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Professor Zenghu Chang receives Pegasus Professor award

Pegasus ProfessorsThe Pegasus Professor Award is the most prestigious honor the university gives to a faculty member. The award, which was first given out in 2000, recognizes sustained excellence in teaching, research and service.

From UCF TodayZenghu Chang is a professor of physics, optics and photonics who has held a joint faculty appointment at UCF’s College of Optics & Photonics and the Department of Physics since 2010. He is the founder and director of the Institute for the Frontier of Attosecond Science and Technology (iFAST). Chang’s work with power lasers and attosecond pulses have made significant national and international contributions in the field.

The dean of the College of Sciences, Michael D. Johnson, summarized the importance of Chang’s work on attosecond pulses, including his demonstration of the shortest laser pulse ever produced, at 67 attoseconds: “Why does this matter? It allows us to examine aspects of nature that have never been viewable before. As van Leeuwenhoek’s microscope revealed a then unknown world – bacteria, blood cells, and an extraordinary variety of life – so attosecond lasers let us observe something never before seen: The motion of electrons on the atomic scale. This opens the door to an entirely new ability to understand and control chemical reactions and biological systems, and will lead to a new technology of chemical, biological, and materials design.”

According to College of Optics & Photonics Dean Bahaa Saleh, Chang successfully secured $12.3 million in external funding since 2010 and mentored hundreds of students.

“By developing and teaching five new courses in physics and optics and photonics, with excellent student evaluations, and by effectively mentoring a large pool of postdocs and graduate students – some now employed at prestigious places – Dr. Chang has demonstrated excellence in education,” he wrote.

Johnson, of the College of Sciences, wrote that “Dr. Chang’s presence at UCF has allowed us to build a strong faculty cluster in attosecond research in the Physics Department and the College of Optics & Photonics – exceptional young scientists attracted to UCF because of Dr. Chang’s stature and his desire to help them succeed.”

Posted Wednesday, April 6, 2016

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