Doctoral Thesis Award 2019

Tim Lichtenberg receives the award for his work on Planet formation and Oliver Friedrich for his studies using the gravitational lensing effect.


The 2019 Doctoral Thesis Award of the Astronomical Society goes to two outstanding young scientists: Tim Lichtenberg (ETH Zurich, now Oxford) and Oliver Friedrich (LMU Munich, now Cambridge). In his cross-disciplinary PhD thesis at the interface between geophysics and astronomy, Tim Lichtenberg used numerical modelling to address several fundamental long-standing unresolved problems of planetary formation. He provided a direct link between the star-forming birth environment of planetary systems and the compositional make-up and long-term evolution of rocky planets that form in them. The dissertation of Oliver Friedrich examined methods for measuring structural growth in the universe with the gravitational lensing effect. He improved techniques to estimate the statistical uncertainties in measurements of the cosmic density field and developed a theoretical model to study density fluctuations in the universe. This opened up a rich amount of information about the large-scale structure of the universe.