Daniel Baker

Daniel N. Baker is Director of the Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics, University of Colorado – Boulder. He is Distinguished Professor of Planetary and Space Physics at CU and is Professor of Astrophysical and Planetary Sciences and Professor of Physics.

Dr. Baker received his Ph.D. working under Prof. James A. Van Allen and subsequently worked with Prof. Edward C. Stone at the California Institute of Technology. He was Group Leader for Space Plasma Physics at Los Alamos National Laboratory (1980-87) and was Division Chief at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center (1987-1994).

Dr. Baker presently holds the Moog-Broad Reach Endowed Chair of Space Sciences at CU. He has edited nine books and published over 800 refereed papers. Dr. Baker was the 2010 winner of the AIAA James Van Allen Space Environments Medal. In 2015 Dr. Baker was chosen as the Vikram A. Sarabhai Professor of the Indian Physical Research Laboratory.

Dr. Baker was the 2015 recipient of the Shen Kuo Medal of the International Association of Geomagnetism and Aeronomy (IAGA) for his interdisciplinary work in space and Earth sciences. He also received the Colorado Governor’s Award for High-Impact Research related to his Space Weather research (2016). Dr. Baker was awarded the American Geophysical Union’s highest honor the William Bowie Medal (2018) and the Hannes Alfven Medal of the European Geosciences Union (2019).​

Jocelyn Bell Burnell

Jocelyn Bell Burnell inadvertently discovered pulsars as a graduate student in radio astronomy in Cambridge, opening up a new branch of astrophysics – work recognised by the award of a Nobel Prize to her supervisor.

She has subsequently worked in many roles in many branches of astronomy, working part-time while raising a family. She is now a Visiting Academic in Oxford, and the Chancellor of the University of Dundee, Scotland.  She has been President of the UK’s Royal Astronomical Society, in 2008 became the first female President of the Institute of Physics for the UK and Ireland, and in 2014 the first female President of the Royal Society of Edinburgh. She was one of the small group of women scientists that set up the Athena SWAN scheme.

She has received many honours, including a $3M Breakthrough Prize in 2018.

The public appreciation and understanding of science have always been important to her, and she is much in demand as a speaker and broadcaster.  In her spare time, she gardens, listens to choral music and is active in the Quakers. She has co-edited an anthology of poetry with an astronomical theme – ‘Dark Matter; Poems of Space’.

Tim Byrnes

Tim Byrnes is currently Assistant Professor at NYU Shanghai, New York University’s campus in China.  He is a theoretical physicist working on various topics in quantum information science, particularly in the areas of atomic molecular optics (AMO), quantum information theory, and condensed matter physics.  He started his career in high energy physics in Australia, where he was the first to use DMRG (Density Matrix Renormalization Group) to a lattice gauge theory.  He then moved to Japan where we worked on quantum simulation, which are advanced methods of studying many-body quantum systems.  He was the first to propose novel tasks such as solving lattice gauge theories on a quantum computer, and exploring strongly correlated systems in semiconductor quantum simulators.  After moving to Shanghai, he focuses on using cold atom systems for a novel type of quantum computer using atom chip technologies. 

Website: https://nyu.timbyrnes.net/

Elvira Fortunato

Elvira Fortunato is Vice-Rector at NOVA and Director of the Materials Research Center (CENIMAT) of the Associated Laboratory i3N, the Institute of Nanostructures, Nanomodeling and Nanofabrication. Elvira Fortunato pioneered European research on transparent electronics, namely thin-film transistors based on oxide semiconductors, demonstrating that oxide materials may be used as true semiconductors. She is co-inventor of the paper electronics concept worldwide: Paper-e®. In 2008 she won an Advanced Grant from the European Research Council (ERC) for the project “Invisible” and in 2018 she received the second one ERC, with the amount of € 3.5 million. The project is entitled “Multifunctional Digital Materials Platform for Smart Integrated Applications | DIGISMART”.
Her research team is exploring novel active properties in advanced and sustainable multifunctional materials, including oxides as well as novel electronic-active materials including alternative deposition methods, with the main objective of developing eco-friendly technologies and devices to be used and exploited in electronic circuits made of stable amorphous semiconductors able to serve large area smart flexible and conformable surface electronics.

Photo © Rodrigo Mendes | MadreMedia

She is an elected member of: Academy of Engineering (2008); European Academy of Sciences (2016); Lisbon Academy of Sciences (2017) and Academia Europaea (2019). She belongs to the Board of Trustees of the Luso-American Development Foundation (2014). Former Chief Scientific Advisor of the European Commission, between 2016 and 2020.

