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COLLEGE STATION --

Jairo Sinova, professor of physics at Texas A&M University, has been awarded an Alexander von Humboldt Professorship -- one of the most eminent and highly endowed research posts in Germany -- in recognition of outstanding achievements in science.

Since 2008 the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation has awarded up to 10 professorships per year to internationally renowned foreign academics interested in continuing their groundbreaking work in Germany to further promote the country's overall global scientific competitiveness and collaboration. Sinova's was among 14 nominations considered by the selection committee, which recognized six researchers with Germany's most valuable international research award.

"I am delighted the Alexander von Humboldt Professorships spark interest in Germany amongst excellent international researchers," said Federal Minister of Education and Research Johanna Wanka. "This clearly demonstrates how attractive our research location has become. It is especially pleasing that this year, for the first time, three women have been selected to become Humboldt Professors."

Sinova, who joined the Texas A&M faculty in 2003 and is considered one of the world's leading specialists in theoretical solid-state physics for his generation, was nominated by the Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz, where he has accepted an appointment as of January 1, 2014 as a professor of theoretical physics focusing on electronic and magnetic properties of condensed matter.

"I am extremely honored by this award and by the opportunities that it offers to create something that goes beyond an individual research group," Sinova said. "I am also very thankful for the opportunity that Texas A&M offered me to excel in my career and all the strong support that I have received over the years. Part of this recognition is honoring the department, many of its outstanding scientists that I have had the pleasure to interact with, and the environment that fostered this science."

Sinova will be presented with the prestigious award -- which includes funding of 3.5 million EUR over the next five years -- May 7, 2014 in Berlin.

"This is the highest award for international faculty that the Humboldt Foundation has, and one of the largest monetary awards for physicists in the world," said George R. Welch, professor and head of the Texas A&M Department of Physics and Astronomy. "It speaks very highly of Jairo, and it further speaks well of our department, since this is where Jairo did the work that this award recognizes. While it is sad for Texas A&M to lose Jairo, this is a wonderful career opportunity for him."

A condensed matter theoretician specializing in nano-spintronics, Sinova is a recognized authority in the field of magnetism and the use of magnetic properties to develop micro-electronic components. A 2010 fellow of the American Physical Society, he is described as an extremely creative and effective researcher and a trailblazer in initiating new developments that inspire both experimental and theoretical collaborations.

As a postdoctoral researcher in 2003, Sinova first proposed the notion of intrinsic spin-Hall effect, subsequently forming part of one of the teams that co-discovered the spin-Hall effect. His research, which is funded by the Office of Naval Research, the National Science Foundation (NSF), the Research Corporation, the State of Texas' Norman Hackermann Advanced Research Program and the Nanoelectronics Research Initiative, has been published extensively in top peer-reviewed journals such as Science, Nature Physics and Physical Review Letters and highlighted in Physics Today. In addition to serving as a reviewer for the NSF as well as several top physics journals, he organized the first international conference on spin-Hall effect in South Korea (2005). His many awards include an NSF CAREER Award (2006), a Research Corporation for Science Advancement Cottrell Scholar Award (2006) and a Texas A&M Association of Former Students College-Level Distinguished Achievement Award for Teaching (2008).

At Mainz University and as a member of the Institute of Physics, Sinova will establish the new Humboldt Center for Emergent Spin Phenomena (H-CESP) and also develop a theoretical group focused on spin-related phenomena. His vast expertise at the interface of theory and experimentation is expected to enhance the institute's existing experimental excellence and to help propel the area of field spintronics and spin-related phenomena at Mainz to the international forefront.

A native of Spain, Sinova received his Ph.D. from Indiana University in 1999 and held postdoctoral positions at the University of Texas and the University of Tennessee prior to coming to Texas A&M.

To learn more about Sinova and his teaching and research, visit http://people.physics.tamu.edu/sinova/.

Click here to read Mainz University's press release announcing Sinova's award.

For more information on all 2014 Alexander von Humboldt Professorship recipients, go to http://www.humboldt-foundation.de/web/ahp-2014-en.html.

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About Research at Texas A&M University: As one of the world's leading research institutions, Texas A&M is in the vanguard in making significant contributions to the storehouse of knowledge, including that of science and technology. Research conducted at Texas A&M represents annual expenditures of more than $776 million. That research creates new knowledge that provides basic, fundamental and applied contributions resulting in many cases in economic benefits to the state, nation and world. To learn more, visit http://vpr.tamu.edu.

About the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation: Every year, the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation enables more than 2,000 researchers from all over the world to spend time researching in Germany. The Foundation maintains a network of well over 26,000 Humboldtians -- including 50 Nobel laureates -- from all disciplines in more than 130 countries worldwide. For more information, go to http://www.humboldt-foundation.de/.

-aTm-

Contact: Shana K. Hutchins, (979) 862-1237 or shutchins@science.tamu.edu or Dr. Jairo Sinova, (979) 845-4179 or sinova@physics.tamu.edu

Hutchins Shana

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