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Lodewijk Woltjer Lecture
The Lodewijk Woltjer Lecture honours astronomers of outstanding scientific distinction.
The 2016 Lodewijk Woltjer Lecture is awarded to
for his outstanding career on theoretical implications of General Relativity and in particular on the prediction of the newly-observed gravitational wave signal of coalescing binary black holes.
Thibault Damour is a French theoretical physicist born in 1951 in Lyon. After studies at the Ecole Normale Supérieure de la rue d'Ulm (1970-1974), he obtained his Thèse de Doctorat de troisième cycle in 1974 (Université de Paris VI), and, later, his Thèse de Doctorat d'Etat ès Sciences Physiques (Université de Paris VI, 10 janvier 1979). He started his career (1977-1989) as researcher at the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS). Since 1989 he is permanent professor at the Institut des Hautes Etudes Scientifiques (IHES).
Thibault Damour is a theoretical physicist working on consequences of Einstein's theory of General Relativity, and its String Theory extensions. He has made lasting contributions on: the theory of black holes, the dynamics and relativistic timing of binary pulsars, the generation of gravitational waves, the motion and coalescence of black holes, as well as several aspects of early cosmology. He has introduced in 2000 (with several collaborators) a new method for describing the motion and gravitational radiation of coalescing binary black holes, which gave the first prediction of the gravitational wave signal observed by LIGO in September 2015. His work was crucially used for interpreting the observed signal and measuring the masses and spins of the two coalescing black holes.
The 2015 Lodewijk Woltjer Lecture is awarded to
for her outstanding career in molecular astrophysics, in particular in the domain of star and planet formation.
Ewine F. van Dishoeck's research is at the boundary of astronomy, laboratory astrophysics and chemistry and uses ground- and space-based observatories in the infrared and sub-millimetre range. Her current scientific focus is on the physical and chemical evolution of material from interstellar clouds to planet-forming disks and the importance of molecules as diagnostics of the star-formation process.
Ewine F. van Dishoeck is a Dutch astronomer and chemist born in 1955 in Leiden. Graduated at Leiden University, she held positions in the United States at Harvard, Princeton and Caltech from 1984 to 1990. She returned to the University of Leiden in 1990, where she became professor of molecular astrophysics in 1995. She is also an external scientific member of the Max Planck Institute for Extraterrestrial Physics in Garching. She authored or co-authored more than 450 refereed publications with over 25'000 citations and holds many national and international science policy functions, including scientific director of the Netherlands Research School for Astronomy (NOVA), president of Division H of the International Astronomical Union, former member of the Board of the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA), co-PI of the MIRI instrument on the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) and co-I of the HIFI instrument on the Herschel Space Observatory. She has been fortunate to receive the Dutch Spinoza award, an ERC Advanced grant, and the Dutch Academy Prize. She is a Member of the Dutch Royal Academy of Sciences and the Leopoldina German Academy of Sciences, Foreign Associate of the US National Academy of Sciences, and Foreign Member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.
The 2014 Lodewijk Woltjer Lecture is awarded to
for his outstanding career in theoretical and high-energy astrophysics, cosmology, X-ray astronomy and space research.
Rashid A. Sunyaev was born and finished secondary school in Tashkent, before graduating from the Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology in 1966. He then became the PhD student of Yakov Borisovich Zel'dovich, who knew how to inspire his young colleague. The two scientists collaborated tightly over 22-years at the interface of theory and experiment. Sunyaev was Full Professor at the Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology from 1975 to 2001. He was first the Head of the Laboratory of Theoretical Astrophysics at the Space Research Institute of Moscow (1974-1982) and then of the High Energy Astrophysics Department in the same institute (1982-2002). Since 1992 he is Chief Scientist at this institute of the Russian Academy of Sciences. He became director of the Max-Planck Institute for Astrophysics in 1996 and then Maureen and John Hendricks Visiting Professor at the Institute for Advanced Study of Princeton in 2010. During his extremely successful career, Sunyaev has received numerous honours and awards all around the world.
The 2013 Lodewijk Woltjer Lecture is awarded to
Suzy Collin-Zahn was born and studied in Paris. Her first scientific interests were in the domain of plasma physics applied to the solar corona. She turned to the study of AGN in the early days of the subject and ever since contributed original elements to the slowly emerging puzzle. Suzy has led a lively research group in the Paris observatory for several decades. She contributed to astrophysics through her research, but also through her teaching, the popular books she wrote and her participation in national and international committees. Suzy Collin-Zahn is now emeritus associate astronomer at the Paris observatory.
The 2012 Lodewijk Woltjer Lecture is awarded to
for his fundamental contributions to the study of supernova explosions.
Prof. Wolfgang Hillebrandt was born in 1944. He studied physics and mathematics at the University of Cologne were he obtained his PhD in 1973. After some time at Caltech in California and some at the Technical University of Darmstadt, he joined the Max Planck Institute for Physics and Astrophysics in Munich in 1978 and then Garching, where he became director. He is Honorary Professor at the Technische Universität München.
The 2011 Lodewijk Woltjer Lecture is awarded to
for his fundamental contributions to the study of radio galaxies.
Prof. George Miley was born in 1942 and has dual Irish and Dutch nationality. He studied at University College Dublin and obtained his PhD in 1968 from the University of Manchester, home of the Jodrell Bank radio telescope. He joined the staff of Leiden University in 1970 and has spent several years in the US, including 4 years on the staff of the Space Telescope Science Institute. Prof. Miley is the initiator of the "Universe Awareness" programme aimed to inspire economically disadvantaged children with astronomy and, as IAU Vice President, he has recently led the development of the IAU Strategic Plan 2010 - 2020, "Astronomy for the Developing World".
The Council of the European Astronomical Society (EAS) has the pleasure to announce the creation of a new award: the "Lodewijk Woltjer Lecture" and is delighted that
accepted to give the first "Lodewijk Woltjer Lecture" at the opening session of the EWASS 2010 on Monday, September 7, 2010, in Lisbon, Portugal.
Professor Lodewijk Woltjer is one of Europe's outstanding astronomers of the second half of the twentieth century. First of all Lodewijk Woltjer made significant contributions to theoretical astrophysics, from his fundamental work on the Crab nebula and his studies on hydromagnetic equilibrium to the energy source of Radio Galaxies and Quasars. After serving as chairman at the Astronomy Department of Columbia University in New York, a position he held for ten years, Lodewijk Wolter in 1975 became Director General of the European Southern Observatory (ESO). Under his leadership ESO established itself as one of the world's leading astronomical institutes.
Lodewijk Woltjer realised with great foresight what needed to be done in order for Europe to bridge the gap that existed in observational astronomy with other countries. He initiated the development of new instrumentation and telescope technology whose highlight, the Very Large Telescope, has become the world's most successful ground- based observatory and has re-established Europe's leadership in observational optical astronomy.
Twenty years ago Lodewijk Woltjer initiated the foundation of the European Astronomical Society and became its first president. A few years later Lodewijk Woltjer became president of the International Astronomical Union.
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