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Northwestern University

Walder Award

The Martin E. and Gertrude G. Walder Award for Research Excellence is given annually to a faculty member in any school or discipline within the University, in recognition of excellence in research.

The award was established by Dr. Joseph A. Walder, who earned his doctorate and medical degrees at Northwestern, then founded a company which supplies synthetic DNA for research and clinical applications.

Each year the Provost identifies a broad academic field as the area from which nominations are solicited from school deans. The award carries a stipend of $15,000.

Congratulations to the 2017 Recipient

Vicky Kalogera

Vicky Kalogera

Erastus O. Haven Professor, Physics and Astronomy, Director of the Center for Interdisciplinary Exploration and Research in Astrophysics (CIERA), Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences

Vicky Kalogera is is a highly prolific and influential scholar in the field of physics and astronomy. Her research is on the physics of compact astrophysical objects, specifically, white dwarfs, neutron stars, and black holes. Most recently, she played a key role in the historic discovery of the first direct evidence of gravitational waves, a key prediction in Einstein’s theory of relativity. With these data, her team also made the first direct observation of two black holes colliding.

Vicky is also the author of more than 200 publications, and she has received many prestigious awards and prizes in recognition of her achievements. As a member of the discovery team of the first Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (LIGO) source, she most recently earned the 2016 Gruber Prize in Cosmology and the 2016 Special Breakthrough Prize in Fundamental Physics

Some of her other awards and honors include the 2017 Sackler Lectureship at the Canadian Institute for Theoretical Astrophysics (CITA), 2016 Hans A. Bethe Prize of the American Physical Society, and the 2012 Simons Foundation Fellow in Theoretical Physics. Vicky is a member of the National Research Council’s Committee on Astronomy and Astrophysics, the Advisory Board of the Institute of Cosmology and Physics of the Americas, and the Scientific Advisory Board of the Albert Einstein Max Planck Institute for Gravitational Physics in Potsdam, Germany. In addition, the National Science Foundation and NASA provide funding and support for some of her research. 

As a result of some of her most recent groundbreaking accomplishments, her research has been featured in recent mainstream news outlets, including The New York Times (“Physicists Detect Gravitational Waves, Proving Einstein Right”) and The New Yorker (“Gravitational Waves Exist: The Inside Story of How Scientists Finally Found Them”).

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