Astrophysicist recognized for exceptional contribution to field with Urgel-Archambault Award
McGill University physics professor Victoria Kaspi's outstanding contribution to the world of astrophysics has been recognized with the prestigious Urgel-Archambault Award from the Association francophone pour le savoir (Acfas). Dr. Kaspi received the award at the 63rd annual Gala de l'Acfas at the Centre des sciences de Montréal on Thursday evening.
Professor Kaspi, McGill's Lorne Trottier Chair in Astrophysics and Cosmology and Canada Research Chair in Observational Astrophysics, is an exceptional physicist who is internationally renowned for her cutting-edge work on neutron stars, pulsars and supernovae remnants. In 2005, Prof. Kaspi and her team discovered the fastest-rotating pulsar known to science and more than 20 pulsars in a single star cluster in the Milky Way – both findings yielding important new information about the nature of one of the most mysterious forms of matter in the universe.
Created in 1953, in honour of Urgel Archambault, the founder and first director of École Polytechnique de Montréal, the prize is awarded annually in recognition of outstanding work in the advancement of physics, mathematics, engineering or computer science. "I thank the Acfas judges for choosing my research area. It was a way of saying that in Quebec we welcome, respect and honour curiosity-driven research," said Prof. Kaspi. "I also thank McGill for its demonstrated commitment to astrophysics and for providing a wonderful world-class academic environment for pursuing such research."
The Urgel-Archambault Award represents only the most recent of Prof. Kaspi's many accolades. She was recently awarded the Rutherford Memorial Medal in Physics by the Royal Society of Canada. Prof. Kaspi has also received the Canadian Association of Physicists Herzberg Medal, the prestigious NSERC Steacie Prize and the Canadian Institute for Advanced Research (CIAR) Young Explorer Prize.
For more than 80 years, Acfas has pursued a noble mission: to promote scientific activity, to stimulate research and to disseminate knowledge. The Quebec-based organization has been an active player in the scientific community through a number of activities, including its annual congress, a bimonthly magazine and the awarding of prizes for outstanding contributions to research.