Virginia Tech physicist Camillo Mariani has been named as the recipient of a prestigious CAREER Award from the National Science Foundation.

Mariani, an assistant professor of physics in the College of Science, will receive $630,000 for his research on neutrino interactions in matter. Mariani’s award also includes an educational component to create a QuarkNet center at Virginia Tech to attract high school teachers and students, with initial emphasis on neutrino physics.

“Camillo is a key part of our neutrino physics group,” said Jonathan Link, director of Virginia Tech’s Center for Neutrino Physics. “The research and educational programs laid out in his proposal will have a significant and positive impact well beyond Virginia Tech.”

The Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) Program offers the National Science Foundation's most prestigious awards in support of junior faculty who exemplify the role of teacher-scholars through outstanding research, excellent education and the integration of education and research within the context of the mission of their organizations.

“Camillo’s award recognizes the nationally and internationally ranked caliber of his research and teaching program in neutrino physics,” said Leo Piilonen, the William E. Hassinger Jr., Senior Faculty Fellow in Physics and chair of the Department of Physics. “We were fortunate to recruit him to Virginia Tech since he exemplifies the outstanding caliber of our faculty, many of whom have garnered similar early-career awards from the NSF, the Department of Energy, DARPA, and the Air Force Office of Scientific Research.”

“Among the key areas of study in particle physics are precision measurements of neutrino oscillation parameters, the neutrino mass hierarchy and measurement of CP violation in the neutrino sector," Mariani said. "To address these requires a more detailed understanding, both experimentally and theoretically, of neutrino interactions in nuclear matter. The research effort at Virginia Tech is aimed directly at these questions and is based on a complementary and holistic approach using experiment, theory and simulation.”

Virginia Tech's Center for Neutrino Physics has grown into one of the largest and most visible neutrino research groups in the world. Mariani was the third junior faculty to be hired as a part of the Physics Department’s Neutrino Initiative and the third to receive such an award.

Mariani joined Virginia Tech in 2012 after four years as a postdoctoral research associate at Columbia University. He received his master's degree and doctoral degree from the University of Rome (Italy)..



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