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December 9, 2021

Department honors 2021 Outstanding Alum Tristan L’Ecuyer

The department recognized 2021 Outstanding Alum Tristan L’Ecuyer Dec. 9 in a hybrid ceremony held both virtually and at ATS.

Department Head Jeff Collett introduced L’Ecuyer and presented him with the trophy. Collett shared a passage from L’Ecuyer’s cover letter submitted with his application to the graduate program in 1997.

“‘I am a hard-working student who is very eager to learn and have the opportunity to make a significant contribution to the scientific community,'” Collett quoted. “Clearly, Tristan, you have made more than one significant contribution to the community, so congratulations.”

L’Ecuyer said the award was a pleasant surprise. “It’s such a meaningful award because it’s coming from the people I’ve worked with, the people I’ve known for many years,” he said. “For all the great alumni we’ve had from this department over the years, to be considered among that group was a huge honor – probably the biggest honor I’ve received so far in my career.”

L’Ecuyer gave a talk linking his dissertation work on tropical diabatic heating to his current research leading NASA’s PREFIRE mission, the Polar Radiant Energy in the Far Infrared Experiment. He credited his research group at the University of Wisconsin for much of the work he shared.

“When you win an award like this, it’s really because so many great people have worked with you over the years,” he said.

L’Ecuyer shared some notes he scribbled during his first meeting with his adviser, Graeme Stephens, and pointed out that a lot of the elements he still works on today are represented in that original diagram.

“I’m really indebted to my time here at Colorado State and the atmospheric science department for everything I’ve done in my career,” he said.

You can read more about Tristan L’Ecuyer’s career and thoughts he shared with the department here.