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Rocco Schiavilla, professor of physics at Old Dominion University and a senior staff scientist at the Thomas Jefferson National Accelerator Facility in Newport News, is the recipient of the university's 22nd annual Faculty Research Achievement Award.

The award plaque and $1,000 check were presented to him at the awards ceremony of Research Expo 2006 on Wednesday, April 5, at the Ted Constant Convocation Center.

A nuclear theorist who studied and did research in Italy and France before joining the ODU faculty in 1993, Schiavilla received the rank of professor in 2002.
He has published more than 100 articles in refereed journals and conference proceedings. These publications have been cited more than 2,300 times, reflecting his groundbreaking contributions to nuclear physics, said Gail Dodge, chair of the physics department and an associate professor. "He has a very strong international reputation as one of the leading nuclear theorists of our time," she said.

Also announced at Research Expo 2006 were researchers of the year for the two other sponsoring institutions. The Norfolk State University winner was Sam-Shajing Sun, professor of chemistry and director of the Center for Materials Research. The Eastern Virginia Medical School winner was O. John Semmes, professor of chemistry and director of the Center for Research and Education in Advanced Materials.

Schiavilla's theoretical insights have inspired experiments at the Jefferson Lab that provided science with a new understanding of the nucleus of the atom. His model of the interactions between two nucleons is now referred to as the "standard nuclear model."

From 2002 through 2005 he co-authored 18 refereed papers, edited one refereed conference proceedings, gave 12 invited talks (six of them outside the United States) and presented 11 seminars and colloquia. Schiavilla was elected as a Fellow of the American Physical Society in 2002 "for advancing the theory of nuclei as systems of nucleons bound together by two- and three-body forces, and particularly for studies of their electroweak interaction."

Dodge, who is a nuclear experimentalist affiliated with the Jefferson Lab, said Schiavilla's contributions are not limited to research and scholarship. "We have seen the same high quality and integrity in his teaching and service work."

A native of Italy, Schiavilla studied at Universita' di Pisa before coming to the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign for his doctorate.

Last year's ODU faculty research award winner was Chester E. Grosch, the Samuel L. and Fay M. Slover Professor of Oceanography and eminent professor of oceanography and computer science.

This article was posted on: April 5, 2006

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