Imre Pázsit, an adjunct professor in the U-M Department of Nuclear Engineering & Radiological Sciences, has been given the prestigious title of “Doctor Honoris Causa.” The University Senate of Budapest University of Technology and Economics (BME) conferred the title in appreciation of Pázsit’s internationally reputed activities.
The award recognizes scientists who’ve achieved great international regard for their own outstanding achievements while contributing to the global appreciation of BME through teaching and research activities.
Pázsit will be given the award on May 28, 2022, at a festive meeting of the University Senate in Budapest, Hungary. The event begins at 4:00am ET and can be viewed online here.
“Receiving such a distinction from my country of birth is definitely something special and out of the ordinary,” said Pázsit. “If for nothing else, it is nice to know that despite having moved to Sweden nearly 40 years ago, one is not forgotten.”
Pázsit received his PhD at the Lorand Eötvös University, Budapest, Hungary, in 1975, and his DSc from the Hungarian Academy of Sciences in 1985. From 1975 until 1983 he worked at the Central Research Institute for Physics in Budapest. In 1983 he became a guest researcher at the Swedish national lab Studsvik Energiteknik AB in Nyköping. In 1991 he became the Chair of Reactor Physics at Chalmers University of Technology in Göteborg, Sweden, where he has been a full professor since. He became a NERS adjunct professor in late 2008.
Pázsit has kept in contact with his former and new Hungarian colleagues during his time at Chalmers with visits to home and hosting Hungarian visitors. “These contacts turned into an intensive and fruitful collaboration in the past decade or so with colleagues at the Institute of Nuclear Techniques of the Budapest University of Technology and Economics,” said Pázsit.
“My main research area, branching processes and neutron fluctuations in power reactors, has very strong roots in my home country and is considered by many as a Hungarian invention,” said Pázsit. “In particular, the seminal work of the late L. Pál, with whom I had the good fortune to collaborate for over 15 years, laid the foundation of the rigorous mathematical theory of stochastic particle transport. Since my collaboration with my colleagues at BME falls also largely to this area, it feels as if the work and collaboration which was prized by the Honorary Doctorate leads back to these origins.”
Pázsit has been a member of the Royal Society of Arts and Sciences in Gothenburg since 2004 and a member of the Royal Swedish Academy of Engineering Sciences (IVA) since 2008. He’s been a Fellow of the American Nuclear Society since 2006, from which he received the Eugene P. Wigner Reactor Physicist Award in 2021. He served as the Executive Editor of Annals of Nuclear Energy from 2013 until 2019 when he became an Honorary Editor. Pázsit received the Order of the Rising Sun, Golden Rays with Neck Ribbon from the Japanese Government in 2016 and the Leó Szilárd Medal from the Hungarian Nuclear Society in 2016 (shared with E. P. Wigner and E. Teller). He also became a Senior Member of the Institute of Nuclear Materials Management in 2021.