Prize Winners 2014
BEST DOCTORAL THESIS MERAC PRIZES 2014
Theoretical Astrophysics: Dr. Claudia del P. Lagos
of the Institute of Computational Cosmology of Durham University
for her thesis in the field of galaxy formation, which represents two major breakthroughs that overhaul the treatment of star formation and feedback in the simulations of galaxy formation and whose work has allowed the physical predictions of the galaxy formation models to be confronted directly with observations.
Observational Astrophysics: Dr. Amaury Triaud
of the Observatory of Geneva at the University of Geneva
for his thesis in the field of exoplanets. During his doctorate, Dr. Triaud conducted the radial velocity confirmation of transiting exoplanet candidates produced by the WASP survey, confirming 48 new systems. By measuring the angle between the stellar rotation spin and the planet’s orbital spins, he discovered that many hot Jupiters occupy non-coplanar orbits, a result that has a big impact on planet formation and orbital evolution models.
New Technologies: Dr. Boon Kok Tan
of the Department of Physics and Astrophysics at the University of Oxford
for his thesis in the field of sub-millimeter wave astronomy. The research done for the PhD has contributed significantly to the advancement of the state of the art of coherent detector technologies. This includes fully integrated SIS mixer chips with wide RF and IF bandwidth, which are suitable for future heterodyne arrays, and advanced designs such as balanced and single side-band mixers.