She is coordinating since 2019 at NOVA University the SPEAR project, an European platform for supporting and implementing plans for gender equality in academia and research.

Nuno Loureiro

Nuno F. Loureiro is Professor of Nuclear Science and Engineering and Professor of Physics at MIT. He majored in Physics at Instituto Superior Técnico in Lisbon (Portugal) in 2000 and obtained a Ph.D. in Physics at Imperial College in London (UK) in 2005. He did post-doctoral work at the Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory between 2005-07, and at the UKAEA Culham Centre for Fusion Energy. Prior to joining MIT in 2016 Loureiro worked as a researcher at the Institute for Plasmas and Nuclear Fusion at IST Lisbon. He was awarded the American Physical Society Thomas H. Stix Award for Outstanding Early Career Contributions to Plasma Physics Research in 2015, and an NSF CAREER award in 2017.  He is an MIT Bose Fellow.

Loureiro has an active interest in several fundamental aspects of magnetized plasma dynamics, such as magnetic reconnection, magnetic field generation and amplification, confinement and transport in fusion plasmas, and turbulence in strongly magnetized, weakly collisional plasmas. 

Tara Murphy

Tara Murphy is a Professor in the School of Physics at the University of Sydney. She leads the Variables and Slow Transients (VAST) collaboration which will use the Australian SKA Pathfinder Telescope (ASKAP) to search for transient and variable objects: some of the most extreme events in the Universe.

Maryse Nkoua

Maryse D. Nkoua Nhavouka obtained her ‘Maîtrise’’ in Physics in 2009 from the Faculty of Sciences and Techniques of the University Marien Ngouabi, Congo-Brazzaville. In 2010, she was selected for a Postgraduate Diploma Programme in Condensed Matter at the International Center for Theoretical Physics (ICTP) in Trieste-Italy. Then in 2011, she obtained a three-year funding grant for her thesis, funded by the “European Research Council”. She defended her thesis in 2015, at the Department of Physics, option: Nanotechnology and Nanosciences of the ‘Universita Degli Studi di Trieste’, Trieste-Italy. After a year of postdoctoral work in Italy, she decided to return to Congo to share her knowledge.

Currently, she is a lecturer in Physics at the Faculty of Sciences and Techniques of the University Marien Ngouabi, Junior Researcher associated at ICTP (Italy) and in charge of the laboratory ‘Unité de Recherche en Nanomatériaux et Nanotechnologies’, Brazzaville-Congo. She gained managerial skills after attending the prestigious fellowship of the ‘Young African Leadership Initiative (YALI)- Mandela Washington Fellowship’ in 2017, Cleveland-USA. She has won several national and international awards and she is in charge of two funding research projects (Royal Society and OWSD-IDRC).

João Penedones

João Penedones studied physics at the University of Porto where he obtained his degree in 2002. He then got the Certificate of Advanced Studies in Mathematics from the University of Cambridge in 2003. In 2007 he got the PhD from Universidade do Porto and École Normale Supérieure, Paris for his thesis “High Energy Scattering in the AdS/CFT Correspondence”. He then worked successively as a PostDoc until 2011 at the Kavli Institute for Theoretical Physics, University of California, Santa Barbara, and at the Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics, Waterloo, Canada. From 2011 to 2016 he was Research Fellow at the Universidade do Porto, Portugal.

In February 2016, he was appointed Professor in Physics at EPFL. Currently, he leads the “Fields and Strings Laboratory”.

Petra Rudolf

Petra Rudolf was born in Munich, Germany. She studied Physics at the La Sapienza, University of Rome, where she specialized in Solid State Physics. In 1987 she joined the National Surface Science laboratory TASC INFM in Trieste for the following five years, interrupted by two extended periods in 1989 and 1990/1991 at Bell Labs in the USA, where she started to work on the newly discovered fullerenes. In 1993 she moved to the University of Namur, Belgium where she received her PhD in 1995 and then quickly moved from postdoctoral researcher to lecturer and senior lecturer before taking up the Chair in Experimental Solid State Physics at the University in Groningen in 2003.  Her principal research interests lie in the areas of condensed matter physics and surface science, particularly molecular motors, 2D solids, organic thin films and inorganic-organic hybrids. She has published >260 peer-reviewed articles and 32 book chapters. 17 BSc, 34 MSc and 27 PhD students got their degree under her guidance so far.

Photo © Sylvia Germes