The "Cyprus Research Prize - Distinguished Researcher 2018" in the thematic section "Physical Sciences and Engineering" was awarded to Prof. Constantia Alexandrou, Professor at the University of Cyprus and CaSToRC Director at The Cyprus Institute.
Prof. Alexandrou was awarded the prize for her contributions to science at the "Cyprus Innovation and Research Awards 2018", organized jointly by the Research Promotion Foundation (RPF) and the Cyprus Employers & Industrialists Federation (OEB). The ceremony took place on Monday, 26 November 2018 and was attended by the President of the Republic, Mr. Nikos Anastasiades, who awarded the prizes.
Prof. Alexandrou received her Bachelor’s degree in Physics from Oxford University in 1980 and her PhD in Theoretical Physics from MIT in 1985. She is coordinator of several research programs, has numerous scientific publications and invited talks at international meetings, and has organized several workshops in Cyprus and abroad. She is the representative of Cyprus to IUPAP and PRACE.
Prof. Alexandrou has a long association with The Cyprus Institute, where she served as Vice Chairman of the Interim Management Board and later as Director of the Computational-based Science and Technology Research Center (CaSToRC), a post she maintains to date. In July 2010, the Board of the Institute bestowed Prof. Alexandrou the title 'Institute Professor', its highest academic recognition.
Under the guidance of Prof. Alexandrou, CaSToRC has evolved into a pioneering research center that promotes the development and implementation of computational methods such as modeling, simulation, and visualization to promote science and technology. At the same time, the Cy-Tera supercomputer of the Center, the only supercomputer in Cyprus and the largest open access supercomputer in the Eastern Mediterranean, provides user support to the scientific communities of Cyprus and the Eastern Mediterranean.
At her acceptance speech, Prof. Alexandrou emphasized the importance of basic research whose usefulness may not be immediate, but should be considered as a scientific “capital” for each country. "When I started in 1993, the Research Promotion Foundation did not even exist, and there were many voices telling me that this is not going to happen in Cyprus. But it did happen, because here I am today, and the Research Promotion Foundation is awarding me this prize for basic research", she said.
The main objective of the Research Prizes is to highlight the work and character of scientists who are active in the field of research in Cyprus, and who have significant and internationally recognized achievements. At the same time, the awarding of the Cyprus Research Prizes, which the Research Promotion Foundation established in 2007, highlight the personalities of researchers working in Cyprus, making their research work which already has international reach and significant impact on the wider scientific community, to become more widely known to the general public.