Global award

Introducing the award

These Life Time Achievements awards were established in 2010 and set up “to commemorate the landmark life-time achievements of a leading authority in the field”. The awards are normally presented every two years, at a relevant conference for the subfield. The awards are named after famous contributors to the three sections of the journal: molecular spectroscopy, electromagnetic light-scattering and radiative transfer respectively. The awards consist of a glass statuette, a framed certificate and a travel grant for the award ceremony.

Journal of Quantitative Spectroscopy & Radiative Transfer


2013 Elsevier Van de Hulst Light-Scattering Award

Dr. Michael MishchenkoWe would like to congratulate Dr. Michael Mishchenko, a senior scientist at NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS) in New York City, the second recipient of the Hendrik C. van de Hulst Award. The award was presented to him during the 14th Electromagnetic and Light Scattering Conference held in Lille, France from 17 to 21 of June 2013. He won the award in recognition of eminence in science and for landmark contributions to the discipline of electromagnetic scattering by particles and its applications.

Dr. Mishchenko was born and raised in Simferopol, a small town located in the center of the Crimean peninsula in the southern Ukraine. He received an MS degree in physics from the renowned Moscow Institute of Science and Technology (generally considered to be the Soviet counterpart of MIT) and a PhD degree in astrophysics from the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine in Kyiv. This was followed by five productive years as a research scientist at the Main Astronomical Observatory in Kyiv. Since 1992 Michael has been affiliated with GISS, and has been a senior member of the research staff since 1997.

Dr. Mishchenko has actively worked in the areas of electromagnetic scattering by aerosol and cloud particles, radiative transfer in planetary atmospheres and surfaces, and terrestrial and planetary remote sensing. His most fundamental achievement is the microphysical derivation of the general theories of radiative transfer (RT) and coherent backscattering (CB) directly from the Maxwell equations. Michael’s microphysical derivation revealed a fundamental link between electromagnetics, RT, and CB; established the physical meaning of all participating quantities; clarified formal conditions of applicability of the RT equation; and established the physical nature of measurements with a directional radiometer. As a result, the disciplines of RT and directional radiometry have become legitimate branches of physical optics.

Another major accomplishment was the development of quasi-analytical T-matrix methods for numerically exact computer calculations of electromagnetic scattering by polydispersions of randomly and preferentially oriented nonspherical particles. These techniques are based on the Waterman’s EBCM solution of the Maxwell equations and exploit the powerful mathematical apparatus of the quantum theory of angular momentum. In collaboration with Daniel Mackowski, the quasi-analytical averaging approach has been generalized to arbitrary clusters of spheres based on the superposition T-matrix method. Owing to their unparalleled performance characteristics, the resulting T-matrix programs have become a standard modeling tool and have been used in ~900 peer-reviewed publications worldwide.

Dr. Mishchenko has made pioneering contributions as both scientist and Project Manager in the implementation of the Global Aerosol Climatology Project established jointly by NASA and the World Climate Research Programme.  He and his group developed an innovative algorithm for the retrieval of aerosol properties from multi-channel radiance data and composed a global satellite climatology of aerosol optical thickness and size for the full period of satellite observations. Using his advanced theoretical techniques, Michael performed a seminal sensitivity analysis of various passive algorithms for the retrieval of aerosol properties from space using radiance and polarization data and exposed the power of polarimetric remote sensing of tropospheric aerosols. The results of these analyses have been key in the justification, formulation, and execution of the NASA Glory space mission which Michael led as the Project Scientist.

Dr. Mishchenko has authored three books, 20 book chapters, and 230 articles published in peer-reviewed scientific journals. Also he has edited three collective monographs and 10 topical issues in leading scientific journals. Michael has been Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Quantitative Spectroscopy and Radiative Transfer and served previously as Topical Editor of Applied Optics.Michael’s numerous professional honors include the AMS Henry Houghton Award, National Prize of Ukraine in Science and Technology, and two NASA Medals for Exceptional Scientific Achievement. He is an elected Fellow of the Optical Society of America, the American Geophysical Union, the American Meteorological Society, and The Institute of Physics (UK).


Elsevier Benedict Spectroscopy Award

The Benedict Spectroscopy Award is introduced in honor of William S. Benedict, widely acclaimed for his fundamental contributions delineating the mechanism of the water-vapor laser, his early work on molecular line shape, and for his discovery of hydrogen chloride in the atmosphere of the planet Venus. He was co-author of the internationally recognized Li├Ęge Solar Atlas, a listing and identification of the Earth's atmospheric spectrum. He had a seminal impact on the establishment of the HITRAN molecular spectroscopic database that is so widely used today: his monographs on the absorption lines of water vapor and carbon dioxide were actually the prototype for the HITRAN database. The Journal of Quantitative Spectroscopy and Radiative Transfer (JQSRT) is considered as one of the leading journals where the teachings of Benedict are extensively applied. Benedict was also one of the initial Associate Editors of JQSRT and a key player in the establishment of this journal.Elsevier Poynting Award on Radiative Transfer

The Poynting Award is established in honor of John Henry Poynting, whose fundamental work on the direction and magnitude of electromagnetic energy flow eventually became the foundation of the radiative transport theory. The Journal of Quantitative Spectroscopy and Radiative Transfer is considered as one of the leading journals where the teachings of Poynting are extensively applied in virtually all subject areas as listed in the Aims and Scope of the Journal.

Application Process

The award winner is elected by a committee that is formed and chaired by one of the Associate Editors of JQSRT. EiC’s usually do not take place in the committee. The Chair of the committee issues a Call for Nominations to the community. Each nomination (in PDF format) must consist of a nomination letter, the nominee’s CV and publications list, and three 2-page letters of support.

After the nomination deadline the Chair collects and distributes all nomination packages amongst the members of the committee, who are asked to rank each candidate. This ranking will determine the award winner.

Award and Ceremony

The awards consist of a glass statuette, a framed certificate and a travel grant for the award ceremony.