2019 Kuiper Award to Hamish Hay

Hamish Hay is the 2019 recipient of the Gerard P. Kuiper Memorial Award, the department's highest award for graduate student scholarship. Hamish is a fifth-year student who joined LPL after earning a MSci in Geophysics at Imperial College London. Hamish is being recognized for the original modeling and coding he created to investigate tidal heating in icy satellites.

Hamish developed the ODIS (Ocean Dissipation in Icy Satellites) code to address existing assumptions in the current tidal heating model, which assumes energy dissipation in only the solid regions, ignoring energy dissipation in the subsurface oceans; the few models that take into account tidal heating in the ocean are not directly applicable to icy satellites in the solar system due to a number of simplifying assumptions (addressed by ODIS).

In addition to this work, Hamish has presented (LPSC 2019) research on extrasolar planet-planet tidal heating; he has found that planet-planet tidal heating can account for up to approximately 20% of the total amount of tidal heating, providing the first quantitative constraint on planet-planet tidal heating. Hamish followed up this work by applying his model to satellite-satellite tidal heating. Hamish' new model will provide a resonant ocean tidal heating mechanism that is relevant for the likely ocean thicknesses, which may help explain the long-term survivability of subsurface oceans in satellites of the solar system.

Hamish held a NASA Earth and Space Science Fellowship from 2015-2018 (Tidal Dissipation in the Subsurface Oceans of the Icy Satellites) and was the recipient of a College of Science Galileo Circle Scholarship in 2016 and 2017.  He is advised by Associate Professor Isamu Matsuyama.

The citation for the Kuiper Award reads: "This award is presented to students of the planetary sciences who best exemplify, through the high quality of their researches and the excellence of their scholastic achievements, the goals and standards established and maintained by Gerard P. Kuiper, founder of the Lunar and Planetary Laboratory and the Department of Planetary Sciences at the University of Arizona."