NatSci's Laura Chomiuk named a Cottrell Scholar

  • Feb 28, 2017
  • Research, astrophysics, Faculty, Award
  • Faculty & Staff, Research, Physics & Astronomy


 Picture of Laura Chomiuk, assistant professor in the Department of Physics and Astronomy.

Laura Chomiuk, assistant professor in the Department of Physics and Astronomy, has been named a 2017 RCSA Cottrell Scholar.

Laura Chomiuk, Michigan State University assistant professor of physics in the College of Natural Science, has been named a Research Corporation for Science Advancement (RCSA) 2017 Cottrell Scholar.

Chomiuk is one of two dozen early career academic scientists selected nationally for the award this year.

The designation comes with a $100,000 award for each recipient for research and teaching, for a total of $2.4 million.

“The Cottrell Scholar program champions the very best early career teacher-scholars in chemistry, physics and astronomy by providing these significant discretionary awards,” said Silvia Ronco, RCSA senior program director.

Chomiuk was selected for her research, The Physical Drivers of Diversity in Nova Explosions.

“I am honored and humbled to receive this award, and excited about the expanded opportunity to involve MSU undergraduates in forefront research at the MSU Campus Observatory,” Chomiuk said.

Chomiuk is interested in stellar evolution, stellar explosions, and the feedback effects these explosions have on star formation. She studies novae and supernovae at a range of wavelengths, with a particular focus on radio observations, in order to probe the physics of the ejection mechanisms in these explosions, to constrain the circumstellar environments of the exploding stars, and to test models of both the progenitor systems and of the explosions themselves.

"This prestigious award is a terrific honor for the department, and well-deserved national recognition of Professor Chomiuk's outstanding research program, innovative teaching practices and commitment to diversity," said Phil Duxbury, MSU Department of Physics and Astronomy chair.

Cottrell Scholars engage in an annual networking event, providing them an opportunity to share insights and expertise through the Cottrell Scholar Collaborative. This year’s event will be held in mid-July in Tucson, Ariz., and is expected to draw about 100 top educators from around the U.S.

For a complete list of RCSA 2017 Cottrell Scholar awardees, visit

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