Established in 1970

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ESA Awards

Please note that many of these awards do not require the nominee to be the ESA member.

The ESA is accepting nominations for the following awards:

The ESA Distinguished Service Award

The ESA Distinguished Service Award recognizes outstanding service to the ESA over an extended period, with a demonstrated long-term commitment to the growth and continued well-being of the society.  

(Requirement: 10 years as an ESA member.) 

The ESA Lifetime Achievement Award

The ESA Lifetime Achievement Award recognizes outstanding contributions to the field of electrostatics, as shown by the pervasiveness of the contributions in understanding certain problems or important practical benefits resulting from the work.  

(Requirement: 10 years working in the field of electrostatics.) 

The ESA Honorary Life Member Award

The ESA Honorary Life Member Award recognizes exceptional contributions to the ESA and the field of electrostatics sustained over much of a career.  

(Requirements: 10 years as an ESA member, 20 years working in the field of electrostatics.)

The ESA Rising Star Award

The ESA Rising Star Award recognizes significant contributions at an early stage of a career to the field of Electrostatics.

(Requirements: age of 40 or younger, but cannot be a student).

The ESA Entrepreneur Award

TThe ESA Entrepreneur Award recognizes companies and/or individuals that implement electrostatics- related technologies and are recognized as having a meaningful impact in the industry and/or academia.

The Teacher of the Year Award

The Teacher of the Year Award recognizes outstanding teachers who use electrostatics to stimulate learning, inspire students, or otherwise encourage and energize the learning process in a formal educational setting in grades K-12.

(Requirement: 3 years teaching electrostatics.) 

The Student of the Year Award

The Student of the Year Award recognizes middle or high school students who demonstrate outstanding achievement in electrostatics, as showcased in laboratory projects, papers, or presentations.

Electrostatic Hall of Fame

This honor recognizes and records for posterity those individuals who have made extraordinary contributions to the field of Electrostatics. Nominees do not need to be still living. The Hall of Fame has three categories: (1) advancement of the fundamental knowledge of Electrostatics; (2) promotion of interest in the field of Electrostatics; (3) innovations using Electrostatics technology in industry.

Filing and Submissions

Nominations should be submitted electronically to the ESA Award Chair by April 15 each year. The nomination should be in the form of a letter from an ESA member that includes a description of how the accomplishments of the nominee satisfy the award requirements (including citations of publications or patents when relevant), the contact information of the nominator and nominee, and the names and contact information of three other ESA members who endorse the nomination.

For the Teacher and Student awards, two faculty members’ endorsements of the nominee should replace the ESA member endorsements. 

The ESA Distinguished Service Award Recipients

1979 – A.D. Moore
1980 – Emery P. Miller
1981 – Glenn Schmieg
1990 – Charles G. Kalt
1991 – William L. Smart
1997 – Joseph M. Crowley
2000 – Richard Bergen
2002 – Tim Erin
2008 – Joe and Barb Crowley, Mark Horenstein
2009 – Al Seaver, Kelly Robinson, Mark Zaretsky, Bill Vosteen
2012 – Steven Cooper
2013 – Angela Antoniu
2014 – Raji Sundararajan
2019 – Daniel Lacks
2020 – Shesha Jayaram
2023 – David Go

The ESA Lifetime Achievement Award Recipients

1984 – Senichi Masuda
1989 – Gaylord Penney
1997 – Robert W. Gundlach, Ion I. Inculet
1998 – Emery P. Miller, S. Edward Law
1999 – G. S. Peter Castle, Joseph M. Crowley
2000 – Robert Vosteen
2008 – Chuck Gallo, Malay Mazumder, John Robertson
2012 – Thomas Jones
2013 – Carlos Calle
2014 – Glenn Schmeig, William Wayman
2015 – Bruce Williams
2016 – Kazimierz Adamiak
2017 – Wamadeva Balachandran
2020 – Mark Zaretsky
2021 – Shesha Jayaram, Akira Mizuno

The ESA Honorary Life Member Award

1992 – Emery P. Miller
1997 – Ion I. Inculet
2008 – Peter Castle, Joe Crowley, Glenn Schmeig
2012 – Mark Horenstein
2013 – S. Edward Law
2014 – Mark Zaretsky
2015 – John Robertson
2017 – Shethar “Duke” Davis
2020 – Kelly Robinson, Gérard Touchard

The ESA Rising Star Award

2018 – David Go
2019 – Bilge Baytekin
2020 – Thiago Burgo
2021 – James Chen

The ESA Entrepreneur Award

2018 – Monroe Electronics, Inc.
2018 – Mystic Tan, Inc.

Electrostatic Hall of Fame

Benjamin Franklin 1706-1790 – INDUCTED: 1979
Contributed to science with important experiments on electricity. Introduced the concept of positive and negative charge. Discovered the electrical nature of lightning through the famous kite-experiment. Invented the lightning rod.

Charles A. Coulomb 1736-1806 – INDUCTED: 1979
French physicist. Research on electricity and magnetism. Invented torsion balance; used this to demonstrate that the force of electrostatic repulsion or attraction is proportional to the product of the charge on each sphere and inversely proportional to the square of the distance between the centers of the spheres (Coulomb’s Law).

