Honorary doctorate 2021: Professor Conny Aerts (Faculty of Natural Sciences)

Professor Conny Aerts

Conny Aerts (born 1966) is professor of astronomy at KU Leuven, Belgium. She is one of the world’s leading astrophysicists within the subdiscipline of asteroseismology, the study of oscillations in stars. Among other achievements, Aerts has developed theoretical models that allow her to analyse the oscillations of stars to map their internal structures. For over two decades, she has played a leading role in the dramatic development of this field, which recently culminated with the analysis ofthe extensive data produced by space-based telescopes from both the Kepler and TESS missions. Her work has led to ground-breaking insights into the structure and evolution of ​stars.

Aerts has received several prestigious awards and honours, including the Francqui prize (known as the ‘Belgian Nobel Prize'), which she was the first woman to receive since its inception in 1933.

She works closely with researchers at the Department of Physics and Astronomy on the analysis of data from the Kepler and TESS telescopes, particularly in regard to the inner rotation and composition of heavy stars.

See professor Conny Aerts' website