2018 Illinois Ph.D. Erin Cox has been awarded the 2018 Robert L. Brown Outstanding Doctoral Dissertation Award (sponsored by the National Radio Astronomy Observatory) for her thesis entitled “Probing Planetary Disks: from Birth to Protoplanets.”
The awards committee released the following: “Her thesis was selected for its clear objectives and thoughtful observational approach. Her insights and conclusions make original and significant contributions to our understanding of the early protostellar-cloud collapse process from which the planets are forming (or may yet form). The extensive set of new observations and her interpretation provide realistic glimpses into the density and magnetic structures, kinematics, and available energy budgets on resolution scales of a few tens of AU that will guide future magnetohydrodynamic simulations of the conditions under which planets of various masses and orbital radii are likely to form in nascent protostellar cloud complexes.”
Erin received her PhD in 2018 in Astronomy from the University of Illinois. Her advisor was Professor Leslie Looney. She is currently a Postdoctoral Associate at the Northwestern University Center for Interdisciplinary Exploration and Research in Astrophysics where she is continuing her studies on star and planet formation focusing on how magnetic fields influence the earliest stages of protostellar collapse and how this affects disk formation.