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Lecturer wins prestigious European Geosciences Union Award

22 April 2016

Scientist gathering rock samples in Namibia
Dr Ake Fagereng gathering rock samples in Namibia

Dr Åke Fagereng, a lecturer in the School of Earth and Environmental Sciences at Cardiff University, has won the European Geosciences Union Outstanding Young Scientists Award 2016.

The award will be presented at the European Geosciences Union (EGU) General Assembly in Vienna, Austria this week. As well as receiving the award, Dr Fagereng will give a keynote speech on his research in the field of tectonics and structural geology.

The EGU is an international union of scientists with over 12,500 members worldwide. It is dedicated to advances in geosciences and planetary and space sciences that will benefit humanity. The EGU General Assembly is held annually and is the largest and most prominent gathering of geoscientists in Europe, with professionals and academics from across the globe attending. The event runs over a week and encompasses sessions on a wide range of topics from volcanology, planetary exploration, the Earth’s internal structure and atmosphere, climate, as well as energy and resources.

The EGU Outstanding Young Scientist Award recognises scientific achievements by early career scientists in a particular field. Dr Fagereng is a specialist in tectonics and structural geology and has been acknowledged by the EGU for his fundamental contributions to the understanding of the processes and physical conditions prevailing around Earth’s active plate boundaries.

A member of the School of Earth and Environmental Sciences’ Solid: Earth and Ocean research group, Dr Fagereng’s research is centred on the fundamental processes that steer the changing face of the planet, whether at plate boundaries or plate interiors. The big questions he is interested in are where and why large earthquakes occur. He uses a mixture of field work, carefully observing and analysing rocks and landscapes, and laboratory analysis as foundations for his research which has taken him to destinations all over the world, including New Zealand, South Africa, Namibia, Malawi, Antarctica, and Norway.

His keynote speech at the EGU General Assembly is entitled “'What major faults look like, and why this matters for lithospheric dynamics’” and will focus on interpreting faults and fault rocks exposed on the Earth's surface, in light of data from recent earthquakes and creep events, and discuss new insights into fault mechanics and seismic hazards.

The EGU General Assembly will run from 17th-21st April 2016. For more information on Dr Fagereng and his award, please visit the EGU website. To find out more about our research, please visit:

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