René Doyon is the recipient of the 2017 Urgel Archambault Award from the Association francophone pour le savoir (Acfas).
Mr. Doyon, a professor in the Department of Physics at Université de Montréal, has made his mark in infrared astronomy, astronomical instrumentation, and the detection and study of brown dwarfs and exoplanets. In 2008, he was part of the team of scientists who successfully captured the first image of an exoplanet system. Today, he is the leader of several international projects to detect and study these planets orbiting stars other than the Sun. In 2014, he founded the Institute for Research on Exoplanets, iREx, which includes over 40 researchers (professors, researchers and students), with the ultimate goal of identifying signs of life on extrasolar planets. He is also the scientist in charge of the Canadian instrument aboard the James Webb Space Telescope, NIRISS, which is specially designed to study the atmosphere of exoplanets. Finally, since June 2007, he has been Director of the Observatoire du Mont-Mégantic, the only telescope dedicated to research and university training in eastern North America, which will celebrate its 40th anniversary in April 2018.
The Urgel Archambault Prize, created in 1953 in honor of Urgel Archambault, the founding director of Polytechnique Montréal, is awarded to a researcher in recognition of the excellence and influence of his or her work and actions in the physical sciences, mathematics, computer science or engineering. It has recognized the work of many great Quebec scientists, including Fernand Séguin (1961, popularization of science), Armand Frappier (1954, medicine, Université de Montréal) and, more recently, Yoshua Bengio (2009, artificial intelligence, Université de Montréal). René Doyon is the third astrophysicist to receive the award, following Gilles Fontaine, a specialist in the study of white dwarfs at Université de Montréal (1989) and Victoria Kaspi (2007), a specialist in the study of pulsars at McGill University.
The entire OMM team congratulates René on his award!
Institute for Research on Exoplanets, Université de Montréal
514-343-6111, x 7077