On Saturday, Oct. 6, Judith Pipher, a professor of physics and astronomy at UR, will be inducted into the National Women’s Hall of Fame. She will receive this honor due to her contributions to the field of infrared astronomy, as well as her teaching abilities.

The National Women’s Hall of Fame was founded in Seneca Falls, N.Y. in 1969 and, since then, 217 women have been inducted into the Hall.

The last astronomer to be inducted into the Hall was Maria Mitchell, who later became the first female professional astronomer in the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 1848.

“Judy Pipher’s contributions as a scientist, as a leader and as a person are remarkable in every way,” the Lee A. DuBridge Professor of Physics and chair of the Department of Physics and Astronomy Nicholas Bigelow said. “Throughout her career, she has made major contributions to promoting women in science both as a role model and as a teacher and research advisor.”

Pipher’s research was used in the Spitzer Space Telescope, which NASA launched in 2003. Her infrared detectors are used to investigate clusters of forming stars and brown dwarfs, which are too small to become stars and cannot be seen by ground telescopes. Thus, the infrared detectors allow the stars to be studied.

Pipher has been a member of the UR faculty since 1971, joining after earning her doctorate from Cornell University in the then-emerging field of infrared astronomy. She also received the Susan B. Anthony Lifetime Achievement Award in 2002.

Halusic is a member of the class of 2010.



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