Congratulations to Professor Joe Silk, who has been elected to the US National Academy of Sciences. Joe is the former Savilian Professor of Astronomy and is an Emeritus Professorial Fellow of New College. He has also has affiliations with the Institut d'astrophysique de Paris and Johns Hopkins University. Joe has published widely in many different areas of theoretical astrophysics, and is especially well known for his contributions to cosmology, where he originated the idea of "Silk damping", a process important for setting the galactic mass scale.
Congratulations to Alexander Hearmon who has been awarded the PANalytical Thesis Prize 2014 for the best use of techniques or methods of Physical Crystallography in a successfully examined thesis. Alexander has recently completed his thesis "Neutron, X-ray and Optical Studies of Multiferroic Materials" under the supervision of Paolo Radaelli.
Congratulations to Dr Roger Johnson who has been awarded the IoP Physical Crystallography Prize 2014. This Prize is awarded for the best recently published work by a person in the early stages of their career, working in the field of Physical Crystallography, and whose research is expected to make a significant impact in the field. The award refers to Roger's recent publications in the Physical Review Letters.
Dr Boon Kok Tan has been awarded the 2014 MERAC Prize of the European Astronomical Society for the Best Doctoral Thesis in the area of New Technologies for his thesis in the field of sub-millimetre wave astronomy.
The research 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.
Congratulations to Professor Guy Wilkinson who has been elected Spokesperson of the LHCb collaboration. The experiment, located at CERN’s Large Hadron Collider, is a multi-national particle-physics collaboration involving 67 institutes from 16 countries with over 1000 members. The experiment is making precision studies of CP violation and rare decays of beauty and charm (“heavy flavour”) hadrons and is searching for signatures of new physics beyond the Standard Model. Guy will take up his 3-year term of office from July this year.
Oxford Physics Postdoc research fellow Tessa Baker has won a gold medal and £3,000 in the SET for Britain poster competition finals held at the House of Commons on 17 March.
She was among 210 early career researchers who were shortlisted to display their work to politicians and a panel of expert judges. Her research, which looks at how the laws of gravity relate to the largest scales across the universe, was judged the best among entries from the 29 finalists in the physics category.
The University of Oxford Centre for Astrophysical Surveys has been established with the help of a £1.5m gift from the Hintze Family Charitable Foundation established by businessman and philanthropist Sir Michael Hintze. The Centre will fund a team of research fellows and graduate students that will provide a focus for the physicists at Oxford working on surveys searching for the invisible dark matter and dark energy thought to make up 95% of the Universe, exploring transient sources such as pulsars, and looking at how galaxies evolve.
The Plasma Physics Division of the European Physical Society has awarded Edmund Highcock its prize for the best PhD thesis of 2012. Edmund, whose supervisor was Alex Schekochihin, is currently a Fellow by Examination of Magdalen College and works in the Rudolf Peierls Centre for Theoretical Physics. His thesis was entitled "The zero turbulence manifold of fusion plasmas".
Atmospheric, Oceanic and Planetary Physics researchers feature strongly as contributors to the first edition of the new series of the BBC's Sky at Night programme on BBC4 presented by Dr Maggie Aderin-Pocock and Oxford Astrophysics's Chris Lintott.
Distinguished Astrophysicist Professor Dame Jocelyn Bell Burnell DBE, FRS, FRSE, MRIA will succeed Sir John Arbuthnott MRIA as the newly elected President of the Royal Society of Edinburgh (RSE) starting October 2014.
Commenting on the election, Sir John said, "I am delighted to welcome Dame Jocelyn as my successor. Her scientific standing, her public profile and her great breadth of experience will greatly benefit the Royal Society of Edinburgh."