decade, Pete would both welcome another child to the family as well as publish a solo-authored paper in Physical Review B, “A Model for Electron- and Photon-Stimulated Desorption,” which has been cited more than 400 times and as recently as 2016.
The Peter R. Antoniewicz Endowed Presidential Fellowship in Condensed Matter Physics supports graduate students working in the field of condensed matter physics, with preference given to graduate students who are married.
For more on Pete Antoniewicz’s life and career, including his experiences as a child refugee in World War II and his many contributions to condensed matter physics and The University of Texas at Austin, please see his biography at the History of the University of Texas Physics Department website
, by friend and colleague Mel Oakes, emeritus professor of physics.