William Gilbert 1544-1603 – INDUCTED: 1979
Pioneer researcher who was first to use the terms electrical attraction and electrical force. Considered to be the father of electrical studies.

Robert A. Millikan 1868-1953 – INDUCTED: 1979
American scientist. Nobel laureate. Measured the charge of the electron and gave the first precise determination of Avogadro’s number (1910). Verified Einstein’s photoelectric equation and worked on the determination of Plank’s constant (1912-15). Pioneering work on cosmic rays.

Henry Cavendish 1731-1810 – INDUCTED: 1979
Measured the capacitance of capacitors and discovered and measured specific inductive capacity. He showed that charge is confined to the surface of a conductor and that the force between two charges is inversely proportional to the square of their separation to within 2%.

James C. Maxwell 1831-1879 – INDUCTED: 1981
Scottish physicist, organizer of the Cavendish Laboratory at Cambridge, original worker in the field of “Electricity and Magnetism”, and the developer of the famous Maxwell Equations.

Karl F. Gauss 1777-1855 – INDUCTED: 1981
German Mathematician, astronomer and professor at University of Gottingen his alma mater. He is recognized as the founder of the mathematical theory of electricity. His works are published in seven volumes appearing in 1862 to 1874.

Leonard B. Loeb 1891-1978 – INDUCTED: 1987
American physicist. He has made significant contributions to the understanding of conduction through gases, including corona and spark breakdown phenomena. He published several authoritative books on electrical discharge in gases, processes of gaseous electronics and, static electrification.

A. D. Moore 1895-1989 – INDUCTED: 1985
Professor of Electrical Engineering, who, on retirement from the University of Michigan in 1963, embarked on a second career of teaching, demonstrating, and generally promoting interest in electrostatics, its principles, and applications. He founded the Electrostatics Society of America in 1970, authored several books on electrostatics, and traveled 160,000 miles with his famed Electrostatic Lecture-Demonstration equipment.

Bernard Vonnegut 1914 – 1997 – INDUCTED: 1998
Atmospheric Scientist. His enthusiastic study of clouds from the ground, air and space stimulated world-wide interest and debate in cloud nucleation and electrification. He was the first to develop silver iodide for seeding clouds, showed that convective motion is one of the mechanisms for thunderstorm electrification, and was an early investigator into the phenomenon of cloud discharges to the ionosphere.

James R. Melcher 1936 – 1991 – INDUCTED: 1999
Professor Melcher rediscovered and popularized the field of continuum electromechanics. He was an inspiring teacher, an innovative engineer and scientist, and a prolific writer with 13 patents and over 100 journal articles. He was also a thoughtful and committed activist, who believed engineers should devote themselves to creating a better world for all of its people.

Chester F. Carlson 1906-1968 – INDUCTED: 1979
Inventor of xerography, an electrostatic photocopying process first called electrophotography. Carlson was active in developing xerographic copiers of the early 1960’s.

Fredrick G. Cottrell 1877-1948 – INDUCTED: 1979
Developed the first commercially successful electrostatic precipitators. The Cottrell type precipitator is used throughout the world to remove fumes, smoke and small particles from the air.

Harold P. Ransburg 1911-1991 – INDUCTED: 1981
Inventor of the Electrostatic Coating Process. His early recognition and later development of the manner in which electrostatic fields could be applied in coating operations led the way for the widespread industrial use of electrostatics for this application.

Robert J. Van de Graaff 1901-1967 – INDUCTED: 1985
American physicist. Invented electrostatic belt generator (1931) capable of producing direct current at potentials exceeding a million volts. He pioneered applications of his generator for high energy x-rays and experiments in atomic physics. Also helped develop the tandem (multiple stage) electrostatic accelerator, a major tool for the science of nuclear physics.

Gaylord Penney 1898-1994 – INDUCTED: 1989
Invented and developed the low-voltage two-stage electric air cleaner. This became a commercially important device for removing unwanted particulates from the air in homes and workplaces.

Emory Miller 1908 – 2002 – INDUCTED: 2002
Entrepreneur whose seminal work in industrial electrostatic spraying brought the technology form theory to practice. He was also a founding member, as well as Secretary/Treasurer and 3rd President of the Electrostatics Society of America

Michael Faraday 1791 – 1867 – INDUCTED: 2020
Electrostatic shielding or Faraday shielding enables the measurement of charge by a Coulombmeter using a Faraday Cup. Faraday shielding is routinely used to guard sensitive electronic measurements from external electrostatic or electromagnetic noise. The “Faraday Cage” is named after its inventor, Michael Faraday, who made the first Faraday cage in 1836 using a large box lined with wire mesh. Faraday popularizing the terms “anode,” “cathode,” “electrode,” and “ion.” And, the SI unit of capacitance, the farad, is named in his honor.

John William Strutt, Lord Rayleigh 1843 – 1919 – INDUCTED: 2020
The electrical charge on a liquid droplet is fundamentally important to electrostatic spraying and atmospheric electrostatics. Lord Rayleigh established the criteria defining the maximum possible charge on a liquid droplet as the balance between surface tension restraining and electrostatic repulsion disrupting the liquid interface. This maximum charge is known as the Rayleigh Limit.