Imre Pázsit, Professor at the Department of Physics, received the award during the recent ANS Winter Meeting in Washington DC. He is recognised for his contributions to the theory of random processes in nuclear reactors and the application of these methods for reactor diagnostics and to detect illicit nuclear materials.
This is the second time that the Wigner Award is given to a Chalmers professor – in 2011 Nils Göran Sjöstrand, Professor Emeritus at the former Division of Nuclear Engineering at Chalmers received the prize – thus making Chalmers, along with MIT, the only university to have received the prize twice since the award was founded 1990.
“I feel extremely privileged to share this prestigious prize with legendary persons of early nuclear science and contemporary nuclear engineering and reactor physics, including the first recipient, E. P. Wigner himself. A special circumstance is that this is the first time a person born in Hungary received the prize, after the namesake, Dr. Wigner. I had the privilege of meeting Dr. Wigner in Hungary in 1982 and I also corresponded with him. He would be happy to know that one of his countrymen is honouring his name. Receipt of this award requires a broad research activity, and has hence the flavour of a "lifetime achievement" award, for which I am thoroughly happy,” says Imre Pázsit.
During the ANS meeting, Imre Pázsit, also gave the Wigner Award Lecture, titled "A random talk (walk) in neutron fluctuations and reactor diagnostics".
Imre Pázsit received his PhD at the Lorand Eötvös University, Budapest, Hungary, in 1975, and his DSc from the Hungarian Academy of Sciences in 1985. From 1975 until 1983 he worked at the Central Research Institute for Physics in Budapest. In 1983 he became a guest researcher at the Swedish national lab Studsvik Energiteknik AB in Nyköping. In 1991 he became the Chair of Reactor Physics at Chalmers University of Technology in Göteborg, Sweden, where he has been a full professor since. He became a NERS adjunct professor in late 2008.
Imre Pázsit has been a member of the Royal Society of Arts and Sciences in Gothenburg since 2004, an ANS Fellow since 2006, and a member of the Royal Swedish Academy of Engineering Sciences (IVA) since 2008. He served as the Executive Editor of Annals of Nuclear Energy from 2013 until 2019 when he became an Honorary Editor. Pázsit received the Order of the Rising Sun, Golden Rays with Neck Ribbon from the Japanese Government in 2016 and the Leó Szilárd Medal from the Hungarian Nuclear Society in 2016 (also shared with E. P. Wigner and E. Teller). He also became a Senior Member of the Institute of Nuclear Materials Management this year.
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