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Burkinabe Frederic Ouattara receives AGU Africa Award for Research Excellence in Space Science

Frédéric Ouattara - Image Source: AGU 2019

Frédéric Ouattara received the Africa Award for Research Excellence in Space Science at the 2018 AGU Fall Meeting Honors Ceremony, held 12 December 2018 in Washington, D. C. The award recognizes an individual “for completing significant work that shows the focus and promise of making outstanding contributions to research in space science.”

His thesis was titled “Contribution to the study of the relations between the two components of the solar magnetic field and the equatorial ionosphere.” It was defended at the Université Cheikh Anta Diop, Dakar, in October 2009.After a first thesis about the thermodynamics of African homes, Dr. Frédéric Ouattara chose in 2006 to focus his studies on the relationships between the Earth and the Sun. He participated in the International Heliophysical Year project and defended his state thesis in 2009 on the basis of six articles published in rank-A journals. He currently has 30 publications in well-known journals, such as Journal of Atmospheric and Solar-Terrestrial Physics, Annales Geophysicae, Journal of Space Weather and Space Climate, Journal of Geophysical Research, and Advances in Space Research.

This is the first thesis linking the poloidal and toroidal components of the solar magnetic field to the critical frequency of the F region of the ionosphere, with a direct impact on high-frequency propagation. He trained a team of six researchers in Burkina Faso and is currently developing the University of Koudougou, where he is vice president.

—Jean Lilensten, Institut de Planétologie et d’Astrophysique de Grenoble, Saint-Martin-d’Hères, France


It’s a great pleasure and honor for me to receive the 2018 edition of the AGU Africa Award for Research Excellence in Space Science. I am grateful to the selection committee for appointing me, a modest Burkinabe scientist from West Africa, for such a distinction. I also show my deep gratefulness to Sunanda Basu for having the bright idea to establish this prize since 2015. I would also thank the present AGU award committee for the necessary measures they took to enable me to participate in the unfolding and famous ceremony. I am indebted to Drs. J. Lilensten from the Planetology Laboratory of Grenoble, A. Elias from the National University of Tucumán, and Le Huy Minh from the Institute of Geophysics of Hanoi, who invested themselves so as to help me apply for this prize for their precious contributions, suggestions, and recommendations.

I defended my Ph.D. oriented on the study of the components of the solar magnetic field and their effects on ionosphere variability at Université Cheikh Anta Diop (Senegal) in 2009 under the scientific direction of Prof. G. Sissoko. I thank the late Dr. O. Fambitakoye, who encouraged me to study space sciences at the school of Abidjan in 1995. After this Ph.D. defense, I created the Energetic and Space Weather Research Laboratory at Université Norbert Zongo. I led a research team at this university on the West African equatorial ionosphere variability. Let me take the opportunity here to thank sincerely the Fulbright Scholar Program for granting me in 2012 a 9-month enriching and beneficial stay at the High Altitude Observatory. I am grateful to the director of this institute as well as to all my collaborators who did their best to make this scientific exchange a real success. I am particularly indebted to Drs. A. Richmond and A. Maute.

My acknowledgments are especially directed toward Prof. C. A. Mazaudier, who supervised my dissertation. I thank Dr. R. Fleury for his collaboration, training, and the ionospheric data. I would like to thank Drs. J. P. Legrand and P. N. Mayaud for our exciting scientific discussions during my stay in Paris.

I cannot end my speech without showing my love to my beloved wife and my paternal love to my children and let them know that the present prize is the fruit of their different sacrifice and understanding.

Glory to the Almighty Good, the Provider.

—Frédéric Ouattara, Université Norbert Zongo, Koudougou, Burkina Faso

Citation: AGU (2019), Ouattara receives 2018 Africa Award for Research Excellence in Space Science, Eos, 100, Published on 18 January 2019.
Text © 2019. The authors. CC BY-NC-ND 3.0

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