The Michigan Engineer News Center

Professor Cotel earns Thurnau Professorship

Associate Professor Aline Cotel has been honored with an Arthur F. Thurnau Professorship for her outstanding contributions to undergraduate education.| Short Read

According to the University Record, Cotel is described as having a combined passion for teaching and dedication to student learning that is evident in her innovative pedagogy and commitment to international education and mentorship of women in engineering.

As a key member of the presidentially funded STEM-Africa Initiative, she engages both U-M students and African students in collectively improving engineering capacity in those countries, and she nurtures and sustains a West African network of female engineers.

A colleague praises her efforts because they “not only benefit our partner institutions in Africa, but also our U-M undergraduate and graduate students, who through her initiatives have accessed opportunities for experiential learning and developing international expertise.”

The Thurnau professorships are supported by the Thurnau Charitable Trust. Recipients receive $20,000 to support teaching activities, including travel, books, equipment and graduate student support.

To learn more about the Thurnau Professorships, please visit

The electrons absorb laser light and set up “momentum combs” (the hills) spanning the energy valleys within the material (the red line). When the electrons have an energy allowed by the quantum mechanical structure of the material—and also touch the edge of the valley—they emit light. This is why some teeth of the combs are bright and some are dark. By measuring the emitted light and precisely locating its source, the research mapped out the energy valleys in a 2D crystal of tungsten diselenide. Credit: Markus Borsch, Quantum Science Theory Lab, University of Michigan.

Mapping quantum structures with light to unlock their capabilities

Rather than installing new “2D” semiconductors in devices to see what they can do, this new method puts them through their paces with lasers and light detectors. | Medium Read