Daniel I. Linzer Distinguished University Professor, Director of CIERA
Vicky Kalogera is the Daniel I. Linzer Distinguished University Professor in the Department of Physics and Astronomy and the co-founder and the current director of the Center for Interdisciplinary Exploration and Research in Astrophysics (CIERA) at Northwestern University. She is an expert in the astrophysics of compact objects, black holes and neutron stars, the death remnants of stars, studying their formation and evolution especially in systems of multiple stars. Kalogera is a leading astrophysicist in the LIGO Scientific Collaboration, LIGO being the special kind of ‘telescopes’ that first detected gravitational waves in 2015, waves that were first predicted to exist by Einstein a hundred years earlier. The first detection opened a new window onto the universe uniquely revealing powerful mergers of black holes. Later detections enabled coupled gravitational-wave and electromagnetic-wave, multi-messenger, observations revealing the sites of gold and other heavy metals production. Kalogera is at the forefront of this emergent field of gravitational-wave astronomy and uses data analysis and astrophysical modeling to understand the universe’s population of black holes and neutron stars. For her research she has been recognized by numerous awards, including the Bethe Prize of the American Physical Society (2016), the Heineman Prize for Astrophysics by the American Institute for Physics and the American Astronomical Society (2018), and a Guggenheim Fellowship (2021). Over the years she has served as member or chair on important professional committees. In 2018 she was elected to the National Academy of Sciences and in 2021 to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.