Prigogine Medal

Prigogine medal

In thermodynamics awards, the Prigogine Medal or “Prigogine Award” is a prize given to researchers in the field of systems ecology, who tend towards the use of Prigogine thermodynamics in theory development. [1] The prize was initiated in 2004 and named after Belgian chemist Ilya Prigogine, for the influence that his work in nonequilibrium thermodynamics has had in the development of ecological systems. The naming of the Prigogine Medal is based on the logic, according to Wessex Institute director Argentinean-born English engineer Carlos Brebbia, that: [2]

Prigogine’s ideas established the basis for ecological systems research.”

The award is divided between one senior and one junior recipient. The prize consists of a gold medal and a cash sum off 10,000 Euros ($12,000 USD) to the senior winner and 5,000 Euros ($6,000 USD) to the junior winner. The monetary premium has only been awarded for the first couple of recipients. The 2007 winner Robert Ulanowicz, for example, received only the medal.

The two medals are jointly awarded by Siena University, Italy and the Wessex Institute of Technology, United Kingdom. [3] The face of the Prigogine Medal is pictured adjacent, having what seems to be a bifurcation point.

A listing of winners is shown below: [6]

YearRecipient (senior)Plenary lecture
2004Sven Jørgensen
2005Enzo Tiezzi
2006Bernard Patten
2007Robert Ulanowicz
2008Ioannis Antoniou
2009 Emilio Del Giudice “The interplay of Quantum Field Theory and Thermodynamics of Irreversible Processes as a conceptual basis for Biology and Ecosystem Dynamics.”

The first prize was awarded to Danish ecologist Sven Jørgensen for his contribution to evolutionary thermodynamics by his use of the concept of exergy to give a deeper understanding of ecosystem reaction and evolution. In particular, through his numerous publications, Jørgensen has worked to introduce exergy as a goal function in ecological models. [4]

The 2007 award went to American chemical engineer Robert Ulanowicz for his theories on the thermodynamics of ecology. The 2008 award when to Ioannis Antoniou, a former PhD student of Prigogine, for his work in systems ecology. [5]

1. Prigogine Awards – The Prigogine Lectures, University of Siena.
2. Prigogine Award Ceremony – at the 2007 Urban Transport Conference, Wessex Institute of Technology.
3. Jimenez, Anisa S. (2006). “Institute of Ecology professor to receive Senior Researcher Prigogine Medal - in recognition of UGA career”, News Bureau, The University of Georgia.
4. Author. (2004). “Professor Jorgensen wins the 1st Prigogine Prize” in International Lake Environment Committee News Letter, No. 45, March.
5. Author. (2008). “Opening Addresses and the Prigogine Award”, Wessex Institute of Technology. Sept. 24-26.
6. Prigogine Award (winners) – The Prigogine Lectures, University of Siena.

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