2022-Jan-20: The VERITAS Collaboration is pleased to recognize the recipients of the 2021 "Outstanding Contribution Awards". Each year the collaboration recognizes exceptional work by two individuals - a graduate student (the Simon Swordy Outstanding Contribution Award) and a postdoctoral researcher (the Trevor Weekes Outstanding Contribution Award), to "...formally recognize the significant contributions of more early-career members of the collaboration in the critical service work that enables scientific publications of VERITAS, but do not result in any scientific publications directly".

This year's recipients are:

Deivid Ribiero (Simon Swordy Award) - Awarded for "wide-ranging service contributions to both the pSCT and VERITAS". For VERITAS, these include contributions to VEGAS development - most importantly, he implemented a necessary new feature: telescope-dependent handling of noise for lookup tables in order to remove a road block from the VEGAS GT factor implementation. In 2020, SAO developed a remote observing capability to cope with the pandemic, and Deivid worked to set up and configure VNC for remote observing for both the VERITAS control room and the pSCT trailer. Deivid has also worked on three critical areas of the pSCT optics: Mirror panel edge sensors, software and alignment. He has been actively involved in mentoring, by helping to host a VEGAS analysis bootcamp in Summer 2019 and working with undergraduates at Barnard and Columbia. Deivid has also contributed to outreach efforts, including taking photos that often make it to press releases and cover pages.

Qi Feng - (Trevor Weekes Award) - Awarded for "Numerous contributions to the success of ongoing observations of the VERITAS Observatory, and multiple innovations in the commissioning of the optics system for the prototype SCT Telescope". Qi implemented ongoing critical upgrades to the VERITAS DQM software and Quicklook analysis that ensured VERITAS observations for the entire collaboration. Qi also made vital contributions to the pSCT optical alignment and flasher systems, and was one of the key people to get the pSCT operational, leading to the successful publication of the instrument's detection of the Crab nebula. Qi's leadership in the Muon Hunter project which brought gamma-ray science to tens of thousands of members of the general public as well as his role as a mentor at all levels were also highlighted.

Congratulations to Deivid and Qi!


Deivid Ribiero Dr. Qi Feng