Photo of Tamas Gombosi

Gombosi Reappointed the Rollin M. Gerstacker Professor of Engineering

Tamas Gombosi has been reappointed as the Rollin M. Gerstacker Professor of Engineering, for his international stature and highly distinguished record of teaching, research and publication.

Professor Tamas Gombosi, Ph.D., D.Sc.., will continue to serve as the Rollin M. Gerstacker Professor of Engineering in the University of Michigan College of Engineering. Also the Konstantin I. Gringauz Distinguished University Professor of Space Science, Gombosi was reappointed to the endowed professorship in July.

A native of Hungary, Gombosi was educated in theoretical physics at the Lóránd Eötvös University in Budapest. He did his postdoctoral research at the Space Research Institute (IKI) in Moscow, Russia, under the direction of space pioneer Konstantin Gringauz. Early in his career, Gombosi worked as a member of the scientific staff of the Central Research Institute for Physics (KFKI) of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences. In 1985, he joined the faculty of the University of Michigan.

His scientific contributions span from planetary exploration to theoretical space plasma physics, to kinetic theory and generalized transport equations, to global simulations of space plasmas. His recent interests focus on the development of high-performance numerical codes and software frameworks for simulating space plasmas.

Gombosi participated in a number of exciting space missions, including the Venera 9 and 10 Venus orbiters, the VEGA mission to Comet Halley, the Dynamics Explorer mission to explore the upper atmosphere and ionosphere, and the Pioneer Venus mission. Recent space missions include the Cassini/Huygens mission to Saturn and its moon Titan, the Rosetta mission to comet Churyumov-Gerasimenko, the STEREO mission to explore solar storms, and the Magnetospheric Multiscale mission.

This endowed professorship was funded and named by the Rollin M. Gerstacker Foundation. Appointment to an endowed professorship is reserved for a scholar of national or international stature who has earned a highly distinguished record of teaching, research and publishing. Gombosi’s appointment is effective Sept. 1, 2022, and will run through Aug. 31, 2027.

Rollin M. Gerstacker, for whom the professorship was named, graduated from the engineering program at Cleveland’s Case Institute of Technology. He worked throughout his career as a manager at Bartlett and Snow, an engineering and construction firm that built boating machinery. The Rollin M. Gerstacker Foundation was founded by Mrs. Eda U. Gerstacker in 1957 in memory of her husband and father to Carl A. Gerstacker.

Rollin instilled in his son an interest in business. When Carl was a young teenager Rollin encouraged him to invest all of his savings in the Dow Chemical Company. Carl (BSE ChE ’38, LLD Hon. ’93) began a career at Dow upon graduation from the University of Michigan College of Engineering. In 1960, he became chairman of the board. Thirteen years later, BusinessWeek labeled him the senior statesman of the chemical industry. He retired in 1981. He received an Outstanding Achievement Award from the University of Michigan in 1982 and the first Alumni Society Medal from the College of Engineering in 1992.

The U-M Department of Climate and Space Sciences and Engineering at the College of Engineering is proud to congratulate Professor Tamas Gombosi. Read more about his work, awards, and research:

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