Distinguished Alumni Awards

Judy R. Franz

Judy  R. Franz
To Judy Franz for her contributions to the study and teaching of physics, encouraging women in physics, and the formulation of a wise national science policy.

Executive Officer, American Physical Society, College Park, Maryland

  • BA, Physics, 1959, Cornell University
  • MS, Physics, 1961, University of Illinois
  • PhD, Physics, 1965, University of Illinois

Judy Franz received her PhD in physics from the University of Illinois in 1965 and went on to a successful career as a researcher, educator, and most recently, a national leader in the physics community. After leaving Illinois, she spent two years at IBM Corporation's international research laboratory in Ruschlikon, Switzerland, before joining the physics faculty at Indiana University. After 18 years at IU, she spent 5 years on the faculty of West Virginia University and three years on the faculty of the University of Alabama in Huntsville. In 1994, she took a 5-year leave of absence to assume her current position as executive officer of the American Physical Society (APS).

Franz has published a large number of research paper. Her work has helped explain why certain types of metallic materials are no longer able to conduct electricity when subjected to changes in their temperature, pressure, or impurity content. She is known as an outstanding educator and for her excellent classroom teaching, development of new courses for nonscience majors and her work in improving laboratory-based instruction. She has received major teaching awards from both Indiana University and Vanderbilt University.

She has always devoted a great deal of time and energy to public service in the physics community. She has served as vice president and president of the American Association of Physics Teachers (AAPT). She has served on advisory committees of the National Science Foundation, National Research Council, and the college Board and has chaired the Division of Condensed Matter Physics of APS.

As the executive officer of APS, she plays an influential role in setting policies for international cooperation in science and for governmental funding of scientific research and education. She has helped APS play a leadership role in such diverse areas as graduate education, preserving federal funding for the National Institute of Science and Technology (NIST) laboratories, helping research physicists become actively involved in research universities, and planning the transition to electronic production and delivery of scientific research journals. She has also been active in encouraging women to become physicists and in helping them to succeed in the field, most visibly as chair of the APS Committee on the Status of Women in Physics. Franz is a fellow of both the APS and the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

Her service and leadership outside the APS and AAPT are, likewise, prolific and impressive. Among other activities, she is a current member of the governing councils of the American Institute of Physics and the America Association for the Advancement of Science, and she is a past member of the Council of the Association for Women in Science and the Executive Board of the Council of Scientific Society Presidents. For the past two years, she has been secretary of the United States Liaison Committee to the International Union of Pure and Applied Physics.

Current as of 1997.