The Gravitational Wave International Committee is pleased to announce that nominations for the 2016 GWIC Thesis Prize and for the 2016 Stefano Braccini Thesis Prize are now open. Both prizes recognize outstanding PhD theses in the general area of gravitational waves. To better serve the community, GWIC and the Friends of Stefano Braccini have moved to coordinate the two Prizes. From now on, there will be a common call for nominations, and all theses submitted will be considered for both awards by a joint selection committee. Two winners will be selected, with the GWIC Thesis Prize emphasizing the impact of the research on the field of gravitational wave science, while the Braccini Thesis Prize will be awarded with an emphasis on innovation.
Members of the gravitational wave community are invited to nominate students who have performed notable research on any aspect of gravitational wave science. Theses will be judged on 1) originality and creativity of the research, 2) importance to the field of gravitational waves and gravitational wave detection, broadly interpreted, and 3) clarity of presentation. Each winner will receive a certificate of recognition and a prize of US$1,000.
GWIC is privileged to nominate both thesis prize winners for publication in the book series Springer Theses. Subject to certain qualifications, Springer Theses publishes exceptional Ph.D. theses in the physical sciences in their entirety. If accepted, each winner will receive an additional €500 from Springer upon publication.
Eligibility: Both prizes are awarded on a calendar year basis. Theses should have been accepted by their institutions between 1 January 2016 and 31 December 2016. It is expected that many of the nominations will come from the member projects of GWIC, but this is not a requirement. Nominated theses may be in any language. A committee selected from the gravitational wave community will evaluate the nominations and select the winner. The selection committee will make all determinations about eligibility.
Nominations: Nominations should be submitted by 31 January 2017. The nomination package consists of (i) the thesis, (ii) a letter of nomination, preferably from the thesis advisor, and (iii) a supporting letter from another scientist familiar with the work. The nomination and supporting letters should describe the importance and novelty of the research and the student's particular contribution.
Electronic submission of the the thesis and letters is strongly preferred with the thesis and the letters in separate pdf files. Electronic copies of the nomination materials may be sent to Stan Whitcomb. All submissions will be acknowledged; if an acknowledgement is not received shortly after the deadline, please contact the GWIC Secretary.
If electronic submission is impossible, please contact the GWIC Secretary for instructions concerning paper submission.
GWIC is pleased to announce that the selection committee for the GWIC Thesis Prize and the Stefano Braccini Thesis Prize has reached a decision. This year, there was a total of 20 nominated theses, from 8 different countries.
This is the third year that a single committee selects the winners of the two thesis prizes. The selection committee was instructed to select the two best theses based on 1) originality and creativity of the research, 2) importance to the field of gravitational waves and gravitational wave detection, broadly interpreted, and 3) clarity of presentation in the thesis. To distinguish between the two prizes, the GWIC Thesis Prize emphasizes the impact on the field of gravitational waves, and the Stefano Braccini Thesis Prize emphasizes the novelty and innovation of the research.
GWIC Thesis Prize
The 2015 GWIC Thesis Prize is awarded to Denis Martynov for his thesis Lock Acquisition and Sensitivity Analysis of Advanced LIGO Interferometers. Dr. Martynov received his Ph.D. from the California Institute of Technology and was nominated by his adviser, Prof. Rana Adhikari. His thesis describes his work toward the Advanced LIGO goal sensitivity for the first observation run by characterizing and mitigating various noise sources such as laser frequency and amplitude, auxiliary degrees of freedom, backscatter, and test mass actuator noise.
Stefano Braccini Thesis Prize
The 2015 Stefano Braccini Thesis Prize is awarded to Vikram Ravi for his thesis Evincing the histories of the cosmic supermassive black hole and galaxy populations with gravitational waves. Dr. Ravi received his Ph.D. from the University of Melbourne and was nominated by his adviser, Dr. George Hobbs. Dr. Ravi's thesis connects the upper limits on nanohertz gravitational waves that have been determined by pulsar timing to the astrophysics of black hole growth and galaxy assembly.
|2015||GWIC and Braccini Prizes|
|2014||GWIC and Braccini Prizes|
|2013||GWIC and Braccini Prizes|
|2012||GWIC Prize||Braccini Prize|
|2011||GWIC Prize||Braccini Prize|
Both awards are made on a calendar year basis. A common Call for Nominations will issued approximately November 1 each year with instructions about how to submit a nomination. Theses must have been accepted by their institutions between January 1 and December 31 of the year for which they are nominated to qualify for consideration. It is expected that many of the nominations will come from the member projects of GWIC, but this is not a requirement.
All theses will be considered for both awards. To make a distinction between the two prizes, the GWIC Thesis Prize will emphasize the impact on the field of gravitational waves, and the Stefano Braccini Prize will emphasize the novelty and innovation of the research.
A committee representing the international gravitational wave community evaluates the nominations and selects the winner. Nominated theses may be in any language -- the selection committee will use consultants to help evaluate theses if they do not possess the required linguistic breadth. The selection committee makes the final determinations about eligibility.
The two Prizes are awarded alternately at the Amaldi Conferences on Gravitational Waves (in odd numbered years) and another appropriate conference (in even numbered years).
The recipients receives a certificate of recognition and a prize of $1,000 each.
The Gravitational Wave International Committee (GWIC) recognizes that encouraging talented younger scientists is important to its goal of promoting gravitational wave research. To this end, GWIC has established an annual prize for an outstanding Ph.D. thesis based on research in gravitational waves.
Each year, members of the international gravitational wave community are invited to nominate students who have performed notable research on any aspect of gravitational waves science. Theses are judged on 1) originality and creativity of the research, 2) importance to the field of gravitational waves and gravitational wave detection, broadly interpreted, and 3) clarity of presentation in the thesis.
The gravitational wave thesis prize was started initially by LIGO as a biannual prize, limited to students of the LIGO Scientific Collaboration. The first LIGO award covered the period from 1 July 2003 to 30 June 2005. In 2006, the thesis prize was adopted by GWIC, renamed, converted to an annual prize, and opened to the broader community. The 2006 GWIC Prize included theses accepted between 1 July 2005 and 31 December 2006, to ensure that there was not a gap when GWIC changed to a calendar year cadence.
The Stefano Braccini Thesis Prize was established to honor the memory of a talented gravitational wave physicist whose promising career was cut short. Stefano worked with the Virgo project, and contributed to the superattentuator design, to the integration and commissioning of Virgo and to its data analysis efforts. He was a well liked and respected member of the international community.
The Braccini Prize was initiated by an informal group of his friends in 2011 with the support of the Associazione Ricerca Fondamentale in Fisica and the European Gravitational Observatory (Cascina, Pisa, Italy). In 2013, it was also adopted by GWIC, to be coordinated with the GWIC Thesis Prize on an equal basis.
Springer Theses is a book series in which exceptional Ph.D. theses in the physical sciences are published in their entirety. A strictly limited number of theses are accepted into the series, based on the recommendations of supervisors from the world's top universities and research institutes. Since 2011, GWIC has been invited to nominate its Thesis Prize winner each year for this series. Beginning with the 2013 award, the winner of the Stefano Braccini Prize will also be nominated for publication in the Springer Theses series.
Past winners whose theses have been published by Springer include:
|2013||Sheon Chua||Tjonnie Li|
|2011||Rutger van Haasteren|
More information about the Springer Theses series can be found here.