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Austria's most highly endowed science awards have found their latest recipients: on the recommendation of an international jury of experts, the Austrian Science Fund FWF honours eight researchers – with one Wittgenstein Award and seven START Awards. The mathematician Adrian Constantin was honored with the Wittgenstein Award, endowed with EUR 1.5 million, who will use the funding to consolidate his position spearheading international research. Through its Wittgenstein and START programmes, the FWF launches research projects with a total investment volume of EUR 9.5 million.

Meet Austria's new Wittgenstein Award Winner


An Interview with the prize winner can be found here.

Adrian Constantin has held the position of Professor at the University of Vienna’s Department of Mathematics since 2008. The Romanian-born scientist’s research fields include non-linear, partial differential equations in the area of fluid motions as well as subsequent mathematical descriptions of natural phenomena. Since 2010 Constantin has ranked among the “ISI Highly Cited Researchers”, a list of the 250 most cited scientists in the field of mathematics. Adrian Constantin has received numerous awards and honours, such as the Göran Gustafsson Award of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences, the Friedrich Wilhelm Bessel Award of the German Humboldt Foundation and an ERC Advanced Grant. Within the context of a WWTF project, he is currently investigating vortex distribution in ocean waves, which is relevant for the prediction of tsunamis.

Understanding the Earth’s waves and currents

Numerous large-scale movements occur in the atmosphere and oceans that can be described as currents or waves. Previous modelling is greatly simplified and fails to take account of many aspects of geophysical relevance. Adrian Constantin wants to bridge these gaps and present detailed mathematical descriptions of the physical processes.

Jury statement: pioneering contributions to mathematics

“Adrian Constantin has made trailblazing contributions to the mathematics of wave propagation,” noted the START-Wittgenstein jury in its statement. His investigations and the methods he developed paved the way for new research avenues and were applied to a wide range of wave phenomena observed in nature, such as tsunamis. The jury particularly highlighted the numerous outstanding young researchers who benefit from the training received in his research groups.

Science Minister Heinz Faßmann and FWF President Klement Tockner (left): Wittgenstein Award opens up new opportunities for world-class research

“I would like to extend heartfelt congratulations to Wittgenstein awardee Adrian Constantin and the seven researchers receiving the START Awards,” says Science Minister Heinz Faßmann, emphasising the importance of the two programmes for Austria as a land of research. “The ‘Austrian Nobel Prize’ gives scientists a great deal of freedom to conduct world-class research here in Austria and to build excellent teams. Such research achievements at the highest international level not only deliver trailblazing findings, but also generate valuable momentum for Austria as a venue for research and innovation,” Faßmann notes.

“The Wittgenstein Award is the confirmation of a life devoted to outstanding research, and in the case of Adrian Constantin we may well expect a lot more excellent research results still to come,” observes FWF President Klement Tockner, pointing out the topicality of Constantin's research: “Adrian Constantin's research helps to predict the extent of climate phenomena such as El Niño or natural disasters such as tsunamis. In his field, he performs basic research that is in great demand worldwide and has a direct impact on the real world,” Tockner concludes.

A picture gallery of Adrian Constantin and pictures of the award ceremony with Science Minister Heinz Faßmann and FWF President Tockner can be found at

Pictures of the award ceremony can be found here

Portraits of the START-/Wittgenstein prize winners can be found here

Austria's most generously endowed science award

The Wittgenstein Award is bestowed on outstanding researchers of any discipline. Endowed with EUR 1.5 million, the award supports the awardees in their research, guaranteeing them utmost freedom and flexibility and enabling them to develop their research activities at the highest international level.

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