Risa Wechsler named director of KIPAC

RISA WECHSLER has been appointed director of the Kavli Institute for Particle Astrophysics and Cosmology (KIPAC), a joint institute of the Department of Energy’s SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory and Stanford University. On Sept. 15, she’ll take over from TOM ABEL, whose five-year term at the helm of the institute is coming to an end.

Risa Wechsler
Risa Wechsler (Photo by Chris Smith)

KIPAC was founded in 2003 to explore new frontiers in astrophysics and cosmology. As a joint institute of SLAC and Stanford, it brings together people with experience in theory, computation, experiments and observations – the combined power needed to answer fundamental questions about the universe.

Wechsler, an associate professor of physics at Stanford and of particle physics and astrophysics at SLAC, joined KIPAC in 2006. She became the head of the institute’s theory group in 2009 and assistant director of scientific programs in 2013. From 2014 to 2018, Wechsler was co-spokesperson for the Dark Energy Spectroscopic Instrument Collaboration and she has been chair of Stanford Physics Department’s Committee on Equity and Inclusion since 2016. In 2017, she was named a fellow of the American Physical Society.

Wechsler’s own research focuses on galaxy formation and cosmology using a combination of large simulations and galaxy surveys. She hopes to strengthen connections with other academic units across the SLAC and Stanford campuses and leverage opportunities in data science, Earth science, engineering and other areas.

In her new role, Wechsler will direct the future of astrophysics research at SLAC and Stanford for the next five years.

Read the full article on the SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory website.