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2012 ICTP Prize Awarded to Argentinean Physicist Pablo Mininni

Research on turbulence theory and applications honoured
Pablo Mininni (Image Source: Mininni (Image Source:

20/03/2013 - Trieste

The 2012 ICTP Prize has been awarded to Argentinean physicist Pablo Mininni, a professor at the University of Buenos Aires (UBA). The prize recognizes Mininni's important contributions to advancing the understanding of fluid and magnetofluid turbulence at a fundamental theoretical level as well as working out a range of applications in astrophysics and atmospheric sciences.

"Turbulence is ubiquitous in many flows in nature, and working on this problem has given me the opportunity to work in collaboration with astronomers, solar and space physicists, atmospheric scientists, and mathematicians," says Mininni. He enjoys working on problems in fluid dynamics, and more specifically problems related to turbulent flows, because of the broad range of applications of the field, including applications in the generation of magnetic fields by turbulent flows in the Sun and in the Earth's core, as well as turbulence in plasmas and in rotating flows. "More recently, I became interested in mechanisms that give rise to the generation of helical (non-mirror symmetric) flows in stratified turbulence, a problem that can be relevant for atmospheric and geophysical systems," he adds.

Mininni received his PhD from UBA and went on to work at the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR), USA.  "As a PhD student I attended several schools at ICTP and it gave me the opportunity to network with top scientists in my area of research," he says. "The experience has always been fantastic." Apart from being a visitor to the Centre, Mininni has been collaborating with ICTP to implement the openEya system (ICTP's automated recording system) at UBA. [Watch Prof. Mininni teaching a couse at UBA in this sample video from ICTP's openEyA collection (in Spanish)].

Mininni says that the prize has come as a huge surprise to him and he feels honoured. "These recognitions are really important, not only for the researchers, but also for the scientific community." he says. "It is certainly reassuring when institutions give these recognitions and support the work scientists do." Mininni adds that the ICTP Prize is especially encouraging because it "comes from ICTP, an institution with a central commitment to the development of science in developing countries. "

The ICTP Prize was created in 1982. It recognizes young scientists (under 40) from developing countries who work and live in those countries and who have made outstanding and original contributions to physics or mathematics. The prize includes a sculpture, certificate and a cash award of €3,000. To view the full citation of Mininni's award, as well as a list of past winners, see the ICTP Prize webpage.

Each year, the ICTP Prize is given in honour of a scientist who has made outstanding contributions to the field in which the prize is given. The 2012 ICTP Prize honours Marshall N. Rosenbluth (1927 -2003), an American plasma physicist and member of the National Academy of Sciences. He made contributions to discoveries in controlled thermonuclear fusion, plasma physics, and computational statistical mechanics.