Prizes & Awards

DPF Instrumentation Award

About the DPF Instrumentation Awards

The DPF Instrumentation Award and DPF Instrumentation Early Career Award are bestowed annually to honor exceptional contributions to instrumentation advancing the field of particle physics through the invention, refinement, or application of instrumentation and detectors. The awards recognize accomplishments in one or more of the following areas:

  • Conceptualization and development of unique instrumentation that has made a significant impact on the field.
  • Demonstration of the innovative use of instrumentation.
  • Stimulation of other researchers to use new techniques and methods.
  • Authorship of research papers or books that have had an influential role in the use of instrumentation.

The DPF Instrumentation Award recognizes outstanding achievements in particle physics instrumentation that have had a major impact on the field through the awardee’s dedication over a substantial portion of an entire career, while the DPF Instrumentation Early Career Award recognizes achievements having a significant impact at an early career stage. For the purpose of this award, the early career stage is taken to be approximately 15 years from a Ph.D. or other terminal degree, with due account for interruptions and other factors in nominees’ careers.

Award recipients will be invited to present a lecture at the 2022 CPAD meeting.

Complete nominations have:

  • A nominating letter of not more than 5,000 characters, about two pages.
  • A biographical sketch or CV.
  • At least two, but not more than three, seconding letters.
Nominations for the 2021 award will be accepted through Academic Jobs Online (AJO) from now through September 30th, 2021. Nominations will remain active for three years. The nominating letter and the CV should be uploaded to, click the "Nominate" link under "Description".

The names and email addresses of the supporting letter-writers should also be included in the nomination packet. The membership of APS is diverse, so the nominees should reflect that diversity. The nomination of women or members of underrepresented minority groups is therefore strongly encouraged. The membership is also global, so nominations of scientists from outside of the United States are welcome.

If you have any questions about the award, please contact the award chair, Gabriella Carini.


Citations for 2020

The DPF Instrumentation Award 2020 is presented by the APS Division of Particles and Fields (DPF) to:

  • Juan Estrada (Fermilab) For his creation and development of novel applications for CCD technology that probe wide-ranging areas of particle physics including cosmology, dark matter, neutrino detection and quantum imaging.

The DPF Early Career Instrumentation Award 2020 is presented by the APS Division of Particles and Fields (DPF) to:

  • Lindley Winslow (MIT) For the development of the ABRACADABRA detector: a powerful new search tool for axions, a broad class of well-motivated dark matter (DM) candidates.

Previous Winners

2019 DPF Instrumentation Award - Hanguo Wang

“For his seminal contributions to and sustained development of the use of liquid xenon and argon detectors for direct detection searches for dark matter, including the two-phase technique.”

2019 DPF Instrumentation Early Career Award - Ana Amelia Machado and Ettore Segreto.

University of Campinas, Brazil
“For the invention and development of the ARAPUCA photon detector, a novel and effective tool for measuring scintillation light in liquid argon detectors.”

2018 DPF Instrumentation Award - Rinaldo Santonico
The University of Rome, Tor Vergata
"For the development of large gap Resistive Plate Chambers (RPCs) and their successful application in a wide variety of experiments."

2018 DPF Instrumentation Early Career Award - Dr. Javier Tiffenberg
Fermilab and the University of Chicago
"For the development of the Skipper CCD and its application in light dark matter and coherent neutrino-nucleus interaction searches."

2017 - Blair Ratcliff
2017 - Lawrence Sulak

"For the development of novel detectors exploiting the Cherenkov radiation to enhance the capabilities of frontier experiments devoted to the study of beauty and charm hadrons and atmospheric neutrinos."
2017 Award Committee: Marina Artuso (Chair), Petra Merkel (Vice-chair), Hong Ma, Stephen Holland, Tim Nelson, Abe Seiden, Gary Varner

2016 - Stephen Holland
2016 - Gary Varner

"For the development of technologies for detection of signals in frontier experiments, especially the fully depleted charge coupled device and the 'oscilloscope on a chip' integrated circuit."

2015 - David Nygren
2015 - Veljko Radeka

"For widespread contributions and leadership in the development of new detector technologies and low-noise electronics instrumentation in particle physics as well as other fields, and in particular work leading to the development and instrumentation of large volume liquid argon time projection chambers that are now a key element in the global particle physics program."
2015 Award Committee: Howard Nicholson (Chair) CPAD, Sally Seidel (Vice-chair) DPF, Marina Artuso CPAD, Karsten Heeger DPF, Graham Smith CPAD

Nominees for and holders of APS Honors (prizes, awards, and fellowship) and official leadership positions are expected to meet standards of professional conduct and integrity as described in the APS Ethics Guidelines. Violations of these standards may disqualify people from consideration or lead to revocation of honors or removal from office.