Dr. Jason Hessels, Ph.D. ’07, has won the 2008 CAGS/UMI Distinguished Dissertation Award in the engineering, medical sciences and natural sciences category. This award recognizes doctoral students whose dissertations make an original contribution to their academic field, and is offered by the Canadian Association for Graduate Studies (CAGS) with the collaboration of University Microfilms International (UMI). The formal presentation will be made at the CAGS 2008 Annual Conference, to be held in Edmonton, October 16, 2008.
While still a student at McGill, Jason Hessels led a team of astronomers to discover the fastest-spinning neutron star ever found. Located in a crowded star cluster near the centre of the Milky Way, the pulsar’s incredibly fast rotation may force researchers to revise their models. Dr. Hessels undertook his doctoral research in the Department of Physics under the supervision of Professor Victoria Kaspi (Lorne Trottier Chair in Astrophysics and Cosmology, and Canada Research Chair in Observational Astrophysics). Dr. Hessels' dissertation is entitled Search and Discovery: Hunting for Fast Binary Pulsars. He is currently pursuing a postdoctoral fellowship at the Anton Pannekoek Astronomical Institute of the University of Amsterdam.
Congratulations, Dr. Hessels!