Department of Climate and Space Sciences and Engineering in the College of Engineering at the University of Michigan


Tamas Gombosi
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Tamas I Gombosi

Konstantin I. Gringauz Distinguished University Professor of Space Science

Rollin M. Gerstacker Professor of Engineering

Office: 2428 SRB
Phone: (734) 764-7222
Fax: (734) 615-9723
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Ph.D., Physics, M.Sc., Physics, Lóránd Eötvös University, Budapest, Hungary


Planetary science, space weather, heliospheric and magnetospheric physics, high-performance scientific computing

Specializations and Research Interests

  • Physics Based Simulations of Space Weather
  • Computational MHD Modeling on Solution Adaptive Grids
  • Extended Hydrodynamics of Compressible Gases and Plasmas
  • Physics of cometary environments
  • Planetary Ionospheres and Magnetospheres
  • Cosmic Ray and Superthermal Particle Transport

Honors, Awards and Accomplishments

  • Elected Lifetime Member, International Academy of Astronautics
  • Fellow, American Geophysical Union
  • Stephen S. Attwood Award (highest award of the College), CoE
  • Team Excellence Award, CoE
  • NASA Group Achievement Award (Cassini Orbiter)
  • Research Excellence Award, CoE
  • László Detre Award, Roland Lóránd Eötvös Physical Society, Budapest, Hungary
  • Lajos Jánossy Award, Central Research Institute for Physics, Hungarian Academy of Sciences
  • KFKI Award, Central Research Institute for Physics, Hungarian Academy of Sciences
  • Albert Fonó Award, Hungarian Astronautical Society
  • Member of international group which first measured the directional anisotropy of ~1014eV galactic cosmic rays
  • With Russian colleagues, first to establish that during solar minimum conditions energetic electrons originating from the solar wind are responsible for maintenance of Venus' nighttime ionosphere
  • Pioneer in modern cometary plasma physics development
  • Pioneer in modeling of the complicated physical process controlling the interface region between the comet nucleus and the continuously escaping cometary coma
  • With colleagues, developed first-time dependent model of the terrestrial polar wind, which accounted for the dynamics and energetics of the transonic ion outflows from the high-latitude ionosphere
  • Derived new transport equations from higher-order velocity moments of the Boltzmann equation using a non-isotropic Gaussian base-function
  • Currently leading a computational Grand Challenge Investigation team developing a new generation of high-performance 3D MHD codes using solution adaptive grids

Professional Service

  • American Association for the Advancement of Science
  • American Geophysical Union
  • American Physical Society
  • Division for Planetary Sciences, American Astronomical Society
  • European Geophysical Society
  • Member, Basic Sciences Committee, International Academy of Astronautics
  • Senior Editor, 1992-1997, Journal of Geophysical Research — Space Physics
  • Chairman, Committee on Space Research, International Council Science, Commission D (Space Plasmas, including Planetary Magnetospheres), 1996-2000
  • Chairman (1987-91) and Co-chairman (1979-87), The International Association of Geomagnetism and Aeronomy Division IV (Solar Wind and Interplanetary Magnetic Field)
  • Extensive service to the Committee on Space Research, International Council Science, NASA and NSF
  • Served on organizing committee or as chair of numerous major scientific conferences
Updated: 2015-03-05