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This Year’s Distinguished Scholar Award

The 2019 Distinguished Scholar Award recipient is Dr. Patrick M. Motl

Dr. Patrick M. Motl is Associate Professor of Physics and Associate Dean of the School of Sciences, Indiana University Kokomo. Dr. Motl holds a Ph.D. degree in Physics from Louisiana State University and A&M College, Baton Rouge, Louisiana. He earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Physics with Departmental Honors from Indiana University, Bloomington, Indiana. He held post-doctoral positions in Numerical Cosmology at the University of Missouri and at the Center for Astrophysics and Space Astronomy at the University of Colorado at Boulder, and in Relativistic Astrophysics at Louisiana State University.

Dr. Motl conducts research in the field of computational astrophysics, using techniques of computational fluid dynamics to simulate self-gravitating astrophysical systems – mostly binary stars. In different collaborations and using different codes, these simulations include either Newtonian or fully general relativistic physics. Recent research questions of particular interest include the detailed dynamics of kilonova ejecta from double neutron star mergers, the merger of a helium and carbon-oxygen white binary to possibly create the usual abundance and isotopic signature of R Corona Borealis stars, accretion-induced collapse of a white dwarf to form a neutron star; and the evolution and merger of a contact binary to produce a luminous red nova like the V1309 Scorpii event.

Patrick’s scholarship is exceptional. He has 27 peer-reviewed publications dating from 2002 and 105 conference contributions and non-peer-reviewed publications. Evidences of the importance of his research are the 1570 citations to his publications. Five of his papers have over 100 citations, 18 have more than 18 citations, and 22 have 10 or more citations. He reviews for both the National Science Foundation (NSF) and National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and has been involved with eight successful grant proposals totaling over 2.25 million dollars. Dr. Motl received the Indiana University Kokomo Faculty Research Award in 2012.

Dr. Motl has served the Indiana Academy of Science as Vice-Chair and Chair of the Physics Section, and is currently a Council Member at Large. He has presented Hot Topics at the IAS Annual meeting and always collaborates with students for presentations. He ran for President of the Academy in 2016. Patrick also has memberships in the American Astronomical Society, the American Physical Society, the Astronomical Society of the Pacific, and the American Association of Physics Teachers. His contributions to the greater community are numerous and significant, including being the director of the IU Kokomo Observatory where he holds open houses for the community, and makes presentations to school groups and Boy/Girl Scout troops. When he was first teaching at Indiana University Kokomo, he was often the Friday evening speaker for the Indiana Academy of Science Talent Search finalists.

Dr. Patrick Motl is an outstanding example of a distinguished scholar based on his research record and educational and service efforts to the community and we are honored to bestow upon him the Indiana Academy of Science Distinguished Scholar Award. Dr. Motl is also being named Fellow of the Indiana Academy of Science.


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