Gombosi Receives 2013 Space Weather and Nonlinear Waves and Processes Prize

Tamas Gombosi received the inaugural Space Weather and Nonlinear Waves and Processes Prize at the 2013 AGU Fall Meeting, held 9–13 December in San Francisco, Calif. The award recognizes significant contributions in the field of space weather or nonlinear waves and processes.


gombosi_tamasThe Space Physics and Aeronomy section of AGU awards the Space Weather and Nonlinear Waves and Processes Prize to Tamas Gombosi of the University of Michigan. Gombosi, the founding director of the Center for Space Environment Modeling, has been a leader in space weather research, a visionary in space weather numerical modeling for several decades, and a pioneer of international space physics collaboration. Gombosi’s major contributions to space weather include the development of the first time-dependent numerical model of the terrestrial polar wind and the creation of the BATS-R-US magnetohydrodynamic model, a powerful and versatile numerical tool widely used today for modeling the global geospace, the heliosphere, and the solar interior.

Under his leadership, Gombosi’s group developed the Space Weather Modeling Framework (SWMF), a powerful tool that enables the space physics community to couple chains of models to describe the complex Sun-Earth system.

Gombosi has also been a leader in space weather education, authoring two textbooks and leading the creation of a very successful master of engineering in space systems program.

His lifetime of achievement in space weather makes him supremely qualified to be the first recipient of this new AGU prize.

—ROBERT P. MCCOY, University of Alaska Fairbanks


It is a great honor to be the recipient of AGU’s inaugural Space Weather and Nonlinear Waves and Processes Prize. I am truly humbled by this recognition because there are many other highly deserving colleagues in our research field.
First of all, I would like to express the community’s appreciation for the generous contribution from Bruce Tsurutani and Olga Verkhoglyadova that made this award possible. They set a great example of giving back to the community that is so important for all of us.

I would like to thank my colleagues at the University of Michigan and beyond who made BATS-R-US and SWMF a reality. In alphabetical order, Darren De Zeeuw, Igor Sokolov, Gabor Toth, and Bart van der Holst are the real heroes behind this achievement. I would like to acknowledge the contributions of our colleagues at the Community Coordinated Modeling Center (CCMC) who worked tirelessly to transition our codes to community use. I would also like to acknowledge the contributions of the “guinea pigs,” those who tested and validated our space weather software as it was developed. Their patience is greatly appreciated.

I would like to thank my wife, Eszter, for her share in this award. We really earned this award together. My children, Judit and Zoltan, always remind me that there are important things beyond science. They are also responsible for my five adorable grandchildren and the best evidence of importance beyond science.

Finally, I would like to express my gratitude to my many mentors over the years, from Antal Somogyi in Hungary to Konstantin Gringauz, Pavel Elyasberg, Roald Sagdeev, and Vitaliy Shapiro in Moscow to Andy Nagy at Michigan. The best way to acknowledge their support is to mentor the next generation. I am trying to do just that.
Thank you again for this great honor; I hope that I will not disappoint those who selected me for this award.

—TAMAS GOMBOSI, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor