Stanisław Lem
European Research Prize

#LemPrize

Stanisław Lem
European Research Prize

#LemPrize

Winner

The first-ever winner of the Stanisław Lem European Research Prize has been announced. The award has been granted to Prof. Randall J. Platt, a researcher working at ETH Zürich and expert in genetic engineering. The scientist was recognised as the best candidate by an international jury chaired by Prof. Reimund Neugebauer of the Fraunhofer Society.

Idea

Lem Prize has been established to commemorate the 100th birthday of the great Polish visionary and science fiction novelist, Stanisław Lem, awarded doctorate honoris causa of Wroclaw Tech in 1981.

The essential elements of Lem’s literary legacy: people, science, technology, progress, and future – are also the core elements defining the mission and aspirations of Wroclaw Tech.

Lem Prize is awarded annually to one young researcher whose creative work in science or engineering has potential for positive impact on the future of civilization increasingly filled with technology.

Stanisław Herman Lem

Lem (1921–2006) was a Polish writer of science fiction and essays on, inter alia, philosophy, futurology and literary criticism. Lem’s books have been translated into over 50 languages and have sold over 45 million copies. He is best known worldwide as the author of the novel Solaris (1961).

Lem’s science fiction works explore philosophical threads by speculating about technology, the nature of intelligence, the inability to communicate and understand alien intelligence, despair over human limitations and humanity’s place in the universe.

Candidates

The Lem Prize is addressed to young researchers (people under 40) studying or working in Europe or associated countries - regardless of nationality or origin.

Achievement

The Prize is awarded for a recent discovery or significant achievement in broadly understood fields of science and engineering, with strong elements of technology, interdisciplinarity, creativity and vision.

Selection

The Prize Committee includes distinguished scientists from abroad as well as professores magni and members of Academia Iuvenum of Wroclaw Tech.

Procedure

Nominations including the description of the discovery or achievement, relevant publications, and letters of recommendation must reach the Committee by 15 October 2021. The winner will be announced to the public on 15 November 2021, during the annual celebrations of Wroclaw Tech anniversary.

Reward

The winner receives a monetary reward equivalent to 100 000 PLN, certificate, and invitation to Wroclaw Tech anniversary festivities on 15 November. They will also be invited to visit Wroclaw Tech for 1-2 weeks in the following year (all expenses covered) to present lectures, meet with Academia Iuvenum and student organizations, and explore the city.

International Prize Committee

Reimund Neugebauer is the President of the The Fraunhofer Society, the largest research organization in Europe.

Prof. Neugebauer is a Fellow of the International Academy for Production Engineering and a member of German Academy of Science and Engineering. From 2010 to 2011 he was the acting president of the German Academic Society for Production Engineering. Since 2014 he has been a member of the German National Academy of Sciences Leopoldina. Prof. Neugebauer was appointed co-chair of the German federal government 's High-Tech Forum, the central advisory board for the development and implementation of Germany 's high-tech strategy. Since 2015, he has been serving as a member of the European Commission’s High-level Group of Personalities on Defence Research.
Prof. Marja Makarow is the President-Elect of Academia Europaea. She is also vice-president of the Academy of Finland, the public funding agency for fundamental research since 2012. She is former vice-rector for research (2003-2007) and professor of applied biochemistry and molecular biology at the University of Helsinki, where after she served as chief executive of the European Science Foundation in Strasbourg France (2008-2011). Prof. Makarow advised the EU Commissioner for Research and Innovation in the European Research Area Board ERAB, and the Finnish Government in the Council for Research and Innovation Policy in 2008-2012. She has served as president of the European Molecular Biology Conference (EMBC/EMBO) and delegate of Finland in the council of the European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL), and established the Institute for Molecular Medicine Finland, a member of the Nordic EMBL Partnership for Molecular Medicine. She is chair of the ERC Starting grants panel on genomics, genetics, systems biology and bioinformatics, member of the governing board of the European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT) and former chair of the jury of one the world’s largest innovation prize, the Millennium Technology Prize. Marja Makarow is co-author of the Finnish strategy for health research and innovation, chairs the Finnish research infrastructure committee and is delegate of Finland in the European Strategy Forum for Research Infrastructure ESFRI. She serves on strategic councils of several European top universities and has steered research assessments of a number of them. She is member of Academia Europaea since 2011.

