Jannis Teunissen (CWI) has been awarded the 2023 Early Career Scientist Prize on Plasma Physics by IUPAP, the International Union of Pure and Applied Physics. Teunissen was chosen for several reasons, the jury said: "For the development of a suite of numerical codes to simulate streamer discharges in full 3D with their intricate inner structure, including their interactions and branching statistics, in agreement with experiments, as well as for contributions to codes and predictions for relativistic MHD in astrophysics, and to machine learning for space weather".
Teunissen says: “Models for electric discharges - occurring in lightning and high voltage technology - have been around for a while, but it was never clear how good they worked. Recently we were able to show this for the first time in a quantitative way, by validating simulation codes for electric discharges. We did this in collaboration with experimental partners from Eindhoven. Our team was able to demonstrate that models can quantitatively describe the evolution of single discharge channels as well as the branching of these channels. This is important to know when you have to make decisions based on these models”.
He adds: “This prize came as a complete surprise to me and it is a great honour, especially when looking at former recipients. I now feel some pressure to do well in the rest of my career, like they did!”