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2015 Brouwer Award Winner - Sylvio Ferraz Mello

Professor Sylvio Ferraz Mello is internationally recognized for his many seminal contributions to dynamical astronomy, starting in the 1960s and continuing to the present day. He has made fundamental advances to our understanding of the role of resonances in the orbital dynamics in solar systems. This works uses — and further develops — advanced techniques in celestial mechanics to understand how resonant structures in phase space control the orbital evolution of solar system bodies. These results have wide ranging applications, from explanations of the strucuture of the asteroid belt in our solar system to the complicated architectures recently observed in extrasolar planetary systems. In addition, Sylvio has made fundamental contributions to our understanding of dissipative processes in solar system evolution. This work include detailed studies of tidal friction and Stokes drag, as well as the role played by dissipation in capturing planets into mean motion resonances.

In addition to his research contributions, Sylvio has been a leader in training the next generation of researchers in celestial mechanics, in developing a vibrant community of dynamical astronomers in South America, and serving as a mentor (and role model) for researchers throughout the world. Finally, Sylvio has provided sustained and exceptional service to the community of dynamical astronomy through his role as editor of the journal Celestial Mechanics and through his work with the DDA.