Search form

The Joseph Weber Award for Astronomical Instrumentation is awarded to an individual, of any nationality, for the design, invention, or significant improvement of instrumentation (not software) leading to advances in astronomy. No restrictions are placed on a candidate's citizenship or country of residency.

In order that the scientific impact of the instrumentation may be assessed properly, a considerable period of time may have elapsed between the development of the instrumentation and the granting of the award.

Nomination Instructions | Nomination Checklist

Year Recipient Citation
2015 Claire E. Max

For co-inventing sodium-laser-guide-star adaptive optics and for shepherding adaptive optics, which takes the "twinkle" out of starlight, from its roots in classified space surveillance to its prominence today as an essential technology on large telescopes.

2014 Sander Weinreb

In recognition of his seminal innovations that have helped define modern-day radio astronomy, including digital auto-correlation spectrometers and cryogenic low-noise amplifiers and mixers.

2013 Keith Matthews

In recognition of his many contributions to infrared astronomical instrumentation at the Palomar and Keck Observatories. The reliability, sensitivity and innovative qualities of his instruments have enabled ground breaking scientific discoveries for decades.

2012 M. M. (Thijs) de Graauw

For his leadership in the construction of powerful new astronomical instruments including the Short Wavelength Spectrometer on ISO and the Heterodyne Instrument For the Infrared on Herschel.

2011 Edward S. Cheng

For his critical contributions to the development of several key instruments on the Hubble Space Telescope.

2010 Donald Hall

For his innovative contributions to the development of low noise detectors for observational infrared astronomy that have enabled decades of scientific discoveries.

2009 Peter Serlemitsos

For his innovative contributions to X-ray detector and telescope designs that have enabled decades of scientific advances in high energy astrophysics.

2008 James R. Houck  
2007 Harvey Moseley


2006 J. Roger Angel

For his superlative work spanning two decades on the development of a new generation of large telescopes, his establishment of the Steward Observatory Mirror Lab and a host of extraordinary conceptual ideas that have been turned into practical engineering solutions for astronomy.

2005 Stephan Shectman In recognition of 30 years of development and use of innovative spectrographs, his leadership as Project Scientist for the Magellan telescopes, and the positive impact that his designs and equipment have already had on astronomy.
2004 Thomas G. Phillips  
2003 Frank J. Low  
2002 James E. Gunn