Professor Leszek Magalas first Pole to have been awarded the Zener Gold Medal

Prof. Leszek Magalas, photo from the private archive

Zener Prize, photo by OmegaMS (Own work) [CC BY-SA 4.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

Professor Leszek Magalas is the first Pole in history who has received the Zener Prize – one of the most important and prestigious international awards in the field of materials science.

Leszek B. Magalas, professor in materials science at AGH University of Science and Technology in Kraków, has been awarded the Zener Prize in materials science and physics in 2017. The Zener Gold Medal is awarded to individuals who have made outstanding contributions in scientific research. The Zener Chancellery, in its announcement, cited the motivation “for paradigm-shifting research on mechanical spectroscopy of solids.”

The Zener Gold Medal is an international award that acknowledges remarkable achievements in materials science and physics, particularly in the area of mechanical spectroscopy and internal friction. The award was established to honour Clarence Zener – the American physicist who invented the Zener diode (named after him) and is awarded by the Chancellery of the Zener Prize in recognition of groundbreaking scientific discoveries or the entire body of a person’s research work.

The prize was founded in 1965 and to this day it has been presented to 23 researchers. Professor Leszek Magalas is the first Pole to have received this prestigious honour. Laureates are presented with a medal made of 23 karat gold, which features Professor Zener’s profile as well as an official diploma.

Leszek B. Magalas received his MS in 1978 and his PhD in 1983, both from AGH University in Kraków, Poland. After numerous appointments at Centre d'études nucléaires de Grenoble (CENG), Institut national des sciences appliquées de Lyon (INSA Lyon), École polytechnique fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL), etc. Magalas returned to AGH as a faculty member. In addition to his contributions to the mechanical spectroscopy of solids, Magalas was also the chairman and/or editor of several international conferences on Internal Friction in Solids (1984), Internal Friction and Ultrasonic Attenuation in Solids ECIFUAS-6 in 1991 and, most importantly, the first International Conference on Mechanical Spectroscopy MS-I in 1991, followed by Mechanical Spectroscopy MS-II in 2000 and Mechanical Spectroscopy MS-III in 2004 and, recently, Internal Friction and Mechanical Spectroscopy ICIFMS-17 in 2014.Leszek B. Magalas’ work continues today with the development of high-resolution mechanical spectroscopy, HRMS, estimation of extremely small dissipation of mechanical energy in solids, and new insights into the nature of mechanical spectroscopy.

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