Prize Recipient

Recipient Picture

Amitava Bhattacharjee
Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory, Princeton University


"For seminal theoretical investigations of a wide range of fundamental plasma processes, including magnetic reconnection, magnetohydrodynamic turbulence, dynamo action, and dusty plasmas, and for pioneering contributions to linking laboratory plasmas to space and astrophysical plasmas."


Amitava Bhattacharjee is a Princeton University professor of astrophysical sciences and former head of the Theory Department at the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory (PPPL) from 2012 to 2021. He received his doctorate from Princeton in 1981 and holds master’s degrees from Princeton and the University of Michigan and received undergraduate honors from the Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur. He arrived as head of PPPL Theory from an endowed professorship at the University of New Hampshire after teaching at the University of Iowa and Columbia University. His ongoing roles include leading the Whole Device Modeling Application (WDMApp), an exascale project that aims to simulate an entire magnetically confined fusion plasma, and playing a leading role in the Simons Collaboration on Hidden Symmetries and Fusion Energy that he established as a partnership of Princeton University and an international consortium of institutions that aims to optimize the design of twisty stellarators. He also serves as founding director of the Princeton Center for Heliophysics, a Princeton-PPPL collaboration that investigates the impact of the sun and planets throughout the solar system, and director of the Max Planck Princeton Center, which studies the role of plasma physics in the laboratory, astrophysical, and space plasmas. Bhattacharjee has won numerous honors and has led and served on many fusion panels throughout his career. He holds fellowships in the American Physical Society, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and the American Geophysical Union. He was a Fulbright Research Scholar and Invited Professor at the Ecole Polytechnique in Palaiseau (France). Recently, he has served on the National Academy of Sciences Committee on the Decadal Assessment of Plasma Science. “My primary focus is on research and mentorship of the next generation of leaders in plasma physics, broadly construed,” he said. “I search for fundamental perspectives on plasma processes in various phenomena in fusion, astrophysical, and space plasmas.”

Selection Committee:

2022 Selection Committee Members: Hye-Sook Park (Chair), Harry Robey (Vice Chair), Margaret Kivelson ('21 Recipient), Truell Hyde, Francois Waelbroeck, Stefan Gerhardt