Young Scientist Prize for Mary Williams

25 October 2011. Mary Williams, a scientist at AIP, has been awarded the science and engineering Brandenburg Young Scientist Prize for her discovery and research of a new stream of stars in our galaxy, the Milky Way called the “Aquarius Stream”. The post-doctoral prize comes with a cash award of 20,000 euro.
Young Scientist Prize for Mary Williams

Mary Williams, Photo: Mary Williams

After finishing university in New Zealand and her PhD in Australia, 34 year old Mary Williams started her research at Leibniz-Institut für Astrophysik Potsdam (AIP) in 2007. She published her discovery in her paper titled "The Dawning of the Stream of Aquarius in RAVE".

The Judging Panel found her work to be both an excellent scientific achievement and a successful illustration of public outreach. The award ceremony will take place on 13 December in the Schlosstheater, Neues Palais.


Further Information on Mary’s work:

Science Contact: Dr. Mary Williams, Email:

Press Contact: Kerstin Mork, +49 331 7499 469, Email:


The key topics of the Leibniz Institute for Astrophysics are cosmic magnetic fields and extragalactic astrophysics. A considerable part of the institute's efforts aim at the development of research technology in the fields of spectroscopy, robotic telescopes, and e-science. The AIP is the successor of the Berlin Observatory founded in 1700 and of the Astrophysical Observatory of Potsdam founded in 1874. The latter was the world's first observatory to emphasize explicitly the research area of astrophysics.The AIP is a foundation according to civil law and is a member of the Leibniz Association. The Leibniz Association is a network of 87 independent research institutes and scientific service facilities, which strive for scientific solutions for major social challenges.