Lahore-born quantum astrophysicist Nergis Mavalvala has been appointed the new dean of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
Mavalvala is known for her work on the detection of gravitational waves, waves in the space and time hypothesis of Albert Einstein a century ago. Since 2015 she has been deputy head of the physics department at MIT.
According to MIT News, Mavalvala is the institute’s first dean.
“Nergis’ brilliance as a researcher and educator speaks eloquently for itself,” says MIT President L Rafael Reif. “What excites me about her appointment as dean are the qualities that I have seen in her as a manager: She is a skillful, collaborative problem solver, a wise and generous colleague, an incomparable mentor and an advocate of integrative excellence.
Proud of Nergis Mavalvala, who has been named Dean of the School of Science at MIT. Nergis grew up in Karachi.
She was the keynote speaker at our first ITU convocation and gave a first Lahore Technology Lecture on her groundbreaking work on gravitational waves. pic.twitter.com/XJMVnb7W9s
– Umar Saif (@umarsaif) August 17, 2020
“As we prepare to begin this most unusual academic year, I take great comfort to know that the School of Science will remain in such capable hands,” he added.
The astrophysicist was born in Lahore and grew up in Karachi. She received her bachelor’s degree from Wellesley College of Physics and Astronomy in 1990 and her PhD in physics from MIT in 1997.
In 2017, Mavalvala was elected to the National Academy of Sciences and recognized by Carnegie Corporation in New York as a Great Immigrant Honoree.
She is also the first person to receive the Lahore Technology Award, presented by the city’s Information Technology University.