University of Houston Physics Lecturer Receives Scholarship from American Physical Society

News PhotoDr. Rebecca Forrest, a lecturer/visiting assistant professor at the University of Houston, has recently been named by the American Physical Society (APS) as the winner of the first M. Hildred Blewett Scholarship for Women in Physics. The APS Committee on the Status of Women in Physics selected Forrest from a field of women applicants seeking to return to research.

The scholarship, designed to assist women who have interrupted their research careers due to family demands, consists of a one-year award of up to $45,000, which can be used toward dependent care, salary, travel, equipment, and tuition and fees.
Forrest earned her PhD in condensed matter physics from UH in 1998. She was a postdoctoral researcher from 1998 to 2000 in the Materials Science and Engineering Department at UCLA, when her husband’s new job took him to NASA’s Johnson Space Center. The move and the demands of caring for her two young children have kept Forrest out of the research lab, and she instead has worked as a physics lecturer at UH for the past five years.
Forrest will use the scholarship funds while collaborating with the Naval Research Laboratory in an investigation of the influence of lateral composition modulation on the performance of antimonide-based mid-infrared lasers.

The Blewett scholarship is made possible by a bequest from M. Hildred Blewett, a particle accelerator physicist who died in 2004. Blewett was passionate about physics and recognized that women often face particular challenges balancing family life and careers, and that they must overcome many obstacles when resuming research.