Roy Patrick Kerr (1934) is a New Zealander best known for the Kerr Metric and the Kerr Black Hole. In 1963, Kerr discovered a specific solution to Einstein’s field equations which describes a structure now termed a Kerr black hole. It quickly became apparent and proven that any stationary black hole can be described by Kerr’s solution.
His work is therefore of particular importance to general relativistic astrophysics and all subsequent detailed work on black holes has depended fundamentally on it. In recognition of his work Kerr has been awarded the Hector Medal RSNZ (1982), Hughes Medal (1984), Rutherford Medal RSNZ (1993), Marcel Grossman Award (2006), Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit (2011), Albert Einstein Medal (2013), Honorary Fellows of Trinity College Cambridge, Doctor of Science (Hon) University of Canterbury NZ (2015) and the Crafoord Prize (2016).
Canterbury Distinguished Professor, Department of Mathematics and Statistics, University of Canterbury