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Ashkar Research Group

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Rana Ashkar                     

 Assistant Professor of Physics  Experimental Condensed Matter Physics: Soft Matter and Biophysics
Other affiliations:                  
Center for Soft Matter and Biological Physics   
Macromolecular Innovation Institute
  • Ph.D., 2012: Indiana University, Experimental Condensed Matter Physics
  • M.S., 2007: American University of Beirut, Theoretical Particle Physics
  • 2018- : Assistant Professor, Physics Department, Virginia Tech
  • 2015-2017: Clifford G. Shull fellow, Oak Ridge National Laboratory
  • 2012-2015: Postdoctoral scholar, NIST Center for Neutron Research & University of Maryland
  • 2007-2012: Research Assistant, Indiana University Center for Exploration of Energy and Matter
  • 2021 - : Organizer and chair of the Biomembranes Focus Session at the APS March Meeting
  • 2021-2024: Elected Member-at-Large, Executive Committee of the SNS/HFIR User Group
  • 2021-2024: Elected Member-at-Large, Executive Committee of the American Physical Society Division of Biological Physics (APS-DBIO)
  • 2020 - : Member of the Penn State Neutron Science Advisory Council
  • 2018-2020: Chair of the APS-CSWP Climate Site Visits Program
  • 2018: Program co-chair for the Soft Matter subtopic, American Conference on Neutron Scattering.
  • 2017-2020: Invited member of the APS Committee on the Status of Women in Physics (CSWP)
  • 2016-2017: Chair of the "Women in Neutrons Sciences" committee, Oak Ridge National Laboratory
  • 2015-2017: Physics editor for ACM Computers and Society Newsletter
  • 2014-2015: Member of the Post Doc Association leadership team at NIST
  • 2009-2012: Member of the Advisory Board of the "Women in Science Program" run by the Office of Women's Affairs (OWA) at Indiana University


  • 2021: Jeffress Trust Award in Interdisciplinary Research 
  • 2019: Ralph E. Powe Junior Faculty Enhancement Award (Oak Ridge Associated Universities, ORAU)
  • 2015: Clifford G. Shull Fellowship (Oak Ridge National Lab)
  • 2014: Service Accolade (NIST Postdoctoral Association)
  • 2013: Esther L. Kinsley Ph.D. Dissertation Award (Indiana University)
  • 2011: Certificate of Appreciation (Office of Women's Affairs, Indiana University)
  • 2010: Surface X-ray and Neutron Scattering Fellowship Award
  • 2010: Indiana University "Women in Science Program" Award