Dr Arthur H. Rosenfeld of the US and Dr Philipp Rutberg of Russia were presented with the 2011 Global Energy Prize in June. The prize was given to the scientists by Russian president, Dmitry Medvedev, in an official ceremony which took place as part of the St Petersburg International Economic Forum.
The Global Energy Prize rewards innovation and solutions in global energy research and its concurrent environmental challenges. It is one of the world’s most respected awards in energy science, awarding $33 million roubles ($1.08 million) each year for outstanding energy achievements and innovations. The prize will be equally shared between the two laureates.
Dr Rosenfeld was awarded for his contribution to the development of the energy efficiency sector, while Dr Rutberg was recognised for developing plasma technology that can be used to create energy from waste materials.
Dr Rosenfeld is a UC Berkeley physicist who served on the California Energy Commission for 10 years, and is most well-known for his groundbreaking work in energy efficiency. Motivated by the 1973 oil crisis, he switched his career focus from experimental nuclear and particle physics to energy efficiency. He proposed rigorous energy efficiency standards for new homes, businesses and industrial buildings in California and helped develop ways to meet these, together with colleagues at the Center for Building Science that he founded at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.
Dr Philipp Rutberg is a member of the Russian Academy of Sciences and director of the Institute for Electrophysics and Electric Power in St Petersburg. Throughout his career he has worked to develop high-power plasma technologies that can convert waste materials into synthetic fuels, with minimal harmful emissions.