Academic Excellence

Scientific Recognition 
The academic excellence of the Department of Physics has been recognized by international societies and organizations. Within our members are included three Fellows of the American Physical Society (E.N. Economou 1994, P. Lambropoulos 1982, T. J.M.  Zouros 2006), a Fellow of the European Physical Society (P. Lambropoulos 2018), a life member and Fellow of the Optical Society of America (C. Fotakis 2005), a Fellow of the Royal Astronomical Society & the Australian Institute of Physics (I. Vardavas 1977 & 1987), a recipient of the “L’Oreal-UNESCO Award for women in science” (V. Pavlidou 2014), a recipient of the “Prime d’Excellence Scientifique” by CNRS/France (E. Kyritsis 2013), a recipient of the Descartes Prize of the EC (E.N. Economou 2005), a recipient of the “Commander of the Order of the Phoenix” by the President of the Greek Republic (E.N. Economou 2013). Moreover Prof. E.N. Economou has been awarded honorary doctorate degrees from Ecole Polytechnique de Grenoble, France (1994) and the University of Ioannina (2004) and Prof. C. Fotakis from the Université de la Méditerranée, France (2010).

Publication record
The high quality research performed in the department is reflected in our publication statistics, both in terms of the journals where our findings are published as well as on the volume and impact of the work. Over the past 16 years our faculty have published regularly in high impact journals including 52 papers in Physical Review Letters, 26 in Nature, and 3 in Science.  Moreover, each faculty member throughout her/his career has on average published ~126 refereed papers, which received ~4800 citations, and has an average h-index of 33 (source Clarivate/WebofScience).  Specifically, in 2020 the 17 faculty members and 9 Emeriti Professors of the Department published 89 refereed papers (3.5 per member) and received ~7200 citations (~280 per member).

Research Funding
The research excellence of the Department is also recognized and supported by funding agencies both in Greece and abroad. Since 2004, members the Department have secured over ~55 MEuros of funding, (~3.5MEuros per year) 85% of which were from research programs of the European Commission. These include highly competitive grants such as: 

6 European Research Council Grants

  • 2018 ERC Consolidator Grant, Prof. K. Tassis (1.9 MEuros)
  • 2016 ERC Advanced Grant, Prof. E. Kyritsis (1.6 MEuros)
  • 2015 ERC Proof of Concept Grant, Prof. P. Rakitzis (0.2 MEuros)
  • 2014 ERC Consolidator Grant, Prof. A. Zezas (1.3 MEuros)
  • 2012 ERC Proof of Concept Grant, Prof. P. Rakitzis (0.2 MEuros) 
  • 2008 ERC Starting Grant, Prof. P. Rakitzis (0.9 MEuros)
1 Marie Curie Excellence Grant
  • 2006 Prof. Ch. Panagopoulos (1.4 MEuros)

Academic Leadership
Seven of our current and past faculty members have served in academic leadership positions outside the University of Crete as Directors of Research Institutes. More specifically: S. Anastasiadis (Director of IESL/FORTH :2013-present), V. Charmandaris (Director of IAASARS/NOA : 2013-2018 & Director of IA/FORTH :2019-present), E.N. Economou (Chairman of FORTH :1983-2004), E. Floratos (Director of INP/Demokritos : 1995-2003 & Chairman of Demokritos :2003-2005, C. Fotakis (Director of IESL/FORTH :1996-2013 & Chairman of FORTH :2011-2016), P. Lambropoulos (Director of IESL/FORTH :1983-1996),  K. Tsinganos (Chairman of NOA :2011-2016).

Teaching & Textbooks
Our faculty and instructors also invest heavily in undergraduate and graduate teaching. They use innovative teaching methods, such as interactive involvement of students in the classroom, as well as online teaching (using the Mathesis, Open-edX platform). Two members have received the "B. Xanthopoulos - S. Pnevmatikos Award for Excellence in Academic Teaching" of FORTH (P. Lambropoulos 2003, S. Trachanas 2012) and three members have received the "S. Pichorides Award for  Excellence in Academic Teaching" of the Univ. of Crete (E.N. Economou 1999, Th. Tomaras 2017, N. Kylafis 2019). Moreover, they have written many physics textbooks in Greek, which are being widely used in many Universities all over Greece. It is worth mentioning that seven of these books have also been selected and published internationally in English. These are:

University of Crete - Department of Physics  - Voutes University Campus - GR-71003 Heraklion, Greece
phone: +30 2810 394300 - fax: +30 2810 394301