Strecker, who earned his Ph.D. from the Rice University Department of
Physics and Astronomy in 2004, died suddenly and unexpectedly on November 4, 2012.
thesis research, performed in the group of Prof. Randy Hulet, was
entitled “Tunable Interaction in Quantum Degenerate Lithium”.
Kevin pioneered the Feshbach resonance in lithium to create novel
states of matter including matter wave solitons of attractively
interacting Bose-Einstein condensates and strongly interacting Fermi
gases. Kevin’s thesis research was published in Nature,
and in multiple papers in the Physical
Kevin was the 2004 recipient of the H. E. Wilson Award given by the
Department each year to the graduating doctoral student with the most
outstanding Ph.D. thesis.
Rice, Kevin joined Sandia National Laboratories in Livermore, CA,
where he worked on collisions of cold molecules and on nuclear
non-proliferation. The move allowed Kevin and his wife Michelle to
join family already living in California. They purchased a house in
Oakland requiring restoration, a project that brought Kevin and
Michelle much joy.
who knew Kevin at Rice remember him as masterful experimentalist,
with incredible energy and enthusiasm. At 6’5”, Kevin was an
imposing physical presence, but he was a wonderfully kind, gentle,
and humorous man. He will be greatly missed by all those fortunate
to have known him.
memory of Kevin, the Kevin E. Strecker Award has been established in
the Department of Physics and Astronomy to recognize the most
outstanding Master’s thesis each year. It is intended to provide
encouragement and recognition to an outstanding student who is near
the midpoint of their Ph.D. studies.
goal of endowing the Kevin Strecker Award with $25,000 has been set,
and thanks to a very generous gift from Kevin’s wife, Michelle,
over 80% of that goal has already been met. Michelle noted that the
money that Kevin received for the Wilson Award was greatly
appreciated at that time in their lives, and she welcomes the
opportunity to return the favor, and at the same time, to honor
Kevin’s memory. Contributions to the Strecker Award Fund will go
toward a permanent endowment, and with the award being funded solely
by earnings on the endowment, the Strecker Award will be awarded
annually in perpetuity.
are two ways to contribute to the Kevin E. Strecker Award Fund:
By check - Please make checks payable to Rice University and put the
Kevin E. Strecker Award Fund in the memo. Checks can be mailed in
Online - go to the giving.rice.edu <http://giving.rice.edu>
website and put the Kevin E. Strecker Award Fund in the special