Prizes and Awards


Button Prize

The Kenneth J Button Prize is awarded annually at the International Conference on Infrared, Millimeter and Terahertz Waves in recognition of outstanding contributions to the science of infrared, millimeter, and terahertz waves. The Prize is named after the founder of the Conference Series and is administered by the Infrared, Millimeter, and Terahertz Society. It consists of a medal and a cash prize of $3000. At each annual meeting of the Conference, the Kenneth J Button Prize Committee meets to consider the nominations that have been submitted and elects the recipient of the Prize for the following year. The presentation is made at the following annual meeting of the Conference and the recipient is normally invited to give a plenary lecture at that meeting.

In 1990 an award called “The Infrared and Millimeter Wave Prize,” to be awarded “for outstanding contributions to the field of infrared and millimeter waves,” was initiated by the Program Council (now known as the International Organizing Committee) and awarded in the first instance to Kenneth J Button, founder of the conference series. The following year it was agreed by the Program Council to rename the Prize “The Kenneth J Button Prize” in recognition of Ken Button’s outstanding contributions to the Infrared and Millimeter Wave Community, both as a scientist and as the initiator and driving force of this series of conferences. In September 2013, the criterion for awarding the Prize was changed to its present form: “for outstanding contributions to the science of infrared, millimeter, and terahertz waves”.

2022 Recipient: 

Congratulations to Hiromosa Ito of Tohoku University, Sendai, Japan

“for pioneering contributions to the development of advanced lasers, nonlinear optical crystals, tunable THz-wave generators and sensitive detectors”

Nomination procedure

Any scientist active in the field of the Conference may make a nomination for the K J Button Prize. The closing date for receipt of nominations for the following year is generally April 15, but check this web site each year to make certain. The closing date will be strictly observed. Any nominations received after that date will be carried forward to the following year.

2023 Prize nominations are due on April 15, 2022.

For more information please contact the KJB Prize Committee Chair, Peter H. Siegel.

For instructions on the nomination procedure, please click Prize Nomination Instructions.pdf.

Previous KJB Prize Winners

2021 Paul F. Goldsmith

2020 Alfred Leitenstorfer

2019 Dmitri Basov

2018 Qing Hu

2017 Federico Capasso

2016 T. Idehara

2015 P. Goy

2014 X C Zhang

2013 K Sakai

2012 G Nusinovich

2011 D Grischkowsky

2010 D B Rutledge

2009 F Keilmann

2008 A Litvak

2007 T J Parker

2006 X C Shen

2005 N C Luhmann, Jr

2004 M F Kimmitt

2003 S G Liu

2002 A Hadni

2001 K R Chu

2000 M Thumm

1999 A J Sievers

1998 K Mizuno

1997 P L Richards

1997 B Lax – Special bronze medal

1996 M I Petelin

1995 R J Temkin

1994 F K Kneubuhl

1993 J-I Nishizawa

1992 D H Martin

1991 M von Ortenberg

IRMMW-THz Society Exceptional Service Award:

In 2010 the IRMMW-THz Society Board voted to institute an annual award honoring Exceptional Service to the Society and the IRMMW-THz Community at large. This award recognizes a single individual who has contributed continuously, and over a long period of time, to the goals of the IRMMW-THz Society and to the expansion of influence and organization of our technical community.

The prize consists of a certificate, a compendium of all past IRMMW-THz conference brochures, and a waiver of the registration fee for attendance at the conference for the year in which the award is given.

2022 Recipient: 

Congratulations to Professor Daniel Mittleman of Brown University, USA

Nominations for 2023 Society Exceptional Service Award:

Nominations are open to anyone from the IRMMW-THz community. Winners are selected by vote of the IRMMW-THz International Organizing Committee at the conference which precedes the award. Nominations are open two months prior to the conference, and consist of a nominee name and affiliation and short write up describing the relevant contributions that would warrant receipt of the award (no CV’s or paper lists, please, this is a Community Service award). Nominations should be sent to the IRMMW-THz General Secretary: Peter H. Siegel at Winners will be announced at the IRMMW-THz Conference Banquet each year.

2023 Exceptional Service Award nominations are due on August 1, 2022.

Previous Exceptional Service Award Winners:​

2011: Professor Rick Temkin, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, USA

2012: Professor Terrence Parker, University of Colchester, UK.

2013: Professor Michael von Ortenberg of Humboldt University, Germany

2014: Dr. Peter H. Siegel of California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, USA

2015: Professor Koji Mizuno of Tohoku University, Sendai, Japan

2016: Professor Shenggang Liu of UESTC, Chengdu, China

2017: Professor Manfred Thumm of Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, Germany

2018: Dr. Gian Piero Gallerano, ENEA-Frascati, Rome, Italy

2019: Martin Koch, Philipps-Universitat Marburg, Marburg, Germany

2020: Gun-Sik Park, Seoul National University, Korea

2021: Xue-Shu Chen, Shanghai University, China

IRMMW-THz Society Young Scientist Award:

In 2016 the IRMMW-THz Society Board voted to institute a Young Scientist Award to recognize interdisciplinary, outstanding scientific work by a young scientist who has made innovative contributions and discoveries in the field of infrared, millimeter, and Terahertz waves.

