Hrishikesh Banerjee Endowed Memorial Award

Supporting exceptional RIT students enrolled in the School of Physics and Astronomy.

The Hrishikesh Banerjee Endowed Memorial Award is supported by an endowment established in 2020. The award supports exceptional RIT students enrolled in the School of Physics and Astronomy.

To qualify, nominees must be a continuing student, enrolled full-time, pursuing a degree in physics, have a GPA of at least 3.0, and not previously received this award.

The School of Physics and Astronomy will select an awardee annually based on the following criteria:

Academic Accomplishments
While the overall GPA of a nominee should be a consideration, academic performance and accomplishments in physics courses should be given more weight in the evaluation of nominees.

Teaching Contributions
Any activities that advance science education should be considered in keeping with Dr. Banerjee's dedication to his students. These activities could include duties as a teaching assistant, tutoring or mentoring other students, volunteering at a local high school, etc.

Scientific Contributions
Undergraduate research accomplishments contribute to the overall advancement of scientific understanding and should be considered, if applicable. However, in keeping with Dr. Banerjee's recognizing a need for materials science, any activities that advance science within the community should also be considered. Undergraduate student nominees should receive preference over graduate students.

In the event there are no strong undergraduate nominees that meet the above criteria, the fund can be used to support an eligible graduate student. If a minimum award amount of $500 cannot be made from the fund, no award will be made for that year.

About Dr. Banerjee

Hrishikesh BanerjeeDr. Hrishikesh Banerjee received his Ph.D. in theoretical nuclear physics from Presidency University in Kolkata, India. He pursued his post-doctoral research at the University of Rochester, under Dr. Bruce French, on the structure of atomic nuclei. 

Dr. Banerjee stayed in the United States and, after a brief period in the private sector, joined the physics faculty of RIT in the late 1960s and was a full professor at the time of his death in 2000. As a member of the physics faculty, Dr. Banerjee recognized an opportunity to improve the curriculum and developed the first "Introduction to Semiconductor Physics" course, with a textbook he authored and provided to students at only the cost of printing. He also recognized a need for materials science within the Rochester business community and worked tirelessly to establish the Center for Materials Science and Engineering at RIT, serving as its first Director.

This endowed award fund was established to memorialize Dr. Hrishikesh Banerjee's contributions to RIT and the broader Rochester community.