PhD::SPACE student wins Humboldt fellowship
2019 November 08

Benard Nsamba
Instituto de Astrofísica e Ciências do Espaço (IA1) researcher Benard Nsamba was awarded a prestigious individual fellowship, worth 100 000€, attributed by the Alexander von Humboldt foundation, to be hosted at the Max Planck Institute for Astrophysics (MPA) in Garching, Germany.

The grant was attributed to his academic performance, as well as his contributions towards the understanding of stellar interiors. During his Ph.D, Benard used asteroseismic2 modelling technics to assess the impact of stellar model physics on stellar parameters. This can be used in precise characterization of exoplanet host stars and their planetary systems.

Mário João Monteiro (IA & Faculdade de Ciências da Universidade do Porto), coordinator of PhD::SPACE comments: "PhD::SPACE has been a very successful PhD network, able to attract excellent national and international students to pursue their Ph.D at IA. Benard Nsamba is such an example, confirmed by the announced postdoctoral fellowship that has been awarded to him. This result confirms the strong Ph.D training that our students are offered allowing then to obtain highly competitive research positions in major international research groups and institutions."

Benard Nsamba, currently waiting for his Ph.D viva, commented: "I attribute this award to the excellent working rapport with my advisors Mário João Monteiro and Tiago Campante, and my close collaborator Dr. Margarida S. Cunha during the past three or so years. This was also made possible by the pleasant working environment at IA."

  1. The Instituto de Astrofísica e Ciências do Espaço (Institute of Astrophysics and Space Sciences – IA) is the reference Portuguese research unit in this field, integrating researchers from the University of Lisbon and the University of Porto, and encompasses most of the field’s national scientific output. It was evaluated as "Excellent" in the last evaluation of research and development units undertaken by Fundação para a Ciência e Tecnologia (FCT). IA's activity is funded by national and international funds, including FCT/MCES (UID/FIS/04434/2019).
  2. Asteroseismology is the study of stellar interiors, by measuring seismic oscillations at the star’s surface. In seismology, the different vibration modes from an Earthquake can be used to study the Earth’s interior, in order to get data from the composition and depth of its different layers. In a similar fashion, oscillations at the star’s surface can be used to infer the internal structure and composition of a star.

Benard Nsamba

Science Communication Group
Ricardo Cardoso Reis
Sérgio Pereira
Daniel Folha (Coordination, Porto)
João Retrê (Coordination, Lisboa)

Faculdade de Ciências da Universidade de Lisboa Universidade do Porto Faculdade de Ciências e Tecnologia da Universidade de Coimbra
Fundação para a Ciência e a Tecnologia COMPETE 2020 PORTUGAL 2020 União Europeia