RIT’s Campanelli receives award for work in gravitational wave science

Distinguished Professor Manuela Campanelli honored with the American Physical Society’s 2024 Richard A. Isaacson Award in Gravitational-Wave Science

Rochester Institute of Technology distinguished professor and founding director of the Center for Computational Relativity and Gravitation Manuela Campanelli has been honored with the American Physical Society’s (APS) 2024 Richard A. Isaacson Award in Gravitational-Wave Science for her extraordinary contributions to and leadership in the understanding and simulation of merging binaries of compact objects in strong-field gravity.

The annual honor is granted to esteemed scientists for their remarkable achievements in the fields of gravitational-wave physics, gravitational wave astrophysics, and associated technologies, and has been made possible through the generous support of 2017 Nobel Prize winners in physics, Kip S. Thorne and Rainer Weiss. The award consists of $5,000, a certificate, travel reimbursement, and a registration waiver to the APS meeting in April where Campanelli will formally accept the award.

“I am deeply honored and humbled to receive this award, which recognizes the groundbreaking work conducted in the field of gravitational-wave science and numerical relativity,” Campanelli said.

Campanelli has received several prestigious accolades throughout her career, including the RIT Trustee Award, appointment as an APS Fellow, and recognition as a Fellow of the International Society on General Relativity and Gravitation. Her groundbreaking research has had a profound impact on advancing our understanding of gravitational-wave science.

Campanelli was nominated for the APS award by her coworker Richard O’Shaughnessy, associate professor in the School of Mathematics and Statistics. Once the nomination was received, a selection committee of international scientists deliberated before selecting Campanelli as this year’s recipient.

“Manuela not only produces great science, with a long track record of innovative high-impact advances, she builds an outstanding scientific community around her, making everyone around her better,” said O’Shaughnessy.

Campanelli focuses her research on the merger of black holes and neutron stars, which generate gravitational waves, electromagnetic radiation, and relativistic jets. These investigations are utilized in the study of cosmic events and have led to groundbreaking work in the field of astrophysics.

“Congratulations to Dr. Campanelli,” said College of Science Dean André Hudson. “This award and recognition are well deserved and a direct reflection of her fantastic contributions to her discipline as a teacher, scholar, and leader.”


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