An early morning phone call on October 2, 2018 altered any plans that Donna Strickland had that day and for most of her days since.

The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences’ announcement that Strickland would share the Nobel Prize in Physics 2018 made her a household name and guaranteed her place in history.

Watch Donna Strickland explain that early morning call

Strickland is be accepting the Nobel Prize for developing chirped pulse amplification with Gérard Mourou. They published this research in 1985 when Strickland was a PhD student at the University of Rochester in New York state. Together they paved the way toward the most intense laser pulses ever created.

Over the next couple of weeks, follow Strickland’s journey as we wish her luck at her send-off party and she travels to Europe to receive her award at the Nobel Prize ceremony in Stockholm. Check-in as we update you on where Strickland’s adventure takes her on this exciting ride of winning a Nobel Prize.


December 10

Strickland was officially inducted as a Nobel Laureate today. To commemorate this historic occasion, the Optical Society made custom pins of Strickland.

The ceremony took place in the beautiful Stockholm Concert Hall.

Stockholm Concert Hall

Strickland is ready to accept her prize.

Donna in her ceremony dress

Hundreds of Waterloo staff, students and faculty have gathered on campus to watch the ceremony and celebrate Strickland.

Later in the evening, Nobel Laureates and guests celebrated their historic achievements at the Nobel Banquet. This formal banquet was held in the Blue Hall at Stockholm City Hall.

Strickland had the distinguished honour to speak at banquet.

Watch Strickland's full address at the Nobel Banquet.

Stay tuned for more updates

December 11: The Swedish Royal family will welcome Nobel Laureates and guests to the King’s dinner at the Royal Palace of Stockholm.

December 12: Strickland is scheduled to record the program Nobel Minds, produced by SVT and BBC World.

December 12: Concluding reception of Nobel Week.


December 9

Strickland was invited to the Vasa Museum. She signed the guest book made from the historic ship's rope.

Donna signing guest book

The University of Waterloo is getting ready to celebrate. Strickland will officially become a Nobel Laureate on December 10.


December 8 

Strickland delivered her Nobel Lecture at Stockholm University.

Stage for Nobel Lectures 2018

Strickland and co-winner, Mourou, shared a light moment before Donna took the stage to present her Nobel Lecture.

Donna speaking with Gerard Mourou

Chief Science Advisor of Canada, Mona Nemer, praised Strickland for her Nobel Lecture.

A clip from Strickland's Nobel Lecture on her award-winning research involving Chirped Pulse Amplification.

Strickland attended the Nobel concert with her husband, Doug, at the Stockholm Concert Hall. The next time Donna will be here, will be for the rehearsal of the Nobel Prize Ceremony.

Donna and husband Doug at Nobel concert


December 7

Strickland arrived at the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences to address the world's media. She was joined at the press conference by Nobel Prize 2018 winners for physics, chemistry and economic sciences.

The outside building of the Royal Sweidsh Academy

Strickland provided an interview for Swedish TV in front of a statue of Alfred Nobel.

Donna being interviewed by Swedish reporter


December 6

All the Nobel Prize 2018 winners were invited to meet one another at the Nobel Museum.

Strickland donated one of the laser rods she used in her research at the University of Rochester. Afterwards, she was invited to sign one of the chairs at the museum's Bistro Nobel.

Strickland was also invited to the Kista Science City to give a physics lecture to students from the Stockholm Science and Innovation School.

Donna at Kista Science City


December 4

After a 10 hour flight delay, Strickland is finally off to Stockholm to receive her prize. She has great company for the long flight - her husband, Doug Dykaar.

Donna on the plane with her husband Doug


December 1

Strickland surprised over 125 girls at the PhysiX: Girls Matter event. PhysiX is a one day seminar for girls in grades 7 and 8 to encourage and engage them in exploring physics and science.

Strickland performed a laser demonstration and explained how lasers are so much cooler than lightsabers.

Donna demonstrating laser

Strickland posing with the girls at PhysiX


November 29

University of Waterloo staff, faculty and students attended a send-off party in the Science Teaching Complex to congratulate Strickland and wish her well on her journey to Stockholm.

Strickland addressed the group and offered some words of encouragement to PhD students.

She also received a special gift....

Donna Strickland gets a parking space


Banner image: Stockholm City Hall