ITC Postdoc Blakesley Burkhart's Thesis Wins Trumpler Award

August 14, 2017

The Robert J. Trumpler Awardis presented to a recent recipient of a PhD degree whose research is considered unusually important to astronomy. The recipient of the 2017 Trumpler Award is Dr. Blakesley Burkhart, who completed her PhD in astronomy at the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 2014.

Her dissertation, New frontiers for diagnosing the turbulent nature of the multiphase magnetized medium, described innovative methods for measuring turbulence in a magnetized interstellar medium by connecting theoretical, computational, and observational results. Her dissertation didn’t just apply this innovative approach for a single example of turbulence, but presented several cases which span different phases of the interstellar medium of galaxies.

Burkhart’s dissertation builds on her earlier studies. Her first paper, published when she was an undergraduate, was highly significant with over 90 NASA ADS citations. Her subsequent papers on magneto-hydrodynamics (MHD), written before she completed her PhD, were equally well received and also extensively cited. She has given invited talks at prestigious international conferences, published findings in Nature, and was invited to write a book based on her dissertation.

As one of her nominators stated, “[Burkhart’s] thesis stands alone … In the future, the [ASP] will look back in satisfaction at having made an award to a person for whom the thesis was simply the beginning of an illustrious career.”