New Chairs and Member Join KIAA Governing Board and Science Advisory Committee

  Qihuang Gong, Sandra Faber, Robert Kennicutt and Michael Kramer

The KIAA Governing Board, which oversees the management and operations of the Institute, welcomes new co-chairs Qihuang Gong, Vice President of Peking University, and Sandra Faber, University Professor and Professor Emerita of the University of California, Santa Cruz.  Profs. Gong and Faber replace Prof. Jie Wang, Former Vice President of Peking University, and Prof. Robert E. Williams, Former President of International Astronomical Union, both of whom provided strong oversight during their terms.  The KIAA Science Advisory Committee, which provides guidance on research directions, welcomes Robert Kennicutt, Plumian Professor of Astronomy and Experimental Philosophy at the University of Cambridge, as the new chair to replace Simon D. M. White, Director of Max Plank Institute for Astrophysics, who has been deeply involved in ensuring the success of KIAA over the past decade.  The Science Advisory Committee also welcomes new member Michael Kramer, Director of the Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy.

Prof. Qihuang Gong, Standing Committee Member and Vice President of Peking University, is a world-leading expert in femtosecond laser spectroscopy and optical materials.  Prof. Gong was elected Academician of the Chinese Academy of Sciences in 2016, a Fellow of the Royal Society of Physics in 2007, and a Fellow of Optical Society of America in 2010.  He has previously served as the Deputy Director of the School of Physics (2009-2015), Deputy Director of the Development Planning Division (2012-2014), and Executive Vice President of the Graduate School (2015-2017) at PKU.  In his current role at PKU, Prof. Gong is in charge of scientific research, confidentiality, military projects, and domestic cooperation.

Prof. Sandra Moore Faber is a world-renowned astrophysicist who has been at the center of a wide range of fundamental discoveries and the design and development of powerful telescopes, including the Keck telescopes.  Her work includes the seminal paper on the velocities of stars in galaxies, now called the Faber-Jackson relationship, the existence and composition of dark matter, and the formation and evolution of galaxies. Prof. Faber is a member of the US National Academy of Sciences and has won many prestigious awards and honors in recognition of her accomplishments, including the National Medal of Science in 2013, and the Gruber Prize in Cosmology in 2017.

Prof. Robert Charles Kennicutt has also been at the forefront of the structure and evolution of galaxies, including the foundational work on extragalactic star formation that led to the Kennicutt-Schmidt Law.  Prof. Kennicutt has held faculty positions at University of Minnesota (1980-1988) and the University of Arizona's Steward Observatory (1988-2007) before arriving at Cambridge, where he served as the Director of the Institute of Astronomy (2008-2011) and as the Head of the School of the Physical Sciences (2012-2015).  He has served as the Editor-in-Chief of The Astrophysical Journal (1999-2006) and Vice President of the American Astronomical Society. Prof. Kennicutt was elected a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2001, a Member of the US National Academy of Sciences in 2006, and a Fellow of the Royal Society of London in 2011, and has been the recipient of many awards, including the Dannie Heineman Prize for Astrophysics and the Gruber Prize in Cosmology.

Prof. Michael Kramer is a leader in studying pulsars as a probe of fundamental physics.  He has led seminal papers on the use of pulsars to test general relativity and magnetospheric physics, and his group is now at the forefront of the Pulsar Timing Array to detect gravitational waves, studies of the gravitational physics of compact objects, and the use of pulsars to study the interstellar medium.  Prof. Kramer has been a Director of the Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy since 2009, while also holding a professorship at the University of Manchester.  Prior to his directorship, Prof. Kramer served as the Associate Director of the Jodrell Bank Observatory.  Dr. Kramer is now also involved in the development of the Square Kilometer Array and the Low Frequency Array.

The KIAA community appreciates the dedication and service of Wang, Williams, and White over the past years.  Their advice and guidance has helped to facilitate development of the KIAA as a world-class institute.