Dannie Heineman Prize for Astrophysics

The Dannie Heineman Prize for Astrophysics is awarded jointly by the American Institute of Physics and the American Astronomical Society and is funded by the Heineman Foundation. It was established in 1979 to recognize outstanding mid-career work in the field of astrophysics. No restrictions are placed on a candidate's citizenship or country of residency.

Self-nominations are allowed. Prize nominations are due on 30 June.

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Dannie Heineman Prize Committee

2024 - John Carlstrom

For his pioneering work on microwave interferometry and his leading role in the development of the South Pole Telescope.

2023 - Karen Meech

For her pioneering work expanding and pushing boundaries in the field of small-body solar-system observational science, and for her transformative contributions that have shaped the broader field of planetary science.

2022 - Norman Murray

For his deep theoretical insight into an exceptionally broad range of astrophysical phenomena, including the dynamics of planetary systems, accretion disk winds in active galactic nuclei, and star formation and feedback in galaxies.

2021 - Robert Lupton (shared w/David Weinberg)

For essential contributions to facilitating, guiding, and participating in transformative science resulting from modern large-scale astronomical surveys at optical wavelengths, in particular the Sloan Digital Sky Survey.

2021 - David Weinberg (shared w/Robert Lupton)

For essential contributions to facilitating, guiding, and participating in transformative science resulting from modern large-scale astronomical surveys at optical wavelengths, in particular the Sloan Digital Sky Survey.

2020 – Christopher Kochanek

For combining observations and theory to make outstanding contributions to astrophysics in topics ranging from the use of gravitational lenses for studies of dark matter halos and quasar accretion disks.

2019 – Edwin (Ted) Bergin

For his pioneering work in astrochemistry and innovative contributions to our understanding of the physics and chemistry of star and planet formation, and for his tireless efforts to improve diversity and inclusion in astronomy.

2018 – Vicky Kalogera

For her fundamental contributions to advancing our understanding of the evolution and fate of compact objects in binary systems, with particular regard to their electromagnetic and gravitational wave signals.

2017 – Lars Bildsten

For his observationally grounded theoretical modeling of stars, which has yielded fundamental insights into the physics of stellar structure and evolution, compact objects, and stellar explosions.

2016 – Wendy L. Freedman

For her outstanding contributions and leadership role in using optical and infrared space- and ground-based observations of Cepheid variable stars, together with innovative analysis techniques, to greatly improve the accuracy of the cosmic distance scale

2015-Marc Kamionkowski & David N. Spergel

For their outstanding contributions to the investigation of the fluctuations of the cosmic microwave background, which have led to major breakthroughs in our understanding of the universe.

2014 – Piero Madau

For fundamental contributions to our understanding of the era of first light in the universe, the ionization and heating of the intergalactic medium, and the formation and evolution of galaxies.
Year Recipient(s) Citation
2013 Rachel Somerville For providing fundamental insights into galaxy formation and evolution using semi-analytic modeling, simulations and observations.
2012 Chryssa Kouveliotou For her extensive accomplishments and discoveries in the areas of gamma ray bursts and their afterglows, soft gamma repeaters, and magnetars.
2011 Robert P. Kirshner For his sustained and enduring contributions to our understanding of supernovae and cosmology.
2010 Edward Kolb & Michael S. Turner For their joint fundamental contributions to cosmology and their development of the field of particle astrophysics, which have resulted in a vibrant community effort to understand the early universe.
2009 Lennox L. Cowie For his innovative observations and studies of the distant universe, which have advanced significantly our understanding of the formation and evolution of galaxies.
2008 Andrew C. Fabian For his innovative and influential work in the field of X-ray astronomy has spanned a wide range of topics, including rotation of massive black holes, the X-ray background, hot gas in rich clusters, and non-thermal emission from accretion disks.
2007 Robert Kennicutt For his outstanding contributions to extragalactic astrophysics, in particular to our understanding of the large-scale properties of star formation in galaxies.
2006 Marc Davis For his pioneering work on the large-scale structure in the Universe.
2005 George Efstathiou & Simon White In recognition of their pioneering research, both together and separately, into the evolution of structure in the Universe from the earliest times to the present epoch, as examples of outstanding work in the field of astrophysics.
2004 Bruce T. Draine For his fundamental, pioneering studies of interstellar processes, especially the physics and radiative properties of dust and of magnetized shock waves.
2003 Rashid Sunyaev For his visionary insights into the interaction of radiation and matter on scales from the Universe to black holes.
2002 J. Richard Bond For pioneering research on the generation of microwave background fluctuations in the cold dark matter paradigm, the growth of these fluctuations, and the analysis of CMB (cosmic microwave background) fluctuations as examples of outstanding work in the field of astrophysics.
2001 Bruce G. Elmegreen For contributions that span a remarkable range from theoretical studies of key processes in the interstellar medium to the physics of galaxy-wide starbursts, to investigations of dynamical features, including spiral arms and bars, in galaxies.
2000 Frank H. Shu For shaping our current understanding of star formation, for his research on an unusually large array of topics including the origin of spiral structure in galaxies, stellar dynamics, the evolution of close binary stars, planetary rings and composition of meteorites, and for his contributions as an educator and leader of the astronomical community.
1999 Kenneth C. Freeman
1998 Roger D. Blandford
1997 Scott D. Tremaine
1996 Roger A. Chevalier
1995 Jerry E. Nelson
1994 John N. Bahcall
1993 John C. Mather
1992 Bohdan Paczynski
1991 Wallace L. W. Sargent
1990 Richard McCray
1989 Carl E. Heiles
1988 James E. Gunn
1987 David L. Lambert
1986 Hyron Spinrad
1985 Sandra M. Faber
1984 Martin J. Rees
1983 Irwin I. Shapiro
1982 P. James E. Peebles
1981 Riccardo Giacconi
1980 Joseph H. Taylor, Jr.