2022 MERAC Prize Recognizes and Supports Young European Astronomers

Congratulations to Ewelina Obrzud, winner of the prestigious European Astronomical Society's MERAC Prize for her amazing work on new instrumental technologies!

Image Credit: CSEM

Dr. Ewelina Obrzud obtained a master’s degree in physics (astrophysics) from the University of Geneva and in 2019 accomplished an interdisciplinary PhD thesis (extra-solar planets and instrumentation) from the same university in collaboration with CSEM. Her PhD thesis consisted of developing and testing laser frequency combs adapted for astronomical spectrograph calibration in the near-infrared, alongside the development of a technique for frequency comb generation in the visible wavelength range. Two laser frequency combs (an electro-optic modulation-based frequency comb and a Kerr frequency comb generated in a microresonator) were successfully tested on the  GIANO-B spectrograph at the Telescopio Nazionale Galileo (TNG), La Palma, Spain. The technologies under development are extremely important for astronomical spectroscopy, and for those working in the exoplanet and fundamental physics fields.

Obrzud was awarded the MERAC Prize for offering interesting solutions and concrete perspectives for the improvement of existing extreme RV-precision spectrographs for astronomy, such as NIRPS, HARPS, and ESPRESSO, as well as HIRES at the future ESO ELT. Her work has also attracted the attention of a wider interdisciplinary community, particularly those concerned with optical precision spectroscopy and nonlinear microphotonics.

Obrzud will give a plenary lecture at the EAS Annual Meeting in Valencia and an additional lecture in Switzerland under the patronage of the FONDATION MERAC.

About the MERAC Prize

The MERAC Prize consists of three prizes awarded every year by the European Astronomical Society (EAS) in three categories: Theoretical Astrophysics, Observational Astrophysics and New Technologies: Instrumental / Computational / Multi-Messenger. The MERAC Prizes are awarded by the European Astronomical Society to recognize and support young European astronomers.


  • E. Obrzud, S. Denis, H. Sattari, G. Choong, S. Kundermann, O. Dubochet, M. Despont, S. Lecomte, A. H. Ghadimi and V. Brasch, Stable and compact RF-to-optical link using lithium niobate on insulator waveguidesAPL Photonics 6, 121303 (2021).
  • E. Obrzud, V. Brasch, T. Voumard, A. Stroganov, M. Geiselmann, F. Wildi, F. Pepe, S. Lecomte and T. Herr, Visible blue-to-red 10 GHz frequency comb via on-chip triple-sum-frequency generationOptics Letters 44, 21, 5290-5293 (2019). 
  • E. Obrzud, M. Rainer, A. Harutyunyan, M. H. Anderson, J. Liu, M. Geiselmann, B. Chazelas, S. Kundermann, S. Lecomte, M. Cecconi, A. Ghedina, E. Molinari, F. Pepe, F. Wildi, F. Bouchy, T. J. Kippenberg and T. Herr, A microphotonic astrocombNature Photonics 13, 3135 (2019).
  • E. Obrzud, M. Rainer, A. Harutyunyan, B. Chazelas, M. Cecconi, A. Ghedina, E. Molinari, S. Kundermann, S. Lecomte, F. Pepe, F. Wildi, F. Bouchy and T. Herr, Broadband near-infrared astronomical spectrometer calibrationand on-sky validation with an electro-optic laser frequency combOptics Express 26, 26,34830-34841 (2018).
  • E. Obrzud, S. Lecomte and T. Herr, Temporal solitons in microresonators driven by optical pulsesNature Photonics 11, 600607 (2017).

Source: http://www.csem.ch/


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