Dr. Julie Castillo-Rogez, planetary scientist working at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in California (USA), and Dr. Martin Jutzi, physicist working at the Institute of Physics at the University of Bern (Switzerland) ), were jointly awarded the 2022 Paolo Farinella Prize for their outstanding contributions in the field of “Asteroids: Physics, Dynamics, Modeling and Observations ». The award ceremony took place during the Europlanet Science Congress (EPSC) 2022 in Granada, Spain, and was followed by a 15-minute talk given by each of the winners.
The annual award was created in 2010 to honor the memory of Italian scientist Paolo Farinella (1953-2000). The award recognizes an outstanding researcher under the age of 47 (Farinella’s age when he died) who has achieved significant results in one of Farinella’s areas of work. Each year, the Prize focuses on a different area of research, and in 2022 the twelfth edition was dedicated to asteroids, which in recent years have become an increasingly important area of interest for the scientific community.
Dr. Castillo-Rogez has made important contributions to our understanding of the physical and chemical evolutions of small and medium-sized bodies in the solar system. Through modeling and synthesis of existing data, she gleaned information on the origins and dynamic evolution of objects from the main belt, between Mars and Jupiter, to the trans-Neptunian region, i.e. that is, the region that extends farther from the Sun than the planet Neptune. . His multidisciplinary expertise, which encompasses geology, geophysics and planetology, has enabled him to apply increasingly sophisticated tools to understand the geochemical evolution of objects potentially characterized by volatile elements. Dr. Castillo-Rogez’s contribution was essential to the success of the Dawn mission to the dwarf planet Ceres: prior to the mission, his studies paved the way for the understanding that Ceres probably had an underground ocean in its past and could still harbor brines; after the mission, his analysis of Dawn data hypothesized that medium-sized cold bodies could be past or present ocean worlds.
Dr. Jutzi has made outstanding contributions to the study of collision processes involving bodies ranging from small asteroids to planetary scales. In particular, he developed a state-of-the-art smoothed-particle hydrodynamic (SPH) shock physics code specially suited to the study of small-body collision regimes where the complex effects of material strength, friction, porosity as well as gravity determine the outcome at the same time. Dr. Jutzi also managed to reproduce the observed shape evolution of the asteroid Vesta following two overlapping planetary collisions, and even provided maps of impact excavation and deposition of ejected material. Recently, he contributed to the numerical modeling of the impact of NASA’s DART mission on the binary asteroid’s moon Didymos, which showed that the small moon Dimorphos can be completely reshaped by impact.
Overall, the work of Dr. Castillo-Rogez and Dr. Jutzi has led to a better understanding of the nature and evolution of asteroids, both from a theoretical and observational point of view.
Dr. Castillo-Rogez obtained his master’s degree in geophysics and his doctorate in planetary geophysics at the University of Rennes (France). She is currently an Associate Scientist in the Planetary Science Branch of the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (California, USA).
Dr. Jutzi obtained his master’s degree in physics at the University of Bern (Switzerland) then his doctorate in physics at the University of Bern and the Nice Observatory (France). He now holds the position of Senior Researcher at the University of Bern.
Before receiving the award, Dr. Castillo-Rogez said, “I am honored to win this award, especially since there are so many deserving colleagues. Most of my work is based on the observations returned by the Cassini-Huygens and Dawn missions, both built on very successful international collaborations. Working with these teams has been an incredible experience and has led to lasting friendships on both sides of the Atlantic. So that makes receiving this award at EPSC 2022 very special. Unfortunately, I never had the privilege of meeting Dr. Farinella, although I often referred to his work.
Dr Jutzi said: “I am very honored to receive the Paolo Farinella Prize. For me, this is an important recognition of my contribution to the understanding of asteroid physics, in particular the impact processes that have determined the evolution and current state of these objects – some of them being explored by space missions going on right now. I am grateful to my scientific mentors and colleagues who have helped me achieve this.
About the Paolo Farinella Prize
The Paolo Farinella Prize (https://www.europlanet-society.org/paolo-farinella-prize/) was created to honor the memory and exceptional personality of Paolo Farinella (1953-2000), a scientist and an extraordinary person , in recognition of the significant contributions made in Farinella’s areas of interest, which range from planetary sciences to space geodesy, fundamental physics, popular science and space security, arms control and disarmament. The winner of the prize is selected each year on the basis of their overall research results in a chosen field, among candidates with international and interdisciplinary collaborations, aged up to 47, the age of Farinella at the time of his death, at the date of March 25, 2000. The prize was first offered at the “International Seminar on Paolo Farinella the Scientist and the Man”, held in Pisa in 2010, supported by the University of Pisa, ISTI/CNR and IAPS-INAF (Rome).
The first “Paolo Farinella Prize” was awarded in 2011 to William Bottke, for his contribution to the field of “the physics and dynamics of small bodies in the solar system”. In 2012, the prize was awarded to John Chambers, for his contribution to the field of “early formation and evolution of the solar system”. In 2013, to Patrick Michel, for his work in the field of “collisional processes in the solar system”. In 2014, to David Vokrouhlicky for his contributions to “our understanding of the dynamics and physics of the solar system, including how solar radiation pressure affects the orbits of asteroids and artificial satellites”, in 2015 to Nicolas Biver for his studies on “the molecular and isotopic composition of cometary volatiles by means of submillimeter and millimeter observations on the ground and in space”, and in 2016 to Kleomenis Tsiganis for “his studies on the applications of celestial mechanics to the dynamics of systems planetary scales, including the development of the Nice model”. In 2017, to Simone Marchi for her contributions to “understanding the complex issues related to the impact history and physical evolution of the inner solar system, including the Moon”. In 2018, to Francis Nimmo, for his contributions to our “understanding of the internal structure and evolution of icy bodies in the solar system and the resulting influence on their surface processes”. In 2019, to Scott Sheppard and Chad Trujillo, for their outstanding collaborative work for the “observational characterization of the Kuiper belt and the Neptune-Trojan population”. In 2020, to Jonathan Fortney and Heather Knutson for their significant contribution to our “understanding of the structure, evolution and atmospheric dynamics of giant planets”. Finally, in 2021, to Diana Valencia and Lena Noack, for their important contributions to “our understanding of the interior structure and dynamics of terrestrial and super-Earth exoplanets”.
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