The World Academy of Sciences (TWAS) together with the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) have presented the 2021 TWAS-CAS Young Researchers in Frontier Science Award to the Chilean astronomer. Laura Perez, Ph.D. in Astrophysics from Caltech.
The award, which recognizes the achievements of scientists under the age of 45 who live and work in developing countries, was presented at the 15th TWAS General Conference.
Among the arguments to be given by the prize, they highlighted her important contributions to revealing “the traces of planetary formation, using innovative techniques for obtaining high-resolution images and thus studying protoplanetary disks.”
“This award was a big and fun surprise”Laura Perez, researcher at Center of Excellence in Astrophysics and Related Technologies (Kata), adding, “It is a really great honor to be distinguished; it makes me doubly happy because it is also a way to learn about the science made by our country and the University of Chile.”
Applicants for this award must be nominated by other researchers. In this case, the principals were the teachers Juan Asengo and Guido Garay, members of the Chilean Academy of Sciences that awarded Laura in 2020 the Adelina Gutierrez Prize for Scientific Excellence, which targets outstanding young researchers in the country.
In this regard, Garay, who is also an academic in the Department of Astronomy at the University of Chile, notes that “Laura’s original and innovative research has extraordinary relevance to understanding how stars, planets, our solar system, and even how Earth formed.”
For an astronomer, this is the result of the support of many people. “I am very grateful for the support of my family and the mentors I have had throughout my career. I also feel very fortunate to have such excellent students and co-researchers, who are part of my research group at DAS, the latter allowing me today to advance in deciphering how planets form in the universe. I really feel very fortunate and grateful.
National Awards Speak
Regarding Laura’s scope of work, Professor Garay, winner of the National Exact Sciences Award 2017, explains that “his research focuses on characterizing protoplanetary disks, and the disks of gas and dust that surround stars during their formation.”
“They are dense and cold, and very difficult to observe in the optical range. Laura revolutionized the field by making observations at millimeter wavelengths using the Atacama SubMillimeter Grand Array (ALMA). His observations allowed him to precisely examine these objects, determining their shapes, physical properties, dynamics and properties. chemical,” he adds.
Also for the 1997 National Prize for Exact Sciences and Astronomer from the University of Chile, Maria Teresa Ruiz, This is a very special appreciation: “I am so excited and proud to see a young astronomer, like Laura, achieve the successes that she has.”
“His work has already been recognized around the world, with great discoveries, consistent work, and is doing exactly what needs to be done in Chile, which is to take advantage of the telescopes and the great instruments that we have installed in the North to make a great contribution to science. So I am happy to see a young scientist contribute. At the University of Chile and our country.”
Who also wanted to leave the certificate was Dr. Monica Rubio, recipient of the National Exact Sciences Award 2021 and also the DAS Academy: “I am very happy with this award given to Laura for her important contributions to the field of protoplanetary discs. She is a great scientist, and this distinction makes me very proud , I was fortunate to be her master’s thesis advising professor at the University of Chile. Frankly, I am pleased with his accomplishments.”
About the award winner
Laura Pérez graduated from Liceo Carmela Carvajal in 2000, completed her Bachelor’s and Master of Science degrees with a mention in Astronomy at the University of Chile’s School of Physical and Mathematical Sciences, and later received her Ph.D. from Caltech (California Institute of Technology) in 2012.
Later, the scientist worked as a researcher at places such as the National Radio Astronomy Observatory (NRAO) in the United States, and the Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy (MPIfR) in Germany. In 2017, she returned to Chile to work as an academic in the Department of Astronomy at the Faculty of Physical Sciences and Mathematics of the University of Chile, where she is currently an Assistant Professor, where she has managed three master’s students, and is currently managing two doctoral students and two post-doctoral researchers.
For more information about the award, check out the following Link.