Researcher among UK pioneers to explore Universe’s first stars, largest explosions and more

Cardiff researcher among UK pioneers to explore Universe’s first stars, largest explosions and more

A Cardiff University researcher has been named in a new cohort of ten emerging UK science leaders.

Dr Giulio Fabbian from the School of Physics and Astronomy is among this year’s recipients of the Ernest Rutherford Fellowship, awarded by the Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC) part of UK Research and Innovation.

The Fellowship recognises the most promising early-career particle physics, astronomy and nuclear physics researchers in the UK, supporting them to develop their careers and push the boundaries of their field.

Dr Fabbian’s research focuses on combining observations of the relic light from the Big Bang, known as the Cosmic Microwave Background, with data on the distribution of matter as seen by astronomical surveys.

"These are two of the main pillars upon which our knowledge of the Universe is built," Dr Fabbian said.

"As an Ernest Rutherford Fellow, my research will look to exploit the unique synergies enabled by this joint analysis to answer open questions in fundamental physics and astrophysics."

"Combining Euclid satellite and Simons Observatory data, my work will shed light on the production of gravitational waves in the early universe and on the role of neutrinos, black holes, and supernovae in shaping the galaxies and galaxy clusters we observe today."

A total investment this year of over £6 million, the STFC Ernest Rutherford Fellowship programme is designed to reward talented researchers at UK universities and encourage bright minds to come to, or remain in, the country and contribute to the UK’s scientific ambitions.

Professor Haley Gomez, Head of Cardiff University’s School of Physics and Astronomy, added: "On behalf of everyone at Cardiff University, I want to offer my congratulations to Giulio on this Fellowship award from the STFC.

"It is recognition of the ambition of his scholarship, which could guide the exploitation of ground-based and satellite experiments of the next decade.

"I can’t wait to see what he uncovers."

Now in its 14th consecutive year, the programme has supported over 100 early-career researchers and has significantly bolstered UK physics research capability.

Previous awardees have gone on to take permanent, senior positions at world-leading UK research institutes and each new cohort provides an exciting glimpse into the future of UK physics.

Professor Grahame Blair, Executive Director of Research Programmes at STFC, said: "It is always a delight to read through the proposals of our latest Ernest Rutherford Fellows and learn what excites the researchers set to make tomorrow’s big discoveries.

"We receive many, exceptionally high applications for this fellowship and it is exceedingly difficult each year to decide on the ten successful awardees. I am very proud of the achievements of all’our previous fellows though, and look forward to following the progress of this latest cohort as they reaffirm the UK’s place as a leader in physics and astronomy research.

"Congratulations to the 2024 Ernest Rutherford Fellows and good luck in your endeavours."

Full information on the Ernest Rutherford Fellowship including terms of the fellowship and how to apply to be a 2025 fellow can be found on the fellowships page of the STFC website.

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