The Award consists of a cash prize of $2000 and a certificate of recognition of the research achievements of the award recipient.

At each annual meeting of the Conference, the Young Scientist Award Committee meets to evaluate the applications that have been submitted and elects the recipient of the Prize for the following year. The Award recipient will be invited to deliver a keynote presentation to the IRMMW-THz Conference following the selection.

2022 Recipient: 

Congratulations to Dr. Hassan Arbab, Biomedical Engineering Dept., Stony Brook University, Stony Brook, NY, USA

for important breakthroughs in the general area of THz imaging and spectroscopic measurements in the presence of scattering”

Eligibility Requirements for Applicants

Application for the Award is open to young scientists with a PhD in Physics, Electrical and Electronic Engineering, Chemistry, and Biology or any other relevant research field, of any nationality from academia, industry, or national laboratories.

  1. Applicants must be within 10 years after obtaining the PhD, but not over the age of 40, on the closing date of the application for the award.
  2. The applicants should have a solid publication record and have published at least one article as a lead author in a high ranking international journal.
  3. Members of the Award Committee are ineligible for the award.


  • The application package to be submitted by the candidate should include:
  • An application form
  • Two endorsement letters by senior scientists or research advisors
  • A short curriculum vitae of the candidate (maximum 2 pages)
  • A complete list of publications.
  • A copy of the most relevant paper published, or accepted for publication.

The deadline for submitting applications for the following year is May 15. The closing date will be strictly observed.


Past Young Scientist Award winners

2021: Dr. Tyler Cocker, Dept. of Physics and Astronomy, Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI, USA
2020: Dr. Withawat Withayachumnankul, EE Dept., Univ. of Adeliade, South Australia
2019: Dr. Michael Ruggiero, Dept. of Chemistry, Univ. of Vermont, Burlington, Vermont, USA
2018: Dr. Enrique Castro-Camus, Center for Research in Optics, Leon, Guanajuato, Mexico

Best Student Presentation Award:

In 2011, the IRMMW-THz Society Board voted to implement an annual Best Student Presentation Award to recognize original contributions to the conference from outstanding student attendees. A cash prize is awarded to 1st, 2nd and 3rd place papers through a committee selection and voting process.

During the 2020 submission process, students have the opportunity to sign up for the competition for the Best Student Presentation Award during the conference.

If the candidates have more than one submission, they must choose only ONE paper for consideration.

Based on the reviews of all these papers, the Award Committee will select the IRMMW-THz 2020 Best Student Presentation Award finalists.

The finalists will present their work to the Student Award Committee in a closed session during the conference. The winner will be announced and the Award presented during the conference banquet.

Finalists for 2020 Student Award

Spencer Ammerman, Michigan State University, USA – “THz-STM Of Atomically Precise Graphene Nanoribbons”
Shuya Iwamatsu, Osaka University, Japan – “Resonant Tunneling Diode Array Oscillator Integrated With Slot-ring Antenna For Terahertz Wireless Communications”
Mirco Kutas, Fraunhofer ITWM, Germany – “Terahertz Quantum Sensing With Visible Light”
Ritesh Jain, University of Wuppertal, Germany – “Silicon-integrated Single Pixel Terahertz Camera”
Nicolas Marquez Peraca, Rice University, USA – “Probing The Low-Temperature Phase Transition In ErxY1-xFeO3 By Terahertz Magnetospectroscopy”
Markus Plankl, Univesity Regensburg, Germany – “Mapping The Ultrafast Charge Transfer In Van Der Waals Heterostructures”

Selection Process

  • Candidates may apply for the Award when they upload their one-page conference abstracts. If the candidates have more than one submission, they must choose only ONE paper for consideration. They are being required to submit an extended abstract (2 pages) about 4 weeks after the first one. Applicants are directly informed of details of extended abstract submission by e-mail.
  • To qualify, candidates must be full time students at the time of abstract submission, and they must have been fully responsible for the work that is being judged. If the student is shortlisted as a finalist, a letter or statement of support will be requested from their advisor that verifies their status as a student and their responsibility for the paper.
  • The Technical Program Committee will review and rank all the student abstracts. The Award Committee will select the 6 finalists.  Each finalist must present his/her paper to the Committee in person at a special award session held during the conference.
  • The time and location of the presentation will be communicated to the 6 finalists well in advance of the conference. All finalists are expected to attend the conference and make their presentations to the Award Committee in order to qualify for one of the 3 awards.