École polytechnique, CC BY-SA 2.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0>, via Wikimedia CommonsGérard Albert Mourou is a French scientist and pioneer in the field of electrical engineering and lasers. He was awarded a Nobel Prize in Physics in 2018, along with Donna Strickland, for the invention of chirped pulse amplification, a technique later used to create ultrashort-pulse, very high-intensity (petawatt) laser pulses.

In 1994, Mourou and his team at the University of Michigan discovered that the balance between the self-focusing refraction (see Kerr effect) and self-attenuating diffraction by ionization and rarefaction of a laser beam of terawatt intensities in the atmosphere creates „filaments” which act as waveguides for the beam, thus preventing divergence.

Mourou has been director of the Laboratoire d’optique appliquée at the ENSTA from 2005 to 2009. He is a professor and member of Haut Collège at the École polytechnique and A. D. Moore Distinguished University Professor Emeritus at the University of Michigan where he has taught for over 16 years. He was the founding director of the Center for Ultrafast Optical Science at the University of Michigan in 1990. He had previously led a research group on ultrafast sciences at Laboratoire d’optique appliquée of ENSTA and École polytechnique, after obtaining a PhD degree from Pierre and Marie Curie University in 1973. He then went to the United States and became a professor at the University of Rochester in 1977, where he and his then student Donna Strickland produced their Nobel prize-winning work in the Laboratory for Laser Energetics at the university. The pair co-invented chirped pulse amplification, a „method of generating high-intensity, ultra-short optical pulses”. Strickland’s doctoral thesis was on „development of an ultra-bright laser and an application to multi-photon ionization”.

Robert-Jan Smits is the President of the Eindhoven University of Technology. Prior to this, he worked at the European Commission in the positions of Open Access Envoy (2018-2019) and Director-General of DG Research and Innovation (RTD) (2010-2018) where he was responsible for defining and implementing the EU policy and programmes in the field of research and innovation: Horizon 2020 (annual budget: 8 billion euro). Drs. Smits is also one of the architects of the successor programme Horizon Europe (annual budget: 10 billion euro).

Drs. Smits has received several recognitions and awards for his contribution to European science and innovation. He is an honorary member of Academia Europaea and of the Koninklijke Hollandsche Maatschappij der Wetenschappen. He has degrees from Utrecht University in The Netherlands, Institut Universitaire d’Hautes Etudes Internationales in Switzerland and Fletcher School of Law & Diplomacy in the United States of America.

Prof. Maciej Lewenstein conducts research in the field of quantum optics, physics of ultracold gases and quantum computing, which has a great impact in the scientific community. In his research work, he also deals with topics related to statistical physics and neural networks. He lectured, among others at Harvard University, at the Saclay Center for Nuclear Research, as well as at the University of Hannover. He is currently working at the Institute of Photonic Sciences (ICFO) in Barcelona. Prof. Lewenstein is a member of Academia Europaea and a fellow of the American Physical Society. His scientific publications have been cited over 40 000 times (Hirsch index 100). He has twice won the ERC Advanced Grant and has also been awarded many prestigious awards for scientific activity, including award of the Foundation for Polish Science. He is included in the elite Clarivate list of world’s most Highly Cited Researchers.
Krzysztof Matyjaszewski is a Polish-American chemist. He is the J. C. Warner Professor of the Natural Sciences at the Carnegie Mellon University. Prof. Matyjaszewski is best known for the discovery of atom transfer radical polymerization (ATRP), a novel method of polymer synthesis that has revolutionized the way macromolecules are made. Prof. Matyjaszewski was elected a member of the National Academy of Engineering in 2006 for expanding the capabilities of controlled/living polymerizations and developing ATRP, a robust catalytic process for the radical polymerization of monomers. He is also a member of the European Academy of Sciences. His scientific publications have been cited over 100 000 times (Hirsch index 162). He is included in the elite Clarivate list of world’s most Highly Cited Researchers. In 2011 he was a co-winner of the prestigious Wolf Prize in Chemistry.
Prof. Jan Biliszczuk is an outstanding designer and author of innovative solutions in the field of bridge engineering. He has been associated with Wrocław Tech since 1972, and currently works at the Department of Bridges and Railways. He has over 50 significant projects of bridges and footbridges to his credit. He is the main designer of the longest reinforced concrete suspension bridge in Poland – the Rędziński Bridge in Wrocław, built in 2011. His achievements include innovative objects on a global scale. Author or co-author of over 300 publications, including highly regarded textbooks for students.
Interests and scientific achievements of prof. Chlebus cover the following areas: design, CAx techniques – issues of design methodology, with particular emphasis on computer support. He also deals with the development of methods and algorithms for PDM / PLM systems intended for production management in SMEs and in corporation organized production holdings. He completed research internships at the universities of Stuttgart, Antwerp, London, Leuven and Gothenburg. He is an author of about 300 original works including research articles and patents. Prof. Chlebus is also a member of the editorial boards of the following magazines: Zarządzanie Przedsiębiorstwo, Mechanik and Archives of Civil and Mechanical Engineering, and a scientific reviewer of the International Journal of Production Research (since 1999), and since 2004 – an expert and member of High Level Group and SG of the European Technology Platform MANUFUTURE at the EU Commission and the coordinator of the Polish Technological Platform Production Processes.
Prof. Aleksander Weron in his scientific work deals with stochastic processes and their application in various fields of science and industry. His most important scientific achievements include: extension of Nagy’s dilation theory to the class of operator functions in Banach spaces, characterization of ergodic properties for stable and infinitely divisible processes, proof of the equivalence of fractional Fokker-Planck equations and sub-coordinated diffusion processes, as well as the generalization of the Chinchin theorem for anomalous diffusion processes. Prof. Weron has lectured as a visiting professor at many foreign universities – in the USA, France, Switzerland, Finland, Japan and Australia. 30 years ago, he established the Center of Hugo Steinhaus, whose task is, among others organization and popularization of research in the field of stochastic methods used in science and technology.

