Helmer Herman Koppelman Receives 2022 MERAC Prize in Theoretical Astrophysics

Helmer Herman Koppelman, past Member (2020–21) in the School of Natural Sciences, has received a 2022 MERAC Prize from the European Astronomical Society for his work in theoretical astrophysics, an exceptional honor for early-career scholars. Koppelman was recognized by the society “for his multi-faceted approach to the field of galactic archaeology” which has “transformed our understanding of the history and dynamics of the Milky Way.”

While at the Institute, Koppelman worked on the assembly history of the local stellar halo and the (dark) matter profile of the Milky Way by combining theory, simulations, and data­—a continuation of the work he did for his 2020 Ph.D. thesis at the University of Groningen.

The European Astronomical Society, founded in 1990, is an independent body that promotes and advances astronomy in Europe. It maintains a vast network of astronomers, regardless of their country of work or origin, and is affiliated with numerous national and pan-European research organizations and societies.

The MERAC Prize is an annual award given to three early-career astrophysicists in each of the following categories: Theoretical Astrophysics, Observational Astrophysics, and New Technologies. Supported by the MERAC foundation, a non-profit headquartered in Switzerland that supports young European astronomers, the prize carries with it a reward of €25,000.