Wayne State physics professor awarded 2023 Newton Lacy Pierce Prize

Professor Renee Ludlam explains science demo to child at Michigan Science Center
Professor Renee Ludlam explains science a experiment to children at the Michigan Science Center.

Renee Ludlam, an assistant professor of physics and astronomy at Wayne State University, is the recipient of the American Astronomical Society's (AAS) 2023 Newton Lacy Pierce Prize

This annual prize is for outstanding achievement in observational astronomy by an astronomer under the age of 36. The prize acknowledges outstanding achievement in observational astronomical research based on measurements of radiation from an astronomical object. Ludlam was chosen for her novel explorations of the relativistic universe that have revealed fundamental properties of neutron stars.

Ludlam was thrilled with the acknowledgment. "The previous recipients of the Newton Lacy Pierce Prize are powerhouses in their respective fields of study, so it is surreal to be considered among them," she said. 

"I am incredibly honored to be selected for this award and grateful to those in the field who have supported me in my career as well as championed my success. Science is not a solitary endeavor, and my science has greatly benefitted from their collaboration."

Ludlam is both a professor and an alum of WSU's physics and astronomy program. She received her B.A. in Astronomy and a B.S. in Physics in 2015. Ludlam was one of the first students to graduate from the B.A. program. 

Learn more about her research on black holes and neutron stars.

The American Astronomical Society (AAS), established in 1899, is a major international organization of professional astronomers, astronomy educators, and amateur astronomers. Its membership of approximately 8,000 also includes physicists, geologists, engineers, and others whose interests lie within the broad spectrum of subjects now comprising the astronomical sciences. The mission of the AAS is to enhance and share humanity’s scientific understanding of the universe as a diverse and inclusive astronomical community, which it achieves through publishing, meetings, science advocacy, education and outreach, and training and professional development.

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