Satellite Geodesy Professor Selected as 2015 Rosenstiel Award Recipient

MIAMI  – The University of Miami (UM) Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science selected Tim J. Wright as the 41st recipient of the Rosenstiel Award in recognition of his research to understand how the Earth’s crust deforms in response to tectonic forces. The Rosenstiel Award honors scientists who in the past decade have made significant and growing impacts in their field.

Wright, a professor of satellite geodesy in the School of Earth and Environment at the University of Leeds, U.K., is the author of about 65 publications in scientific journals, most of them using satellite-based observations of crustal deformation. Major achievements include the discovery of a continental rifting event in Ethiopia’s Afar region, one of the few places on Earth where a mid-ocean ridge comes ashore. He was one of the first scientists to measure how plate boundary zones deform, solely relying on satellite observations using a technique called satellite radar interferometry.  He investigated several major continental earthquakes using geodesy, seismology and geomorphology, including the Izmit earthquake (Turkey, 1999), the Denali earthquake (Alaska, 2002) and the Bam earthquake (Iran 2003). Wright was the principal investigator on a major international research project of the UK’s National Research Council to investigate continental rifting in East Africa. Currently, he is the joint principal investigator of a project to transform our understanding of continental tectonics and seismic hazard using the European Space Agency’s new Sentinel-1 satellite and serves as the director of the UK’s Centre for the Observation and Modeling of Earthquakes, Volcanoes and Tectonics.

Professor Wright will present the 2015 Rosenstiel Award Lecture, entitled “Witnessing the Birth of Africa’s New Ocean,” on Friday, April 4 at 11 a.m. at the UM Rosenstiel School auditorium.

The Rosenstiel Award, created through a generous endowment from the Rosenstiel Foundation, is an award that recognizes scientists for their outstanding contributions to marine science, including oceanographic relevant aspects of atmospheric science and fundamental developments in ocean engineering.  The award is presented on a rotating basis for achievement in six broad disciplinary areas: meteorology and physical oceanography, marine geology and geophysics, marine and atmospheric chemistry, marine biology and fisheries, applied marine physics, and marine affairs. It is awarded to researchers that are making outstanding scientific contributions during their early to mid career.

Tim J. Wright

About the University of Miami’s Rosenstiel School The University of Miami is one of the largest private research institutions in the southeastern United States. The University’s mission is to provide quality education, attract and retain outstanding students, support the faculty and their research, and build an endowment for University initiatives. Founded in the 1940’s, the Rosenstiel School of Marine & Atmospheric Science has grown into one of the world’s premier marine and atmospheric research institutions. Offering dynamic interdisciplinary academics, the Rosenstiel School is dedicated to helping communities to better understand the planet, participating in the establishment of environmental policies, and aiding in the improvement of society and quality of life. For more information, please visit

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