17 March 2021

Jane Huang Receives the 2020 Robert L. Brown Outstanding Dissertation Award

Kenneth Kellermann NRAO


The National Radio Astronomy Observatory (NRAO) / Associated Universities, Inc. (AUI) is pleased to announce that Dr. Jane Huang is the winner of the 2020 Robert L. Brown Outstanding Doctoral Dissertation Award, for her Harvard Dissertation, Rings and Spirals in Protoplanetary Disks: The ALMA View of Planet Formation. Dr. Huang’s work exploited ALMA’s unprecedented detail and sensitivity to trace how planets form from the smallest structures within dense dusty disks around very young stars. Together with her collaborators, she showed that the remarkable radial gas and dust sub-structures within the disks are keys to understanding the formation and chemical composition of young planets. The results of Dr. Huang’s thesis will help to constrain theoretical models of planet formation and will also serve as a scientific pathfinder as new infrared and optical instruments become operational in the next decade. Dr. Huang is currently a NASA Hubble Fellowship Program Sagan Fellow at the University of Michigan. She will receive her award and will present the R. L. Brown Award Lecture at a ceremony to be held later this year.

The Robert L. Brown Outstanding Doctoral Dissertation Award is administered by AUI and the NRAO on behalf of Bob Brown’s friends and family to honor Bob’s life and career. The Award is given each year to a recent recipient of a doctoral degree from any recognized degree granting institution in the United States, and is substantially based on new observational data obtained at any AUI operated facility and considered to be of an exceptionally high scientific standard value and impact within and beyond the area of study.

The Award is available to degree recipients of any nationality and consists of $1,000, a framed certificate, and an invitation to give a lecture at the NRAO. To be eligible, the applicant must have successfully defended the thesis during the calendar year of the Award.

Applicants should send an email describing their dissertation, the date of their successful thesis defense, the date of the degree award, and the name and contact information of the primary thesis supervisor to RLBrownAward@nrao.edu. A copy of the thesis as a pdf file should be sent by email to the same address or made available via a link given in the email. Published papers or papers in press, or portions thereof, based substantially on the dissertation should accompany the application. Verification of the successful thesis defense and statement that the applicant has successfully completed all university requirements for the PhD should be sent directly by the appropriate university authority to RLBrownAward@nrao.edu. The deadline for receipt of applications and supporting materials for the 2021 Award is 31 December 2021.