University of Michigan Department of Physics Assistant Professors, Junjie Zhu and Lu Li, each have been awarded a five-year, $750,000 grant as part of the U.S. Department of Energy’s Early Career Research Program. This prestigious award supports the development of individual research programs of outstanding scientists early in their careers and stimulates research careers in the disciplines supported by the DOE Office of Science. Professors Zhu and Lu were among 68 winners selected nationwide from a pool of 850 applicants from universities and national laboratories.

Junjie Zhu is an experimental particle physicist working on the ATLAS experiment at the CERN Large Hadron Collider (LHC) near Geneva, Switzerland. He and his group will focus on searching for new physics with vector gauge boson pairs or lepton pairs. In order to maximize the discovery potential at ATLAS, he will also work on the upgrade of the ATLAS forward muon trigger system for future high energy and high luminosity physics programs at the LHC.

Lu LiLu Li is an experimentalist, working on strongly correlated physics. A well-known example of strongly correlated materials is the high temperature superconductor, in which dominating strong interaction brings promise to the goal of electricity transfer without energy loss. With the support from the DOE award, Lu and his group will develop high-resolution torque magnetometry to measure the magnetization of high temperature superconductors directly, in the 100 T pulsed magnetic field facilities in National High Magnetic Field Laboratory at Los Alamos National Laboratory.

For a complete list of this year’s DOE awardees go to

Find out more about Professors Junjie Zhu and Lu Li.