Brown University School of Engineering

Rashid Zia Named "Outstanding Referee" by American Physical Society

March 13, 2014

Rashid Zia, Manning Assistant Professor of Engineering and Physics at Brown University, is among the 143 Outstanding Referees of the Physical Review and Physical Review Letters journals of the American Physical Society, as chosen by the journal editors for 2014.

In 2008, the American Physical Society initiated a highly selective award program to recognize scientists who have been exceptionally helpful in assessing manuscripts for publication in the APS journals. The program annually recognizes approximately 150 of the 60,000 currently active referees, although larger groups were recognized in the first two years of the program. Like Fellowship in the APS and other organizations, this is a lifetime award. In initiating the program, APS expresses appreciation to all referees, whose efforts in peer review not only keep the standards of the journals at a high level, but in many cases also help authors to improve the quality and readability of their articles—even those that are not published by APS.

The selection of Outstanding Referees was made based on 30 years of records on over 80,000 referees (some no longer in active service) who have been called upon to review manuscripts, of which over 37,500 were submitted in 2013. The basis for selection was the quality, number and timeliness of their reports, without regard for membership in the APS, country of origin, or field of research. Individuals with current or very recent direct connections to the journals, such as editors and editorial board members, were excluded.

The 2014 honorees come from 27 different countries, with large contingents from the U.S., Germany, U.K., Canada, and France. The names of all honorees so far are listed at

Zia graduated in 2001 from Brown with a combined A.B. in English and American Literature and Sc.B. in Engineering. He then went on to receive both his M.S. and Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering from Stanford University. As a student, Rashid was the recipient of a National Defense Science and Engineering Graduate (NDSEG) Fellowship and honorary Stanford Graduate Fellowship.

As a faculty member, he has been the recipient of a National Science Foundation CAREER Award and a Department of Defense nominated Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE) as well as a Fellow of the National Forum on the Future of Liberal Education. Rashid is also the lead PI of the AFOSR-sponsored Quantum Metaphotonics & Metamaterials MURI, and he serves as the Director of the Brown Microelectronics Central User Facility.

About APS: The American Physical Society ( is a non-profit membership organization working to advance and diffuse the knowledge of physics through its outstanding research journals, scientific meetings, and education, outreach, advocacy and international activities. APS represents 50,000 members, including physicists in academia, national laboratories and industry in the United States and throughout the world. Society offices are located in College Park, MD (Headquarters), Ridge, NY, and Washington, DC.