2017 Harvard Leadership Prize - Michaël Gillon

The University of Chicago Alumni Club of Belgium

December 14, 2017: 7:00 PM - 10:00 PM

Chicago Booth and UChicago alumni are cordially invited by Harvard Alumni Club to the award ceremony - 2017 Leadership Prize. 


De Warande
Rue Zinnestraat, 1
1000 Brussels, Belgium

Event Details


We have the honor to invite Chicago Booth and UChicago alumni to the award ceremony with a seated dinner of the 2017 Harvard Leadership Prize at De Warande in Brussels. 

The Board of Directors has decided to award the 2017 Harvard Leadership Prize to Michaël Gillon, Astrophysicist at the University of Liège specialised on exoplanetary detection and their physiochemical characterisation. He is the scientific manager and main investigator of the TRAPPIST project which has been awarded by numerous prizes (Balzan Prize 2017) and resulted in the detection of some thirty exoplanets.

The dress code for the evening is business attire.

We hope that you will be able to join us and look forward to seeing you on December 14th, 2017.

Warm regards,
Jean-Albert Nyssens Renee Haferkamp
President, Harvard Club of Belgium 



€95 for nonmembers (guests and non-member alumni)
€50 for young members (born after 1985)
€70 for members 

(only paid registrations will be confirmed). As always, please note that we do not reimburse in case of
cancellation after the deadline above.


Register Online

Please confirm your participation before Thursday, December 7th, 2017.

Deadline: 12/7/2017

Speaker Profiles

Michaël Gillon (Speaker)
research associate, Fonds de la Recherche Scientifique (F.R.S. – FNRS)

Michaël conducthis research activities at the University of Liege, in the research group Origins in Cosmology and Astrophysics (OrCA) of the Department of Astrophysics, Geophysics and Oceanography. He is astrophysicist, and his
researches focus on the detection and study of exoplanets, i.e. planets located outside the solar system. He did his PhD thesis in astrophysics under the supervision of Pr Magain, still at Liege University. A significant part of his PhD was dedicated to the observation of exoplanets. After his PhD, in 2006, he got the opportunity to join as postdoctoral scientist the Geneva exoplanet group of Michel Mayor and Didier Queloz. These two astronomers are famous for having discovered the first exoplanet in 1995, and they have been working at the forefront of the field since then. He stayed at Geneva for three years, then he came back to Liege to pursue exoplanet studies in Belgium. After a postdoc funded by the federal government, FNRS granted him permanent research position in 2010. Since then, he is focusing his work not only on his research projects, but also on building a world-class exoplanet research team around himself and on developing the field of exoplanet studies in Belgium.

He is also supervising the project SPECULOOS (Search for habitable Planets EClipsing ULtra-cOOl Stars) involves scientists from the University of Liège (Belgium), the Cavendish Laboratory, Cambridge (UK) and the King Abdulaziz University (Saudi Arabia). The European Southern Observatory (ESO) supports and hosts SPECULOOS at the Paranal Observatory. Astronomers first discovered three Earth-sized planets orbiting the dwarf star in 2015. A team led by Michaël Gillon detected the planets using transit photometry with the Transiting Planets and Planetesimals Small Telescope (TRAPPIST) at the La Silla Observatory in Chile. On 22 February 2017, astronomers announced four additional exoplanets around TRAPPIST-1. This work used the NASA Spitzer Space Telescope and the Very Large Telescope at Paranal, among others, and brought the total number of planets to seven, of which three are considered to be within its habitable zone. The others could also be habitable as they may possess liquid water somewhere on their surface.


Benoit Lacheron, '08 (EXP-13)