August 3, 2021

81st Physical Electronics Conference

2021 - Virtual

at your couch, office, or kitchen table

A half-day event featuring the renowned

Nottingham Prize Competition

Speakers - click here for more details

Competition - watch videos here

Keynote 1: Science Star Carol Hirschmugl

Department of Physics, UW - Milwaukee

CEO, COnovate

"Introducing Solid Carbon Monoxide: A 2D Material with Unique Physical and Electronic Properties and A Path to Commercialization"

Keynote 2: Science Comedian

Kyle Marian Viterbo

Engagement producer at Science Friday.

Nottingham Prize Competition and People's Choice Awards

Video productions from finalists followed by live Q&A

Screenshot during a Science Communication workshop the contestants attended to aid in preparing their videos - Thanks to Nancee Moes (Alan Alda Center for Communicating Science)

Participants - you can receive a commemorative PEC2021 NFT if you have registered - which you can use to participate in a raffle

Important Dates

Registration Deadline (Free)

July 20

Final Video Submission (for Nottingham Prize Contestants)

July 20

Conference Schedule - August 3, 2021, starting 11 AM; all times are Eastern US.


11-11:10 AM - Welcome

11:10-11:55 - Carol Hirschmugl - Introducing Solid Carbon Monoxide: A 2D Material with Unique Physical and Electronic Properties and A Path to Commercialization

12:00-12:45 PM - Kyle Marian Viterbo - Using Comedy in Science Communication

12:45-12:55 - Short Break

12:55-1:00 - Nottingham Prize Intro

1:00-1:20 PM - First Nottingham Finalist

1:20-1:40 - Second Nottingham Finalist

1:40-2:00 - Third Nottingham Finalist

2:00-2:20 - Fourth Nottingham Finalist

2:20 -2:50 - Social Hour in Gather Town

2:50 - 3:00 - Awards (Nottingham and People's choice) and Announce Next Conference

3:00 - until the candles burn out - Happy Hour in Gather Town (BYOB) - includes raffle at 3:30 PM for PEC2021 NFT holders.

Preview below! and full talk here

Thanks to our sponsors below!

The Physical Electronics Conference provides a yearly forum for the dissemination and discussion of novel and fundamental theoretical and experimental research in the physics, chemistry, biology, and engineering of surfaces and interfaces. The conference draws from cutting edge research in material science; topics include structural, electronic, chemical, magnetic, or topological properties of surfaces and interfaces and thin films; electron correlation or processes of energy, electron, ion, and molecular transfer at surfaces and interfaces; energetics, kinetics, and dynamics of physical, chemical, and biological transformations; interactions of organic or biological materials; mechanisms of film growth, effects of reduced dimensionality, confinement or patterning. Presentations of Ph.D. thesis research, made by student contestants for the prestigious Nottingham prize ($1,500), are highlighted.

This year, like so much of 2020, will be different. We are holding the event as a virtual event with a strong focus on the Nottingham Prize Competition. Selected contestants are asked to submit a 10-minute video. It is expected that contestants will compete and collaborate during the production process. Ranking will be based on scientific merit, presentation, and engagement.

The prestigious Nottingham Prize was established from contributions given in memory of Professor Wayne B. Nottingham of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology by his many friends and associates.

Some of the most promising emerging surface scientists will showcase their work in the form of 10-minute video productions, with the hope to join the select club of Nottingham Prize winners, and get a few bucks as well.

About the Nottingham Prize

The Nottingham Prize was originally established in 1966 from contributions given in memory of Professor Wayne B. Nottingham of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology by his many friends and associates. The prize, currently consisting of a certificate and $1,500, is awarded to the best student paper. This prize represents a seminal honor since many Nottingham winners have gone on to become leaders in the field of surface science. In addition, you and your advisor’s names will be added to the Nottingham Wikipedia website.

A student paper is defined as a paper based on a Ph.D. thesis whose date of submission is no earlier than one year before the meeting at which the Prize is given. That includes students who have not yet completed, their Ph.D. thesis work or have completed their Ph.D. as long as the thesis was submitted less than one year ago. In either case, your talk must be on your Ph.D. thesis work, not on work undertaken subsequently.

All Nottingham contestants must complete and submit the following materials:

1. The PEC registration will open on April 15. Registration deadline for Nottingham contestants May 28, 2021.

2. A Nottingham Prize competition package submitted as a single PDF file, including:

(i) A cover letter indicating your interest in the Nottingham Prize competition. Include in the letter expected thesis submission and graduation dates.

(ii) A brief vita.

