Vakhtang Putkaradze of the University of Alberta has been selected as the 2020 winner of the CAIMS-Fields Industrial Research Prize. Dr. Putkaradze is an expert in geometric mechanics, an area that unifies dynamical systems, the calculus of variations, continuum mechanics and related topics with a geometric perspective. Many of the best ideas in geometric mechanics during the last decade are said to have arisen from his work. Moreover, he has used this expertise to find novel industrial applications and to build patented technologies. In 2019, the Alberta based global energy corporation ATCO appointed him as the head of ATCO SpaceLab to build a focal point for the rigorous exploration of new ideas with business potential. The fact that they chose to appoint a research mathematician for this important position speaks to Vakhtang’s remarkable ability to straddle the theoretical and the industrial sides of discovery. In addition to his own scientific and industrial achievements, Dr. Putkaradze stands out for his ability to inspire and lead a team of young scholars to achieve high scientific goals that are motivated by industrial applications.
University of Alberta