Ivan Agullo was awarded the 2016 Young Scientist Prize in General Relativity and Gravitation for his outstanding contributions to the physics of the early universe and possible observational consequences of quantum gravity.
Ivan Agullo received his PhD from the University of Valencia, Spain, in 2009. As a graduate student his work focused on the application of quantum field theory in curved spacetimes and quantum gravity to the physics of black holes and the early universe. During that time he expended extended periods in the University of Chicago and the University of Maryland. After receiving his PhD, Ivan worked as a postdoctoral researched in the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee (2009-2010) and Penn State (2010-2012), and in 2012 joined the UnIversity of Cambridge in the UK as a Marie Curie Fellow. In 2013 he became Assistant Profesor of Physics at Louisiana State University, where he continues investigating the relation of quantum mechanics and gravitation and its phenomenological consequences in the early universe.
Ivan revived the first award in the Gravity Research Foundation essay competition in 2011, the Young Researcher in Theoretical Physics Award from the Royal Spanish Physics Society 2011, and a NSF CAREER award in 2016.
Nicolas Yunes was awarded the 2015 Young Scientist Prize in General Relativity and Gravitation for his his wide-ranging and important contributions to the field of gravitational wave astrophysics
Nicolas Yunes received his PhD from the The Pennsylvania State University in 2008. As a graduate student, his work focused on the initial value problem for compact binaries in general relativity, and on experimental relativity with gravitational waves. As a Research Associate at Princeton University with Frans Pretorius (2009-2010), he developed the parameterized post-Einsteinian formalism to test general relativity with gravitational waves, and the first approximate solutions for spinning black holes in gravitational parity violating theories. As an Einstein Fellow at the Kavli Institute for Astrophysics at MIT and the Center for Astrophysics at Harvard (2010-2011), he studied extreme mass-ratio inspirals with eLISA. He joined the Physics Department at Montana State University in 2011 as an Assistant Professor, where he was recently tenured and promoted to Associate Professor. During his time at MSU, he discovered the I-Love-Q and approximate no-hair relations for neutron stars and quark starts with his postdoctoral scholar Kent Yagi. He also co-founded the eXtreme Gravity Institute and created Celebrating Einstein, a large science festival that has been enjoyed in several venues, including Bozeman, Boston, and Texas. As an Associate Professor at MSU and the eXtreme Gravity Institute, he continues to lead a vibrant research group that studies eccentric and spin-precessing compact binary inspirals in general relativity, the structure of black holes and neutron stars in modified gravity, and experimental tests of general relativity with gravitational waves. Yunes has received numerous distinctions, including the Penn State Alumni Dissertation Award, the Jurgen Ehlers International Thesis Prize, the KITP Scholar Award, the MSU Fellow in Engagement Award, the MSU Outstanding Faculty Award, and the NSF CAREER Award.