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Laura Nicole Driessen

PhD candidate in Radio Astronomy, University of Manchester

I am currently a PhD student at the University of Manchester. I am working on localising fast radio bursts and other fast radio transients using MeerKAT.My supervisor is Professor Ben Stappers and I am working in the MeerTRAP group. I also work on radio transients in the image plane with the ThunderKAT group, particularly focusing on radio flare stars and flaring stellar systems.

I completed my master's in astronomy & astrophysics at the University of Amsterdam in September 2017. I won the De Zeeuw-Van Dishoeck Award for Astronomy, which is the prize for the best astronomy master's thesis in the Netherlands. I won second prize for best astronomy master's thesis presentation and first prize for best astronomy master's thesis at the University of Amsterdam (Anton Pannekoek Institute).

My master's project was imaging the Galactic Plane with LOFAR to investigate pulsar wind nebula G54.1+0.3 and other objects in the field of view. I completed a Bachelor of Science (Science Scholars) at Monash University in 2014 with majors in astronomy and astrophysics, and applied mathematics. I have completed two summer studentships: one at the International Centre for Radio Astronomy Research (ICRAR) in Perth, Australia, imaging the Galactic Centre using MWA and VLA data; and one at the Netherlands Institute for Radio Astronomy (ASTRON) studying the pulse profile and scattering of the Crab pulsar.


  • –present
    PhD student in radio astronomy, University of Manchester


  • 2017 
    The University of Amsterdam, Master's of Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • 2014 
    The University of Monash, Bachelor of Science (Science Scholars program)


  • 2019
    MKT J170456.2-482100: the first transient discovered by MeerKAT, Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
  • 2019
    Scattering features and variability of the Crab pulsar, Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
  • 2018
    Investigating Galactic Supernova Remnant Candidates Using LOFAR, Astrophysical Journal


De Zeeuw-Van Dishoeck Award for Astronomy