Thomas Vidick, professor of computing and mathematical sciences, and Austin Minnich, professor of mechanical engineering and applied physics received the 2019 Presidential Early Career Awards for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE). The awards were announced on July 2. This is the highest honor bestowed by the United States government to outstanding scientists and engineers at the beginning of their research careers.Read the full Caltech Media story.

Thomas Vidick (left) Austin Minnich (right)

  • Thomas Vidick focuses on quantum computing and how to encrypt information using quantum systems to transmit data more securely than through classical systems.
  • Austin Minnich studies condensed matter physics, with a focus on transport phenomena and the simulation of quantum systems.

Established in 1996, the PECASE acknowledges the contributions scientists and engineers have made to the advancement of science, technology, education, and mathematics (STEM) education and to community service as demonstrated through scientific leadership, public education, and community outreach. The White House Office of Science and Technology Policy coordinates the PECASE with participating departments and agencies, including:


  • Department of Agriculture
  • Department of Commerce
  • Department of Defense
  • Department of Energy
  • Department of Education
  • Department of Health and Human Services: National Institutes of Health
  • Department of Veterans Affairs
  • National Aeronautics and Space Administration
  • National Science Foundation