The Lippincott Award

    The Ellis R. Lippincott Award is presented annually to an outstanding vibrational spectroscopist. It is co-sponsored by the Coblentz Society, the Society for Applied Spectroscopy, and The Optical Society (OSA). The award is presented in memory of Professor Ellis R. Lippincott to scientists who have made significant contributions to vibrational spectroscopy as judged by their influence on other scientists.

     This award was established in 1975 by OSA, the Coblentz Society and the Society for Applied Spectroscopy to honor the unique contributions of Ellis R. Lippincott to the field of vibrational spectroscopy. The purpose of the Ellis R. Lippincott Award is to honor Dr. Lippincott's memory by the recognition of significant contributions and notable achievements in the field of vibrational spectroscopy. The medal is sponsored jointly by the Coblentz Society, The Optical Society (OSA), and the Society for Applied Spectroscopy.

    The Lippincott Award and the accompanying lecture are presented annually at an appropriate scientific meeting. The Awardee will present an address related to the contributions for which he or she is being honored. In addition, there may be a symposium of talks by invited speakers. Recipients of the medal must have made significant contributions to vibrational spectroscopy as judged by their influence on other scientists. Because innovation was a hallmark of the work of Ellis R. Lippincott, this quality in the contributions of candidates will be carefully appraised. The contributions may be theoretical or experimental or both, and may have been made in the course of applied as well as basic research. No restriction is placed on the citizenship or national origin of candidates. The award consists of the medal (pictured to the right) and travel allowances to the meeting. 

2018 Lippincott Award Recipient

2018 Ellis R. Lippincott Award will be presented to Peter Hamm, Universitat Zurich, “for seminal contributions to developing multidimensional infrared, Raman and Terahertz spectroscopy and pioneering studies of protein and hydrogen bonding dynamics in molecular liquids.” The 2018 award will be presented at OSA’s annual Frontiers in Optics Conference, 16 – 20 September 2018, in Washington, DC.

    Peter Hamm studied physics at the Technical University of Munich and carried out his PhD studies under Wolfgang Zinth at the Ludwig Maximilians University of Munich between 1991 and 1995. He continued with a postdoc at University of Pennsylvania in the group of Robin Hochstrasser. In 1999, he was appointed as an independent group leader at the Max Born Institute, Berlin, and in 2001 as professor at University of Zürich, where he stayed ever since.

    Hamm’s research is focused on establishing novel spectroscopic methods in the infrared and THz spectral range which resolve transient structures of molecular systems and the energy flow through them on very fast timescales. A large variety of questions is addressed, ranging from complex problems such as protein folding and allosteric communication in proteins, over photocatalytic water splitting, to elementary structural processes in liquids like water. 


    Nominations for the 2019 Award are currently open, and will be accepted until October 1, 2018.

    A candidate need not be a member of any of the sponsoring societies. The award will not be made posthumously unless an awardee should die after the selection procedure has been completed. Nominations should contain the name and affiliation of the nominee and sufficient background information to justify the nomination. A nominator is expected to believe sufficiently strongly in the quality of the work of his or her candidate to provide evidence of that belief. No restriction is placed on who may nominate, and all nominations received by the committee prior to October 1 in any year will be considered for the award to be presented in the fall of the following year. Files of nominees will be kept active for three years, after which the nominee must be renominated with an updated file or the file will be closed. 

Details on the nomination process and timeline are available at the OSA web site and through the OSA Awards Office.

The Optical Society (OSA)
2010 Massachusetts Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20036
Tel: (202) 416-1960

Recipients of the Lippincott Award and the respective host societies are listed below:

  2018 Peter Hamm OSA
  2017 Roberto Merlin Coblentz
  2016 Thomas Elsaesser SAS
  2015 Dana D. Dlott OSA
  2014 Andrei Tokmakoff Coblentz
  2013 X. Sunney Xie SAS
  2012 Keith A. Nelson OSA
  2011 Isao Noda Coblentz
  2010 Martin Moskovits SAS
  2009 Michael Fayer OSA
  2008 Richard Van Duyne Coblentz
  2007 Jonathan Tennyson SAS
  2006 Hai Lung Dai OSA
  2005 Jaan Laane Coblentz
  2004 Richard Mathies SAS
  2003 Shaul Mukamel OSA
  2002 Sanford Asher Coblentz
  2001 Lester Andrews SAS
  2000 Donald Levy OSA
  1999 Mitsuo Tasumi Coblentz
  1998 Takeshi Oka SAS
  1997 Robin Hochstrasser OSA
  1996 Giuseppe Zerbi Coblentz
  1995 Giacinto Scoles SAS
  1994 Herbert L. Strauss OSA
  1993 John Rabolt Coblentz
  1992 Richard J. Saykally SAS
  1990 Robert W. Field OSA
  1989 Marilyn E. Jacox Coblentz
  1988 Andreas C. Albrecht SAS
  1987 C. Bradley Moore OSA
  1986 Wolfgang Kaiser Coblentz
  1985 Ira W. Levin SAS
  1984 Jon T. Hougen OSA
  1983 John Overend Coblentz
  1982 Michel Delhaye SAS
  1981 Ian Mills OSA
  1980 George G. Pimentel Coblentz
  1979 E. Bright Wilson SAS
  1978 Bryce Crawford, Jr. OSA
  1977 Lionel Bellamy Coblentz
  1976 Richard G. Lord SAS