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2023 Julius Springer Prize

Applied Physics A and Applied Physics B congratulate the winner of the 2023 Julius Springer Prize!

New York | Heidelberg, 9 March 2023

Journal cover: Applied Physics BThis year's Julius Springer Prize for Applied Physics has been awarded to Prof. Ronald K. Hanson for his pioneering work on laser-based diagnostic methods for combustion and propulsion and his outstanding research on modern shock tube methods for accurate determination of chemical reaction rate parameters, required for modeling combustion and propulsion. His contributions are indispensable to propulsion research and its development world-wide.

Professor Hanson received engineering degrees from Oregon State University, Arizona State University and Stanford University. He has been affiliated with Stanford University since 1972, where he served as the Mechanical Engineering Department Chair from 1993 – 2003.  He holds the Woodard Chair of Mechanical Engineering and has supervised over 115 Ph.D. students and 20 postdoctoral researchers and research associates, with 35 of his graduates now holding faculty positions around the world.

His research is focused on laser diagnostics and sensors, spectroscopy, shock wave physics and combustion chemistry.  He and his students have made several pioneering contributions in the areas of laser-based diagnostics for combustion and propulsion, shock tube physics and chemistry, energy science and optical spectroscopy, authoring over 1300 publications.  

Professor Hanson is a fellow of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers, American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA), the Combustion Institute, and the Optical Society of America.  He has received the Edgerton Gold Medal of the Combustion Institute and three Gold Medals from AIAA, and has been elected to the National Academy of Engineering.  He is also an Inaugural Distinguished Fellow of the International Shock Wave Institute and the recipient of the R. Soloukhin Medal of the Institute for Dynamics of Explosions and Reactive Systems.  Perhaps the most satisfying recognitions to him have been the ones his students have received for their publications, including numerous Best Paper Awards from AIAA, ASME and Measurement Science and Technology, as well as the Combustion Institute Silver Medal.

A description of the current areas of study in Professor Hanson’s laboratory can be found at his website

Quote from winner

“My sincere thanks to Springer Publishing and the Julius Springer Prize for Applied Physics selection committee for this honor.  I am humbled to see my name added to the list of past awardees that I hold in very high respect.  I also want to acknowledge that the research this prize honors would not have been possible without the stellar work and effort of the students and staff of our laboratory.”

Quote from the Editor-in-Chief

“With great pleasure we celebrate Prof. Hanson’s extensive and ground-breaking contributions in advancing energy and propulsion technologies. As such it is an honour to bestow this prize on him, recognising his pioneering work in the field of optical spectroscopy in adverse environments. He and his numerous students and colleagues have been prolific innovators in advancing our understanding of chemical reactions in combustion systems, which have led to vital improvements in efficient and cleaner energy conversion. An essential course of action as the World’s population grapples with how to exploit energy reserves responsibly. It is clear through the several tens of thousands of citations to papers published by Prof. Hanson’s team, that their work has had a tremendous impact and we know it is highly regarded by the readership of Applied Physics B. On their behalf and that of the editors, I congratulate you and your team for your outstanding achievements and thank you for your drive and passion to communicate these to the community.”

The Julius Springer Prize for Applied Physics recognizes researchers who have made an outstanding and innovative contribution to the field of applied physics. It has been awarded annually since 1998 by the editors-in-chief of the Springer journals Applied Physics A – Materials Science & Processing and Applied Physics B – Lasers and Optics. Recent winners have included Roland Wiesendanger, Xiang Zhang, Viktor Malka, Guus Rijnders, Jerome Faist, Leon Chua, Jun Ye and Richard E. Russo.

The Julius Springer Prize will take place at CLEO Europe during the EQEC Plenary Talk and Award Ceremony which is scheduled to take place from 10:30 to 12:30 on Tuesday morning, June 27, 2023, Neue Messe München, ICM, Munich, Germany. 

Here is the announcement on the CLEO Europe website.

Further Information

Find out more about Ronald Hanson’s work in the following articles published in Applied Physics B and other Springer Nature titles: 

Selected publications from APHB

Ronald K. Hanson, Jerry M. Seitzman,& Phillip H. Paul. Planar laser-fluorescence imaging of combustion gases. Appl. Phys. B 50, 441-454 (1990). 

M.C. Thurber & Ronald K. Hanson. Pressure and composition dependences of acetone laser-induced fluorescence with excitation at 248, 266, and 308 nm. Appl. Phys. B 69, 229-240 (1999). 

J.T.C. Liu, J.B. Jeffries, & Ronald K. Hanson. Wavelength modulation absorption spectroscopy with 2 f detection using multiplexed diode lasers for rapid temperature measurements in gaseous flows. Appl. Phys. B 78, 503-511 (2004). 

Farooq, A., Jeffries, J. & Hanson, R. CO2 concentration and temperature sensor for combustion gases using diode-laser absorption near 2.7 μm. Appl. Phys. B 90, 619–628 (2008). 

W. Ren, A. Farooq, D. F. Davidson, et. al. CO concentration and temperature sensor for combustion gases using quantum-cascade laser absorption near 4.7 μm. Appl. Phys. B 107, 849-860 (2012). 

5 highly cited

A. Lozano, B. Yip, & R. K. Hanson. Acetone: a tracer for concentration measurements in gaseous flows by planar laser-induced fluorescence. Experiments in Fluids 13, 369-376 (1992). 

Eric L. Petersen & Ronald K. Hanson. Nonideal effects behind reflected shock waves in a high-pressure shock tube. Shock Waves 10, 405-420 (2001). 

I. van Cruyningen, A. Lozano, & R. K. Hanson. Quantitative imaging of concentration by planar laser-induced fluorescence. Experiments in Fluids 10, 41-49 (1990). 

Zekai Hong, Genny A. Pang, Subith S. Vasu, et. al. The use of driver inserts to reduce non-ideal pressure variations behind reflected shock waves. Shock Waves 19, 113-123 (2009). 

M. C. Thurber & R. K. Hanson. Simultaneous imaging of temperature and mole fraction using acetone planar laser-induced fluorescence. Experiments in Fluids 30, 93-101 (2001). 

Services for Journalists

The full announcement including a photo of the prize winner is available here.


Cindy Zitter | Springer | Physics Editorial Department
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