Dr. Tuija I. Pulkkinen has been named the George R. Carignan Collegiate Professor of Climate and Space Sciences and Engineering in the College of Engineering. The professorship is effective March 1, 2022, through Feb. 28, 2027.
In the nomination letter, Pulkkinen was lauded as a leader whose impact is evident well beyond the University of Michigan College of Engineering and the Department of Climate and Space. As an influential leader in the space sciences, she has made a meaningful impact in the field from both a scientific and political perspective.
“Tuija is not only a great scientist, but she is also a visionary leader in Heliophysics. We are all so proud of this great recognition,” said Dr. Tamas Gombosi, Konstantin I. Gringauz Distinguished University Professor of Space Science.
Over the course of her career, Pulkkinen has made significant contributions to engineering by developing methods to quantify energy flow in the geospace, using large-scale simulations and space-borne measurements to understand and predict phenomena related to space weather. Her accomplishments include developing empirical magnetic field models, developing tools for global MHD simulations of the space environment for analysis, and leading some of the initial contracts that brought space weather to the European Space Agency.
Pulkkinen has received the Julius Bartels Medal from the European Geosciences Union and the James B. Macelwane Medal and Fellowship from the American Geophysical Union. She is a member of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences, Academia Europaea, the Finnish Society of Sciences and Letters, and the Royal Astronomical Society. Among many other leadership roles, she also served as the president of the European Geosciences Union from 2007 to 2011.
This professorship is named in honor of Dr. George R. Carignan, the longest serving director of the Space Physics Research Laboratory, who served as the director for 19 years. He also held positions as the associate dean for graduate education and research in the College of Engineering, as well as a research scientist emeritus for the Department of Atmospheric, Oceanic, and Space Sciences, and a faculty associate in the Office of the Vice President for Research at the University of Michigan.
“It is truly an honor to receive the collegiate professorship, and I hope I can live up to the high standards set by George Carignan,” said Pulkkinen, the Chair of the Department of Climate and Space Sciences and Engineering in the College of Engineering. “As chair, I look forward to continuing the tradition of excellence in education and research in our department, and expanding upon what we’ve been able to accomplish.”
On Thursday, September 15, at 3:30pm, Pulkkinen will be installed as the George R. Carignan Collegiate Professor of Climate and Space Sciences and Engineering during a ceremony with Dean Alec D. Gallimore, the Robert J. Vlasic Dean of Engineering. As part of the ceremony, she will present a lecture titled “How the Fox Gets its Fire Tail: From Auroras to Space Weather.” A reception will follow in the 2nd Floor Lounge.