Astrophysicist Enrico Ramirez-Ruiz honored by American Physical Society

Enrico Ramirez-Ruiz
Enrico Ramirez-Ruiz (photo by Elena Zhukova)

Enrico Ramirez-Ruiz, professor and chair of astronomy and astrophysics at UC Santa Cruz, has been awarded the 2017 Edward A. Bouchet Award from the American Physical Society.

The Bouchet Award was established to recognize a distinguished minority physicist who has made significant contributions to physics research. Ramirez-Ruiz was chosen for the award in recognition of his "important contributions to the dynamics of plasma in extreme astrophysical environments."

A theoretical astrophysicist, Ramirez-Ruiz uses computer simulations to explore violent phenomena such as stellar explosions, gamma-ray bursts, and the accretion of material onto black holes and neutron stars. His research addresses fundamental questions in high-energy astrophysics and provides a framework for understanding the observational data coming from new telescopes and astronomical surveys.

The award, which will be presented at an APS meeting in Washington, D.C., in January 2017, also recognizes Ramirez-Ruiz for his efforts in advocating for more Hispanic students to enter astrophysics. In addition to giving an invited talk at the APS meeting, he will be invited to three academic institutions where the impact on minority students would be significant to deliver technical lectures and to talk informally with both faculty and students about research and teaching careers in physics.

Previous recipients of the award include noted theoretical physicists such as Juan Maldacena, Gabriela Gonzalez, and Jorge Pullin.

Since joining the UC Santa Cruz faculty in 2007, Ramirez-Ruiz has earned numerous awards and honors, including a Packard Fellowship, a Radcliffe Fellowship, and most recently a Niels Bohr Professorship from the Danish National Research Foundation.