Dunlap Award for Innovation in Astronomical Research Tools


The Dunlap Award was established in 2013 thanks to a generous gift from the Dunlap Institute for Astronomy & Astrophysics, University of Toronto.

The award is to be presented in even-numbered years, to an individual or team for the design, invention, or improvement of instrumentation or software that has enabled significant advances in astronomy. To be eligible, the nominee, or leader of a nominated team, must be a member of CASCA in good standing and a Canadian astronomer or an astronomer working in Canada.

The award consists of a monetary prize and a certificate. The recipient shall be invited to address the Society at its Annual General Meeting. The nomination package must be submitted entirely in electronic form to the Chair of the Awards committee and should consist of:

  • A joint letter of nomination signed by at least two members of CASCA in good standing detailing the specific achievement for which the candidate is being nominated, and providing evidence that the achievement has had a significant impact in the field;
  • Three external letters of support (e.g., from international experts in the nominee’s field). No letter should exceed two pages in length.

No other material should be submitted. The nominations for the 2020 Dunlap Award will be considered in 2019.

2018 Dunlap Award
CASCA is pleased to announce that the recipient of the 2018 Dunlap Award for Innovation in Astronomical Research Tools is Dr. Kipp Cannon, Associate Professor of Physics at the University of Tokyo.

After receiving his PhD in 2003 from the University of Alberta, Dr. Cannon went to the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee from 2004 to 2007 to pursue postdoctoral work. He was then a senior postdoctoral research with the LIGO Laboratory at the California Institute of Technology from 2007 to 2010 and a Senior Research Associate at the Canadian Institute for Theoretical Astrophysics (CITA) from 2010 to 2016. He is now an associate professor at the Research Center for the Early Universe on the Hongo campus of the University of Tokyo.

Dr. Cannon has made key contributions to data analysis techniques in the search for transients in astronomy that led directly to the discovery of GW170817, the first gravitational wave detected from a neutron star collision, and ultimately to SSS17a, the first optical counterpart associated with a gravitational-wave source. In particular, his work on the development of the GSTCAL pipeline over more than seven years has enabled these transformational discoveries to be made from LIGO observations. Much of the work leading to these discoveries was conducted while Dr. Cannon was at CITA.

CASCA congratulates Dr. Cannon on the receipt of the 2018 Dunlap Award for opening a new and exciting window on the Universe through gravitational-wave astronomy.

Recipients to date have been:
2016 Peter-StetsonPeter Stetson Photometry: Old and New View Citation
2014 Matt-DobbsMatt Dobbs Technology-Driven Cosmology Today and Tomorrow View Citation

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