JILA is a place for young scientists on the rise. This week, one of those bright young minds has been recognized for her achievements. On Wednesday, JILA Fellow Ana Maria Rey was named as a finalist for the Blavatnik Awards for Young Scientists.
The Blavatnik Awards were created in 2007 by the Blavatnik Family Foundation and the New York Academy of Sciences. This year, 31 scientists will compete for a Blavatnik National Laureate Award in three categories: chemistry, physical sciences and engineering, and life sciences. These awards are only for scientists age 42 and younger.
“The goal of the Awards is to help solve the world’s greatest scientific and technological challenges by supporting outstanding young scientists and engineers,” said Len Blavatnik, head of the Blavatnik Family Foundation and member of the President’s Council of the New York Academy of Sciences, in a press release. “Acknowledging, encouraging and funding stellar scientists early in their careers provides them with the confidence and freedom to channel their energy and creativity into ground-breaking discoveries that benefit society as a whole.”
Rey’s research in atomic and molecular physics explores some of the most challenging and fundamental problems in physics. Working with experimentalists, her innovative theoretical work led to the development of the world’s most accurate atomic clocks. Atomic clocks are useful in GPS and telecommunications, but also useful for the discovery of new quantum physics. Rey has also developed and tested theories that will enable the construction of a quantum computer.
There were a record-setting 343 nominations from 169 academic and research centers across 44 states this year. The winners will be announced on June 26, and each winner will receive $250,000. Rey credits the collaboration between her colleagues at JILA and NIST for her accomplishments.
"I hope that this award it is not seen as an award for me, but instead a very important recognition to the fruitful collaboration and to the work we have accomplished together," she said.
And her colleagues at JILA and NIST are equally proud of Rey for her nomination.
“On behalf of JILA, I congratulate Ana Maria and all of her fellow Finalists on this well-deserved recognition of their superlative research accomplishments,” said JILA Chair Thomas Perkins.