Professor emerita and research professor in physics
Sachiko Tsuruta was first hired as visiting faculty in 1977 and joined the Montana State University Department of Physics as a tenure-track professor in 1990. In the 51 years since Tsuruta received her Ph.D. from Columbia University, she has investigated a variety of topics that deal with dense stellar objects, such as neutron stars, black holes, white dwarfs, supermassive black holes and early universe problems such as first stars, gravitational waves and gamma ray bursts. Her most important contribution to astrophysics is said to be her prediction that neutron stars existed. Colleagues and students, especially women, greatly appreciate Tsuruta’s level and unassuming, committed leadership. Past undergraduate physics major Madeline Kelly says, “Dr. Tsuruta has given me so many incredible opportunities throughout my time as an undergraduate. She certainly cares about the well-being and success of her students and is as much like a grandmother to them as a research adviser. She is patient and considerate, helpful, driven and dedicated.” In 2015, she won the Marcel Grossmann Prize, a prestigious international award that recognizes scientific achievement and is given to an individual once every three years. She is patient and considerate, helpful, driven and dedicated. Tsuruta exemplifies the extraordinary nature of the MSU community.
"It is very hard to imagine what enormous courage and dedication this calm lady must have had to stand out of her time and culture, where women being scientists was unheard of and indeed disturbing to many.”