Innovation Award

European Physical Society Plasma Physics Innovation Prize “for the use of plasma physics in technology and engineering”

The prize was established in 2008 by the EPS Plasma Physics Division to acknowledge and promote the many benefits to society that derive from plasma physics research, such as applications in medicine, waste management, material processing or other areas of societal, industrial or technological applications.

The prize is awarded for proven applications outside the realm of plasma physics research, as distinct from promising ideas. Joint awards can be granted to groups of up to 3 researchers.

Research in Plasma Physics has multiple and rich outcomes with direct or indirect applications. These applications, which are sometimes inconspicuous and even unknown to the layman, can have significant impacts on daily human life as well as on economic activity. Surprisingly, some of the impacts seem far from the basic Plasma Physics research which gave birth to these key original ideas, but nonetheless represent exemplary technological and scientific innovation. Today, applications of Plasma Physics flourish in vastly different domains, such as radioactive waste transmutation, medicine, isotope separation processes (with fundamental applications to cancer therapy), infection treatment, material processing, torch cutting and welding, flat TV screens, lighting systems, thrusters, as well as countless other medical, industrial and engineering applications. Within the general framework of the relationship between “Science and Society”, there is a strong effort on communication between research and public domains in many countries.

The European Physical Society is keenly aware of these important applications. As a dual gesture of stimulation and recognition, a new annual prize was created in 2008 by the Plasma Physics Division of the European Physical Society. This prize targets research which has demonstrably led to robust innovative applications or important effects on society. Nominations in any fields are encouraged.

The prize is given once a year and consists of 3000 euros and a certificate citing the contributions made by the recipient.

The recognized contribution may be a spin-off (product, process or tool) from research into plasma physics, currently employed outside this original field, for instance in medicine, waste management, material processing, etc. It shall correspond to an existing, proven, application, and not to an ongoing or projected development.

Self-nominations are not allowed.

There are no restrictions for the nationality, the gender or the home institution of the nominees. EPS membership is not required.

Joint awards can be granted to groups of up to 3 researchers.

Nomination form

Previous award winners

Year Winner(s)
2017 Michel Moisan (Université de Montréal, Québec, Canada) for pioneering contributions to the development and understanding of microwave plasma sources and their applications to materials processing, healthcare and environmental protection
2016 Klaus-Dieter Weltmann and Thomas von Woedtke (Leibniz Institute for Plasma Science and Technology, Germany) for their pioneering work in the field of plasma medicine
2014 Christoph Hollenstein for instrumental contributions to the field of Plasma Processes in Industry and for his strong impact in spin-off activities of fusion R&D
2012 Eugen Stamate for the discovery of the modal and discrete focusing effects associated with three-dimensional plasma-sheath-lenses that contributed to ion beam extraction, mass spectrometry, control of the ion flux on substrates and the development of new sensors for plasma and sheath parameters
2011 Alexander Litvak, Keishi Sakamoto and Manfred Kaspar Andreas Thumm for outstanding contributions to the realization of high power gyrotron for multi-megawatt long-pulse electron cyclotron heating and current drive on magnetic confinement nuclear plasma devices
2010 Uwe Czarnetzki for his outstanding contributions in the discovery of the Electrical Asymmetry Effect, its scientific characterization and for its development up to the level of successful industrial application

Emmanuel Marode for breakthrough developments and applications of basic plasma physics tools to address environmental concern

see also EuroPhysics News 41/1 (2010) 04

2008 John Allen and Beatrice Annaratone for their invention of a plasma heating scheme used in an RF plasma reactor, where plasma heating is implemented using the plasma series resonance