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National Postdoc Appreciation Week feature: Leonardo Werneck


In celebration of National Postdoc Appreciation Week, we want to highlight our current Postdoctoral Researchers in the Center. 

Thank you to all of our Postdocs!

Leonardo Werneck (Leo), PhD, is currently a Postdoctoral Researcher in the WVU Department of Physics and Astronomy and the Center for Gravitational Waves and Cosmology.

Leo completed his PhD at the University of São Paulo, where he first began to work with his postdoctoral advisor, Prof. Zachariah Etienne.  Leo's thesis used the Etienne group's core software NRPy+ to study gravitational collapse.  He also incorporated Etienne's neutron star fluid dynamics software, IllinoisGRMHD, into NRPy+ along with extending IllinoisGRMHD to handle more advanced descriptions of neutron star matter. 

His postdoctoral appointment in Etienne's group amplifies his skills and talents among the group.  He plays a key role in advancing the research program in modeling binary neutron star mergers on supercomputers. 

According to Etienne, Leo is also a talented mentor to the junior researchers. "His commitment to quality is a great influence on other students in the group, and we all benefit from his generosity of advice when ironing out new algorithms or communicating ideas with other researchers", Etienne says.

 Leonardo Werneck
Leonardo Werneck

Leo's research focuses on Numerical Relativity and Computational Astrophysics. His scientific contributions have led to publishable results in a number of projects in the Etienne group and also in collaboration with other groups around the country.   

To this end, Leo has a very rare skill set among computational physicists: the ability to write both excellent quality software and documentation. This meshes perfectly with our broader aim to make all of our software available and accessible by the community of researchers in my field, especially new students.Zachariah Etienne

In addition to his expertise, he is valued for his mentorship and dedication to his research team.  Etienne looks back at his decision to hire Leo as a posdoc and reflects ".. a decision I consider to be one of the best of my career." 

Thank you, Leo, for all that you bring to the Center as a postdoc!

This year's Postdoc Appreciation Week is September 20-24, 2021. The event was created by the National Postdoc Association (NPA) in 2009 and continues to advocate and celebrate postdoctoral researchers across the globe. The NPA is a non-profit association that seeks to improve the postdoctoral experience by supporting a culture of inclusive connection.