2023-Jan-04: The VERITAS Collaboration is pleased to recognize the recipients of the 2022 "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:

Colin Adams (Simon Swordy Award) - Colin was awarded the 2022 Simon Swordy Award for a broad range of technical contributions to both VERITAS and the pSCT, as well as significant participation and leadership in Diversity Equity and Inclusivity (DEI) activities. Colin’s technical contributions to VERITAS include “the service task of GT factor (scaling factor for gain and throughput) calculation and code management,” and producing GT-factor corrected 0.5o wobble offset IRFs, “a critical path for future experimental results coming out of the collaboration.” In addition Colin maintains the “VERPS” proposal submission system for VERITAS TAC proposal submission and has served on the TAC from 2021-2022. With regards to the pSCT, Colin has “measured and calibrated the flasher response in the lab” and is “helping to test and debug  … server-based run control code for SCT data taking.” Colin has made significant contributions to the DEI efforts of the VERITAS Collaboration including organising weekly “debug den” sessions for early-career members and informal “conversation and feedback” for graduate students, and has made many outstanding DEI contributions at his home institution.


Ste O'Brien - (Trevor Weekes Award) - Ste was awarded the 2022 Trevor Weekes award for undertaking two major service tasks within VERITAS, namely "his co-czarship of the Calibration working group in 2019-2020, and his long service on the TAC including chairship this year,… both tasks that are out of the limelight and not visible outside of the collaboration - yet both are essential to the collaboration and to our production of science publications.” VERITAS has a complicated calibration environment with a wide variety of procedures: “… keeping the enterprise on task… is a daunting task and Ste carried (and continues to carry!) it out wonderfully”. The Time Allocation Committee task is also integral to the functioning of the instrument and the collaboration, and to our production of meaningful science in a timely way. Ste has served on the TAC since 2017, chaired it in 2021-2022 and was asked by the Collaboration to (co-)chair it again in 2022-2023. “The mark of success of the TAC process is that the resulting observing plan is reasoned, robust, well-supported by the collaboration, and still flexible to ToOs and DDT requests – a tough balancing act that Ste has supported and stewarded for numerous years.”. Ste’s service contributions to VERITAS are all the more impressive which they were undertaken while he also had significant commitments to the HELIX group.

Congratulations to Colin and Ste!


Colin Adams   Dr. Ste O'Brien