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Heather Cegla posing in front of a brick wall

Dr Heather Cegla - participation in the 2016 Lindau Nobel Laureate Meeting

17/06/2016


The Lindau Nobel Laureate Meetings are held each year, alternating between the three natural science Nobel Prize disciplines: physiology and medicine, chemistry, and physics.  The 66th Meeting from 26 June - 1 July 2016 will be dedicated to physics.  30 Nobel Laureates have confirmed their attendance and will participate in an open dialogue of scientific expertise with undergraduates, PhD students, and early career post-doctoral researchers from all over the world. The aim of the meetings is to foster the exchange of knowledge, ideas, and experiences between Nobel Laureates and the next generation of leading scientists.

The selection process involves a multi-step application, typically first being selected by a Lindau academic partner and then by a scientific review panel appointed by the Lindau Council.  In her journey, she was first nominated by the Director of Research in the Astrophysics Research Centre, Professor Stephen Smartt, then by the Head of School of Mathematics and Physics, Professor Robert Bowman, and then by the President and Vice-Chancler, Professor Patrick Johnston.  From here, her nomination was sent to the Royal Society, where she was again successfully selected; this allowed her to then apply directly to the Lindau review panel.  Throughout this process, her application was evaluated based on her research achievements, motivation, dedication, recommendations, and extracurricular activities.  Each year the review panel receives over 1000 nominations, from which she was selected alongside 401 other young scientists from 80 different countries.   

Dr Heather Cegla, Astrophysics Research Centre has been nominated for participation in the 2016 meeting.  She graduated Summa Cum Laude from Minnesota State University Moorhead in May 2010, where she earned her Bachelor’s of Science in Physics, with a minor in Mathematics and an emphasis in Astronomy.  In July 2014, she was awarded her Doctorate of Philosophy from Queen's University Belfast for her work on 'A Pathway to Earth-like Worlds: Overcoming Astrophysical Noise’.  She is currently a Leverhulme Trust Research Fellow here at Queen’s, where she works to minimise the impact of stellar surface phenomena on exoplanet radial velocity observations in order to enable the future confirmation of Earth‐like alien worlds.  In her free time, she is the host and presenter of The Science Lab (a Freeview TV series produced by Northern Visions), and she plays lacrosse and rugby for Queen’s, as well as box for the Sandy Row Boxing Club.

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