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Mathematician and theoretical physicist Michael Walter receives the KNAW Early Career Award. The prize, an amount of 15,000 euros and an artwork, is aimed at researchers in the Netherlands who are at the start of their career and who have an innovative and original research idea.

The KNAW Early Career Award will be awarded for the second time this year. A total of twelve young researchers will receive the award. The award ceremony will take place during a festive gathering on February 15, 2021.

The laureate

Michael Walter is an assistant professor at the Korteweg-de Vries Institute for Mathematics and the Institute of Physics, and a senior researcher at QuSoft. In his work he connects quantum computers with black holes to gain new insights into how they work. With his research at the interface of mathematics, physics and computer science, Michael plays a pioneering role in international projects. His research results are applied in quantum computers in laboratories at home and abroad. In addition to his work as a researcher, Michael has developed innovative courses for students, has written several software packages, and regularly organizes seminars and workshops.

About the KNAW Early Career Award

The winners have been chosen from four domains: Humanities;  Behavioural Sciences, Social Sciences and Law; Natural Sciences and Engineering; and Medical, Biomedical and Health Sciences. A maximum of three researchers per domain are awarded. The KNAW Early Career Award consists of a sum of 15,000 euros, made available from the KNAW Academy Fund, and an artwork. The money may be spent at the discretion of the winners on their own research career.


All winners will also receive the art object 'Extended Jewelery' by Laura Klinkenberg. This is a brass screw with a "twist". You need the twist in both science and art to arrive at new ideas. It also symbolizes unrulyness in research. The creator of the artwork won the art competition of the KNAW Early Career Award with 'Extended Jewelery'.