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K-State Today

July 1, 2022

Artem Rudenko named Cortelyou-Rust Chair in physics department

Submitted by Malorie Sougey

Artem Rudenko, professor of physics and a new director of the James. R. Macdonald Laboratory, has been named the Cortelyou-Rust Chair in the College of Arts and Sciences’ Department of Physics.

The Mary Jo Cortelyou and John H. Rust Professorship at K-State recognizes individuals who have made a major and substantial impact on their field through research and teaching and continue to do so.

Rudenko is an internationally recognized expert in the interaction of intense and short-pulsed radiation with matter. He and his colleagues at the laboratory use powerful optical lasers in their on-campus facility at Cardwell Hall and ultrafast X-ray light from free-electron laser facilities in California and Germany to study atomic and molecular dynamics. An illustrative example of their research can be found in the K-State Today article announcing the group’s publication in Nature Physics.

The Department of Energy recently renewed funding for the James. R. Macdonald Laboratory at a level of more than $8 million over the next three years. Rudenko and fellow K-State physicists associated with the laboratory have been also awarded a number of other substantial grants to use the scientific talent and facilities of this K-State Physics laboratory.

"Artem is an absolutely first-class scientist with great leadership skills, and a worthy successor to two previous K-State physicists who held the Cortelyou-Rust professorship, Pat Richard and Chris Sorensen," said Tim Bolton, department head of physics. "His team includes both undergraduates and graduate students from K-State who learn to use these amazing lasers that can produce light pulses that are a millionth of a billionth of a second long."

Rudenko joined the K-State physics department in 2012 as an assistant professor and a member of the James. R. Macdonald Laboratory. He was born and raised in Kiev, Ukraine, graduated from the Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology in 1998, and received his doctorate in physics from the same institution in 2002. Before coming to K-State, Rudenko spent 10 years in Germany working for the Max Planck Society, first as a postdoctoral researcher at the Max Planck Institute for Nuclear Physics in Heidelberg, and later at the newly established Center for Free-Electron Laser Science in Hamburg. His main area of research is atomic, molecular and optical physics, and ultrafast X-ray science.

During his career, Rudenko has published more than 190 research articles, received numerous research grants, and given more than 90 invited lectures and talks. He was promoted to associate professor in 2017 and to full professor in 2021. He became the new director of the J.R. Macdonald Laboratory in summer 2022.

The Cortlyou-Rust Chair is named after John Rust and his wife, Mary Jo Cortelyou. Rust, a graduate of K-State's College of Veterinary Medicine, was a world leader in researching the pathology of radiation. Knowing personally the difficulties of being an underfunded student, Rust and Cortelyou, who met while studying at K-State, provided interest-free loans for students in need.

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