The Turin Award is presented each year by the UT Department of Physics and Astronomy to a former undergraduate or graduate student for his or her outstanding career accomplishments.
Howell received a master’s degree in physics at the University after receiving a master’s degree in astronomy from the University of Pennsylvania. He later received a PhD in astrophysics at the University of Amsterdam.
He is the project scientist for the Kepler space telescope, working at the NASA Ames Research Center in northern California, where he searches for exoplanets. He previously worked at the Kitt Peak National Observatory, where he helped develop digital cameras for use on the telescopes.
“The Turin Award honors former students in our program who have become established and used their physics degrees to excel in the fields they entered,” said Dr. Steve Federman, UT professor of astronomy. “We’ve had a number of our graduates work for NASA. The astronomical community and NASA chose Howell as the principal scientist for the Kepler mission, which indicates his stature within the community.”
Howell will give a free, public lecture on the Kepler mission at 7 p.m. Tuesday, March 20, in Memorial Field House Room 2100.