CIFAR R. Howard Webster Foundation Fellow Victoria Kaspi’s far-reaching research on neutron stars has earned her the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC)’s highest honour.
NSERC announced Feb. 16 that Kaspi (McGill University) is the recipient of the Gerhard Herzberg Canada Gold Medal for Science and Engineering. Kaspi’s study of neutron stars – the remnants of enormous stars which have exploded and then collapsed – has increased our understanding of how stars live and die, as well as our understanding of how matter behaves in the extreme conditions of space.
“I am profoundly thrilled and humbled to receive the NSERC Herzberg Gold Medal. It is truly overwhelming to think that I am in the same category as some of its previous recipients,” Kaspi says in a news release. She is the first woman to receive the $1 million research grant.
Kaspi, a fellow in CIFAR’s Cosmology & Gravity program for the past 14 years, is the sixth CIFAR researcher to win the Herzberg medal in recent years. Previous recipients were Distinguished Fellow Geoffrey Hinton, Senior Fellow Gilles Brassard, Nobel laureate John C. Polanyi and Program Director J. Richard Bond.
NSERC also awarded CIFAR Senior Fellow and Program Co-Director Edward Sargent (University of Toronto), along with Shana Kelley, for developing a device that can produce medical test results in about 20 minutes. They received the Brockhouse Canada Prize for Interdisciplinary Research in Science and Engineering for combining electrochemistry and biochemistry with engineering and nanomaterials.