Ulrich Kogelschatz passed away after a short severe illness on June 25, 2016. He lived for science to the end of his life. Our community has lost an outstanding scientist, supporter and friend.
Ulrich Kogelschatz was born in 1937 in Germany. He obtained his academic education from 1957 to 1967 at Kiel University. During this period he also studied at Wesleyan University in Connecticut (USA) for one year as a Fulbright scholar. After finishing his doctoral dissertation in Kiel on the dynamics of electromagnetically impelled convergent cylindrical shock waves, he joined the NASA Langley Research Center in Virginia (USA) until 1969. In the same year, he started work as a senior scientist at the Brown Boveri Corporate Research Center at Baden (Switzerland), later named ASEA-Brown Boveri corporate research centre. In his early years in Baden, he made important contributions to the plasma physics of highvoltage circuit breakers and corona discharges and to their application in electrostatic precipitators for power plants.
From the 1970’s, Ulrich Kogelschatz investigated dielectric barrier discharges for various applications. The first application was the generation of ozone. He and his collaborators clarified experimentally the fundamental properties of individual plasma filaments and complemented the experimental data with detailed numerical modelling of the reaction kinetics in these plasmas. These results enabled a significant performance improvement to existing technical ozonizers. At that time, nobody expected that basic research on a discharge known about for more than 100 years could have such far-reaching technological and economic consequences.
Later, Ulrich realized that this type of highly nonthermal plasma could be used for the efficient generation of incoherent excimer radiation. Once again he made several important contributions, both in terms of fundamental research and in transferring this knowledge to technical applications. These resulted in the development of high-power excimer lamps and the development of plasma displays. The success of the dielectric barrier discharge stimulated major activity in the field of high-pressure, low-temperature plasma chemistry, such as the conversion of exhaust gases and CO2 and the production of hydrogen from hydrocarbons. All these topics are still technologically and scientifically relevant and under research today, much of such research based on work done by Ulrich.
He retired from ABB in 2000 but continued his work in plasma science. He joined the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis (USA) and later the Université de Sherbrooke
(Canada), working on nanoparticle treatment by means of dielectric barrier discharges. He also worked on photochemical generation of ozone. He supervised several PhD students, participated in conferences and published several review articles. In 2005, he and collaborators published the book „Non-Equilibrium Air Plasmas At Atmospheric Pressure“, today a compulsory reference for everybody working in this field.
One of his most inspiring and relevant publications is entitled „Industrial innovation based on
fundamental physics" which makes the point, as exemplified by Ulrich’s outstanding scientific work, that basic research can be combined with investigation of applications to
deliver economically, socially and humanistically important technical devices and solutions. Recognizing his achievements, Ulrich Kogelschatz was awarded the A. H. von Engel prize in 2001 and the Rudolf Seeliger Prize in 2011.
Ulrich Kogelschatz was one of the founders of our International Symposium on High Pressure, Low Temperature Plasma Chemistry in 1987 in Hakone (Japan) and participated in all previous 14 meetings from the beginning of Hakone, often accompanied by his wife, Dagmar. From 2008 to 2014 he was the chairman of the International Scientific and Organising Comittee and, due to his personal activity, our HAKONE has become an ever more interesting, attractive and universally recognized international conference. It is now the duty and privilege of Ulrich’s colleagues and successors to follow where he has led and to retain the quality and characteristic of HAKONE and our HAKONE community, so much of which is due to Ulrich.
Many colleagues at this meeting will remember that Ulrich was knowledgeable about almost every publication in our field, clearly having read it with the keenest scientific intellect and assessing colleagues‘ work with the highest respect and the broadest mind. To work scientifically and to discuss results was always a joy for him and a pleasure and revelation for those with whom he interacted. For his contribution to science and the sum of human knowledge, his kindness to and respect for all colleagues and his unfailing generosity and good humour he will be universally missed.
The International Scientific Committee
In September 2016, Brno, Czech Republic
Below you can look through and download photos from HAKONE conferences over the years. Special thanks belongs to Mrs. Kogelschatz for providing the photos.