Stratford professor is award star

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A star physics professor from Stratford has scooped one of the world’s top science prizes for his pioneering work in the study of neutron stars.

Last year Professor Andrew Levan, 37, of the University of Warwick, led observations which captured the light of two colliding neutron stars, part of the most eagerly anticipated phenomenon in modern astronomy.

In recognition of his achievements Professor Levan has been named as one of three finalists for the Blavatnik Young Science Award, being essentially one of three winners of the accolade.

The prestigious Blavatnik Award is given to three individuals, who a jury believes are the three best scientists currently working in their particular area.

Professor Levan is the finalist in the Physical Sciences & Engineering category.

In addition to receiving their medals at the Blavatnik Awards ceremony at the Victoria and Albert Museum in March, each winner will be given a $30,000 cash prize.

Professor Levan said: “I’m very honoured to be recognised by the Blavatnik Awards for Young Scientists for my work exploring some of the most extreme events known in the Universe. While they may seem distant and remote, these events are both life-giving and life-threatening. The elements they produce seed our planet with the elements we observe around us, but if they occur too close could be responsible for large scale extinctions.

“This work seeks to answer many central questions about our place in the Universe, it is driven by curiosity about how the world around us works. I am deeply indebted to my friends, colleagues and collaborators who have helped to make it possible, and have worked with me on the science for the past decade and more.

“I am also very grateful for the research environment in Warwick that has nurtured this curiosity driven research, and enabled the progress that has been made.”

The Blavatnik Awards honour young scientists early in their careers and originally began in the United States.

The Blavatnik Awards UK started in 2017.