Dr. Dzimitrowicz conducts interdisciplinary research related to the use of cold atmospheric plasmas. She has developed unique plasma systems in the form of brushes, jets and feathers that can be used in environmental protection, agrotechnics, materials science and medicine.

Currently, she manages two research projects financed by the National Science Center. Dr. Dzimitrowicz is developing an experimental method for the degradation of antibiotics and endocrine active compounds from liquid waste from the medical or agricultural industry. She is also responsible for conducting research related to the inactivation of Dickey bacteria and Pectobacterium.

She cooperates with various research centers in Poland and abroad, including the University of Gdańsk, Queen’s University in Kingston (Canada) and the University of Florence (Italy).

Dr. Krzysztof Gałkowski (Faculty of Fundamental Problems of Technology, Laboratory for Optical Spectroscopy of Nanostructures) specializes in spectroscopic studies of electronic properties in semiconductor materials. His main area of research are hybrid perovskites, a new class of efficient materials for solar cells and other optoelectronic applications. Dr. Gałkowski’s fundamental studies on perovskites aim to provide a blueprint for the design of the next-generation of high performing devices. He also has experience in optical microscopy imaging of various semiconductor systems, optoelectronic devices and bio-emitters.

Dr. Gałkowski’s research activities involve international collaborations with leading institutions such as National Laboratory of High Magnetic Fields (France), and the University of Cambridge (UK).

Recently, Dr. Gałkowski began directing part of his academic efforts towards investigating policies for limiting and mitigating the impact of greenhouse gas emissions.

His research interests are mainly related to innovation management and marketing management. In these areas, he deals mainly with such topics as: innovative products on energy markets, consumer awareness and acceptance level for innovation, education for sustainable development, circular economy and marketing and communication channels – in particular social media. His research projects include research on consumer awareness and acceptance of smart meters in ten countries and international research on common knowledge about COVID-19, conducted simultaneously in Brazil, China, Denmark, Spain, the Netherlands, Germany, Iceland, Indonesia, Portugal, Russia, Spain and Turkey. Dr. Chawla is also a laureate of the Interstudent 2021 plebiscite, organized by the Perspektywy Education Foundation, which rewards outstanding people from abroad who study at Polish universities. He was also awarded in the Secundus Program for scientific activity in the discipline of Management and Quality Sciences at Wroclaw Tech.
Tomasz Lem, the son of Stanisław Lem, is a Polish translator of English-language literature. He graduated from the American International School in Vienna, then studied physics and mathematics at the University of Vienna, and graduated from Princeton University.

Benefactors of the Lem Prize

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Contact us

Katarzyna Kozłowska, PhD, Dsc, Eng
+48 71 320 20 47

Barbara Krupińska, Msc, Eng
+48 71 320 22 68, mob. +48 661 531 020

e-mail: lemprize@pwr.edu.pl