Texas Tech University

Liliana Rivera Sandoval


Distinguished Staff Awards 2020: Lilliana Rivera Sandoval Department of Physics & AstronomyLiliana Rivera Sandoval
Postdoctoral Researcher
Department of Physics and Astronomy

Liliana has made one of the more important and prominent scientific discoveries from the Department of Physics and Astronomy in recent years. She discovered the X-ray emission from a member of a new class of astronomical transient, obtained crucial early ultraviolet and X-ray data on this source, and published the first journal article about it. She was invited to a national press conference to discuss this object, and received media attention from most major media outlets. She also wrote three successful proposals for the latest cycle from the Hubble Space Telescope, which is truly exceptional. This work all involves projects where she was genuinely taking scientific leadership for the projects, rather than following her group leader's ideas. She has, beyond this, done excellent work on many other topics, including an invited review article. In addition, she has done an outstanding job in supplementing the mentorship from faculty members. This provides an extremely valuable presence in the department, as often students are comfortable having certain discussions with research staff that they do not want to have with faculty. Many students have found her a valuable role model and confidant. Liliana's research and mentorship efforts are a testament of her outstanding commitment to Texas Tech.