UH Faculty Member Awarded Kuiper Prize for Contributions in Astronomy

University of Hawaiʻi
Posted: Nov 14, 2002

Dr. Eberhard Gruen, a faculty member of UH Mānoa‘s Hawaiʻi Institute of Geophysics and Planetology (HIGP) of the School of Ocean and Earth Science and Technology, was recently awarded the 2002 Kuiper Prize at the Division for Planetary Sciences‘ (DPS) meeting in Birmingham, Alabama. The prize, which includes a cash award, was established by the DPS, the largest special interest division of the American Astronomical Society (AAS), and is the highest professional honor awarded by the division. It recognizes outstanding contributors to planetary science and is awarded to those whose achievements have helped advance the understanding of the solar system.

Gruen is recognized for the discovery of interstellar grains passing through the solar system, the discovery of Jupiter dust streams in interplanetary space, and major insights into the science of micrometeorites in space through the use of a variety of study techniques.

Gruen received his doctorate from the University of Heidelberg in 1970 and continued to work there as a lecturer. He is currently the senior scientist and leader of the cosmic dust group at the Max-Planck-Institute of Nuclear Physics in Heidelberg. He has been a visiting researcher at the Goddard Space Flight Center, Ames Research Center, and Jet Propulsion Laboratory, all NASA centers, as well as the Lunar and Planetary Institute in Houston. He has been principal investigator for dust experiments aboard Helios 1, Helios 2, Galileo, Ulysses, and Cassini, and provided dust sensors for Giotto. In 2000, Gruen was elected a fellow of the American Geophysical Union. Minor Planet 1981 EY20 was designated 4240 Gruen in honor of his spacecraft measurements of interplanetary dust.

DPS was formed in 1968 by members of the AAS who wanted a sub-organization within the AAS devoted to solar system research. The original bylaws of the group were adopted and the first organizing committee members were established in 1969.