(iii) An extended abstract of approximately 1,500 words for the merit review (download template).

The package should be sent as an email attachment to or . The subject line of the email should start with “PEC2021 Nottingham Your Name.”

We will accept abstracts until May 28, 2021. Although the competition will be judged largely on the video presentation, the Nottingham Prize competition package is needed to provide additional information to the judges to select the finalists. Submission of a thesis or of a manuscript to be published is not acceptable. The committee may limit the number of competitors based on the package.

This is a taste of last year's event:

A fun day sharing your love for surface science

PEC2021 Team

General Organizers

Kristen Burson - Hamilton College

J. Anibal Boscoboinik - Brookhaven National Lab

Local Organizing Committee

Jyoti Katoch - Carnegie Mellon University

Shruti Sharma - Stony Brook University

Adrian Lewandowski - Harvard University

Dan Dougherty - North Caroline State University

Ashley Head - Brookhaven National Laboratory

Mounika Vutukuru - Boston University (2020 Nottingham Prize Winner!)

Video Support Specialist

Forrest Warner

Executive Committee

Seth King (Chair), University of Wisconsin-La Crosse, WI

Karsten Pohl (Treasurer) University of New Hampshire, Durham, NH

Carl A. Ventrice (co-Treasurer), CNSE University of Albany, SUNY, NY

Daniel Dougherty, North Carolina State University, NC

Paul Thibado, University of Arkansas, Fayetteville, AR

William Kaden, University of Central Florida, Orlando, FL

Kristen Burson, Hamilton College, Clinton, NY

Anibal Boscoboinik, Brookhaven National Laboratory, Upton, NY

Alpha T. N'Diaye, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, Berkeley, CA

Talat Rahman, University of Central Florida, Orlando, FL

Dan Killelea, Loyola University Chicago

Alexander Sinitskii, University of Nebraska-Lincoln

This event will be virtual, and we will make you feel at home

Let us know if you'll be attending!

Prior Physical Electronics Conferences

  • PEC 2020 - Lawrence Berkeley National Lab

  • PEC 2019 - University of Central Florida

  • PEC 2018 - University of New Hampshire

  • PEC 2017 - Portland State University

  • PEC 2016 - University of Arkansas

  • PEC 2015 - Rutgers University – New Brunswick

  • PEC 2014 - University of Wisconsin – La Crosse

  • PEC 2013 - North Carolina State University

  • PEC 2012 - University of Texas

  • PEC 2011 - University at Albany

  • PEC 2010 - University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee

  • PEC 2009 - Rutgers University – New Brunswick

  • PEC 2008 - University of California – Riverside

  • PEC 2007 - University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

  • PEC 2006 - Princeton University

  • PEC 2005 - University of Wisconsin – Madison

  • PEC 2004 - University of California – Davis

  • PEC 2003 - Cornell University

  • PEC 2002 - Georgia Institute of Technology

  • PEC 2001 - Sandia National Laboratories

  • PEC 2000 - Louisiana State University

  • PEC 1999 - University of California – Berkeley

  • PEC 1998 - Pennsylvania State University

  • PEC 1997 - University of Oregon

  • PEC 1996 - Boston University

  • PEC 1995 - Arizona State University

  • PEC 1994 - University of Tennessee

  • PEC 1993 - Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute

  • PEC 1992 - University of California – Irvine

  • PEC 1991 - Rutgers University – Piscataway

  • PEC 1990 - Rutgers University – Piscataway

  • PEC 1989 - National Institute of Standards

  • PEC 1988 - Brookhaven National Laboratory

  • PEC 1987- IBM Almaden Research

  • PEC 1986 - University of Texas – Austin

  • PEC 1985 - University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee

  • PEC 1984 - Princeton University

  • PEC 1983 - Sandia National Laboratories

  • PEC 1982 - Georgia Institute of Technology

  • PEC 1981 - Montana State University

  • PEC 1980 - Cornell University

  • PEC 1979 - University of Maryland

  • PEC 1978 - Oak Ridge National Laboratory

  • PEC 1977 - Stanford University

  • PEC 1976 - University of Wisconsin – Madison

  • PEC 1975 - Penn State University

  • PEC 1974 - Bell Laboratories

  • PEC 1973 - University of California – Berkeley

  • PEC 1972 - Sandia Laboratories

  • PEC 1971 - National Bureau of Standards

  • PEC 1970 - University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee

  • PEC 1969 - Yale University

  • PEC 1968 - University of Minnesota

  • PEC 1967 - Massachusetts Institute of Technology

  • PEC 1966 - Massachusetts Institute of Technology