Professor Stijn Wuyts from the Department of Physics has been awarded a named Chair in recognition of his ongoing contributions to the international field of astrophysics research and for his efforts to secure international development opportunities for the Bath Astrophysics group.

Stijn’s research is on the formation and evolution of galaxies, from exploring its earliest chapters when the Universe was young to understanding the life cycle in the Universe today. Using multi-wavelength observations, he investigates how and when stars were formed, and how the structure of galaxies has evolved.

In 2019 and 2020, Stijn was featured on the Highly Cited Researchers List, identifying him as one of the world's most influential researchers.

To place on this list, Stijn published multiple, highly cited papers that ranked in the top 1% by citations for field and year. Overall, less than 0.1% of the world’s researchers have earned this exclusive distinction.

Beyond the Stars

The Hiroko Sherwin Chair in Extragalactic Astronomy was established at the University in 2021. The Chair was named in celebration of long-term supporters, Jim and Hiroko Sherwin, who have funded undergraduate scholarships and PhD positions in the Faculty of Science for over a decade.

A common thread throughout Hiroko Sherwin’s published work as an author is her desire ‘to build a bridge between the East and the West’ – Stijn’s work at Bath honours this vision. With his support, the Bath Astrophysics group has hosted Fellows of the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science, postgraduates via the China Scholarship Council and summer students from Chinese talent programmes.

Through this international collaboration, members have engaged in international exchanges, visiting professorships, jointly supervised studentships, and have collaborated on projects together with researchers from across the East-Asian Observatories.

Stijn says:

It is a great honour and privilege for me to be named the Hiroko Sherwin Chair in Extragalactic Astronomy. I am grateful for the support the Sherwins have shown to the University over the years, and especially their enthusiasm for Bath's explorations of the deep Universe.

He continues: “With the James Webb Space Telescope, we have an amazing new resource at our disposal, and we are currently using it to zoom in on the physical mechanisms that shape galaxies, at a time when the Universe was just a fraction of its current age."

“Meanwhile, we are also gearing up for a new generation of wide-area observing facilities that will chart large swathes of the Universe. They are excellently suited to provide context about the environments and ecosystems in which the lifecycle of galaxies unfolds."

“Whether via zooming in or zooming out, I believe Bath is well placed when it comes to writing those next chapters of the story of galaxy formation and evolution.”

Hiroko Sherwin says:

I am delighted to support Professor Wuyts’ work in astrophysics.