Dr Dali Kong, winner of the 2016 RAS Winton Capital Award (G).

Prof. Geoff Vallis, 2014 Adrian Gill Prize and 2014 Royal Society Wolfson Research Merit Award.

Prof. Keke Zhang, 2013 Fellow of AGU and RAS Group Achievement Award (G)

Prof. John Thuburn, 2013 Buchan Prize

Recent news

2016 Royal Astronomical Society Winton Capital Award (G)

We are are delighted to congratulate Dr Dali Kong on being awarded the 2016 Winton Capital Award (G) from the Royal Astronomical Society. The prize is awarded annually for research by a Post Doctoral Fellow in a UK institution in respectively astronomy (A) and geophysics (G) whose career has shown the most promising development. The full citation reads as follows:

"Dr Dali Kong is a young and exceptionally talented planetary scientist working on the internal structure of giant planets. Dr Kong’s work on the structure of Jupiter and Saturn will play an important role on understanding the measurements about to be made by the Juno spacecraft at Jupiter in 2016 and the Cassini spacecraft in its ‘Grand Finale’ in 2017. Our current understanding of internal structure is challenged by limited observations. A major objective of the upcoming Juno and Cassini measurements is to resolve the long-term puzzle about the depth of the zonal winds through high-precision gravitational measurements together with accurate theoretical and numerical modeling necessary for interpreting the high-precision gravitational measurements. Dr Kong has developed the world-first, fully three-dimensional, non-spherical numerical model for the gravitational field of rapidly rotating gaseous planets, when the rotational distortion is too large to be regarded as a small perturbation. Further, he developed this incompressible model to a fully compressible gaseous model and computed for the first time Jupiter's gravitational coefficients up to J12, which are to be measured by the Juno Mission. In less than three years he has published 16 research papers, delivered several invited talks at international conferences, and made a key contribution to our understanding of the gravitational field and interior structure of giant planets that will play an important scientific role in the NASA’s Juno and Cassini missions for Jupiter and Saturn." [Featured News].


Awards and prizes

Professor Geoff Vallis won the 2014 Adrian Gill Prize from the Royal Meteorological Society. The prize is awarded annually to a member of the Society who has made a significant contribution in the preceding five years, in the specified fields, and who has also been an author of a paper(s) in the Society’s journals. The specified fields are those that interface between atmospheric science and related disciplines. These related disciplines include oceanography, hydrology, geochemistry and numerical methodologies. He was also bestowed with a Royal Society Wolfson Research Merit Award (2014). He was one of just 28 scientists nationwide to be awarded the honour, in recognition of his outstanding research into Geophysical fluid dynamics and climate [Featured news].

Of particular note, Professor Keke Zhang has been elected as 2013 Fellow of the American Geophysical Union (AGU). This honor is given to individual AGU members who have made exceptional scientific contributions and attained acknowledged eminence in the fields of Earth and space science. This designation is conferred upon not more than 0.1% of all AGU members in any given year. He was also one of recipients of the Royal Astronomical Society (RAS) Group Achievement Award (G) for the UKMHD Consortium (2013).

Professor John Thuburn won the 2013 Buchan Prize from the Royal Meteorological Society. The prize is awarded annually to members of the Society for a paper or papers published in the previous five years in the Quarterly Journal, the International Journal of Climatology or Atmospheric Science Letters and adjudged to contain the most important original contribution or contributions to meteorology.