Former JILA research associate wins 2019 Packard Fellowship

Shimon Kolkowitz, former JILA research associate in the Ye group, won the 2019 Packard Fellowship. Image Credit University of Wisconsin

Today, the David and Lucile Packard Foundation announced the 2019 class of Packard Fellows for Science and Engineering. This year’s class features 22 early-career scientists and engineers, including Shimon Kolkowitz.

Kolkowitz, a former research associate in the Ye group at JILA, now has his own lab at the University of Wisconsin. His group works with optical atomic clocks to make them more precise and accurate. Ultra precise and accurate atomic clocks have the potential to understand dark matter and the connection between quantum mechanics and gravity.

Kolkowitz will receive $875,000 over the next five years for his research. The Packard Fellowships in Science and Engineering are among the nation’s largest nongovernmental fellowships. Since 1988, this program has supported basic research or "blue-sky thinking" of scientists and engineers. This type of research doesn't have an immediate application, but hopefully, over time, will lead to new discoveries that improve people’s lives and enhance our understanding of the universe.

“This new class of Fellows is about to embark on a journey to pursue their curiosity down unknown paths in ways that could lead to big discoveries,” said Frances Arnold, Chair of the Packard Fellowships Advisory Panel, 2018 Nobel Laureate in Chemistry, and 1989 Packard Fellow. “I can’t wait to see what direction the work of these brilliant scientists and engineers will take. Their efforts will add to this beautiful web of science that connects us all to a better understanding of the world around us.”

Congratulations to Dr. Kolkowitz on winning this prestigious fellowship!