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Astrophysicist awarded honorary doctorate after long-standing collaboration


Years of vital contributions to physics research have qualified Professor Michel Godefroid as an honorary doctor at Malmö University.

Godefroid is a professor of atomic physics at Universite Libre de Bruxelles and Honorary Research Director of the National Fund for Scientific Research in Belgium. For over 20 years, he has worked with the group of atomic physicists at the Faculty of Technology and Society — a collaboration that has proved important for the Malmö group’s international standing.

In addition to joint PhD students, publications, projects, grant applications and international research meetings, the University also cooperates with Godefroid through yearly week-long work exchanges between Brussels and Malmö.

Godefroid has been nominated as an honorary doctor by Per Jönsson, Professor of Applied Mathematics at Malmö University, and will receive the award the University’s Conferment and Inauguration Ceremony on October 19.

“Professor Godefroid has contributed fundamentally to the field of theoretical atomic physics with applications for both astrophysics and nuclear physics,” says Jönsson.

“He is exceptionally well-qualified for the honorary doctorate both because of his work as a scientist and his contributions to the development of atomic physics research here at the University.”

Godefroid’s technological and methodological influence within astrophysics is extensive. He has, among other things, developed a number of widely-used computer programs for atomic structure calculations. He has also helped develop methodological advances resulting in new and effective ways of solving fundamental equations for atomic electron configurations. The latter methods have improved the ability of atomic physicists to theoretically describe and understand so-called Lanthanides, which are complex chemical elements observed in connection with neutron star collisions.

On October 18, Godefroid will give an open honorary doctorate lecture titled The Atom – A wonderful tool for probing and understanding our Universe.

Text: Daniel Harju Popow

Last updated by Maya Acharya