Prize Recipient

Recipient Picture

Erik J. Spence
ETH Xurich, Institute of Geophysics


"For a dynamo experiment that provided a laboratory demonstration of dipole magnetic field, genereated by turbulence, in an MHD flow."


Erik Spence received his bachelors degree in physics from McGill University (Montréal, Canada) in 1998, graduating with First Class Honours. He did his Ph.D. studies on the Madison Dynamo Experiment, a one-meter-diameter sphere of flowing liquid sodium, in the physics department of the University of Wisconsin, Madison. He was involved with most aspects of commissioning the experiment, including its design, fabrication, construction, operation and data analysis. His dissertation work, done with Professor Cary Forest, demonstrated the presence of a turbulent electromotive force in the experiment.

Spence is presently employed by the Institut für Geophysik at ETH Zürich, where he is studying the application of liquid metal experiments to planetary cores. He is a member of the American Physical Society, the Canadian Association of Physicists, and the American Geophysical Union.

Selection Committee:

John Goree, Chair; Don Umstadter; Jonathan Wurtele, '06 recipient; Thomas O'Neil; Mary Ann Sweeney