The Coblentz Award

2020 Award

    The Coblentz Society will present the 2020 Coblentz Award to Dr. Benjamin P. Fingerhut of the Max Born Institute for Nonlinear Optics and Short Pulse Spectroscopy (MBI) in Berlin, Germany.  The date and place of the award presentation has not yet been determined due to the COVID-19 situation.

     Benjamin Fingerhut studied chemistry at the Ludwig Maximilian University (LMU) in Munich, Germany. In 2011 he completed his Ph.D. in Theoretical Physical Chemistry under the supervision of Prof. Dr. Regina de Vivie-Riedle. He joined the group of Prof. Shaul Mukamel at the University of California, Irvine (UCI) as a postdoctoral fellow in September 2011. In 2014 he moved to the Max Born Institute for Nonlinear Optics and Short Pulse Spectroscopy (MBI), Berlin, Germany, where he is currently heading the Biomolecular Dynamics research group.

     Dr. Fingerhut's research focuses on the real-time investigation of ultrafast structural dynamics of molecular and biomolecular systems. The group aims at novel computational simulation protocols suited to investigate nonadiabatic relaxation phenomena in vibrational and electronic excited states. In close collaboration with experimentalists, he applies vibrational probes for the quantification of noncovalent interactions of hydrated biomolecules in aqueous environments. The group developed a numerically efficient path integral method for the description of open quantum systems. 

     Dr. Fingerhut's contributions to science have been recognized by many awards and grants, including the Coblentz Award, an ERC Starting Grant (2018), the Robin Hochstrasser Young Investigator Award (2016), the Emmy Noether Early Career Grant of the German Research Foundation (DFG) (2014), and the Feodor-Lynen-Fellowship of the Alexander von Humboldt foundation (2012).

About the Coblentz Award

    The Coblentz Award is presented annually to an outstanding young molecular spectroscopist under the age of 40. This award is the Society’s original award (first awarded in 1964), and is the complement of the 'Craver Award' that recognizes young spectroscopists for efforts in applied analytical vibrational spectroscopy. The candidate must be under the age of 40 on January 1 of the year of the award. The award comprises an honorarium, a plaque with a prism from the periscope of a World War II Navy submarine, and a travel allowance.

Award Symposium

    The award is presented annually at the International Symposium on Molecular Spectroscopy (ISMS).


    Nominations for the 2021 Coblentz Award must include a detailed description of the nominee’s accomplishments, a curriculum vitae or resume, and minimum of three supporting letters. Nominations for 2021 close on July 15, 2020. Files of candidates will be kept active for 3 years or until the age of eligibility is exceeded. Annual updates of candidate files are encouraged and will be solicited from the nomination source by the award’s committee chair.

Please send nomination packages by email to:

Recipients of the Coblentz Award are listed below:

 2019Aleksandra Foltynowicz
2018 Hans Jakob Wörner
  2017 Wei Min
  2016 Kenneth Knappenberger, Jr.
  2015 Gary Douberly 
  2014  Peng Chen 
  2013 Nathalie Picqué
  2012 Greg Engel
  2011  --- No Award Presented ---
  2010 Timothy Schmidt
  2009 Benjamin McCall
  2008 Xiaowei Zhuang
  2007 Martin Zanni
  2006 Michael Strano
  2005 Sergey Nizkorodov
  2004 No Award Presented
  2003 Andrea Callegari
  2002 Andrei Tokmakoff
  2001 Stacey Bent
  2000 Martin Gruebele
  1999 Brooks Pate
  1998 Pat Treado
  1997 Moungi G. Bawendi
  1996 Xiaoliang Sunney Xie
  1995 David J. Rakestraw
  1994 A. Paul Alivisatos
  1993 Peter M. Felker
  1992 Thomas R. Rizzo
  1991 Paul W. Bohn
  1990 Hai-Lung Dai
  1989 Geraldine L. Richmond
  1988 Keith A. Nelson
  1987 Alan Campion
  1986 Joel M. Harris
  1985 John F. Rabolt / Graham Fleming
  1984 Stephen R. Leone
  1983 David G. Cameron
  1982 Christopher Patterson
  1981 Laurence A. Nafie
  1980 Richard P. Van Duyne
  1979 Lionel A. Carreira
  1978 Lester Andrews
  1977 Peter R. Griffiths
  1976 Geoffrey Ozin / George Thomas, Jr.
  1975 Bernard J. Bulkin
  1974 C. K. N. Patel
  1973 C. Bradley Moore
  1972 George E. Leroi
  1971 Clive Perry
  1970 Guiseppi Zerbi
  1969 James R. Durig
  1968 Jon T. Hougen
  1967 Peter Krueger
  1966 Edwin Becker
  1965 William Fateley / Robert Snyder
  1964 John Overend