On November 3, 2011 two outstanding Hungarian academics, Zoltán Gábos and Márta Kurutz Kovács, received the Károly Simonyi Prize at the “Celebration of Hungarian Science 2011” at the University of Miskolc, Hungary. Keynote speaker of the event was Dr. József Pálinkás, President of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences.
The prize for excellence in physics was granted to Zoltán Gábos, corresponding member of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences and retired Professor of the Babes-Bolyai University of Cluj-Napoca (Kolozsvár), Romania, who, as an outstanding expert of Hungarian theoretical physics, made great progress in the field of particle physics and general relativity. He played a defining role in the education of several generations of teachers and researchers in Transylvania, in other Hungarian-speaking regions, and internationally.
The prize for excellence in technical education and research was presented to Márta Kurutz Kovács, a full member of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences, Professor Emeritus of the Department of Structural Mechanics of the Budapest University of Technology and Economics, for her outstanding educational and research activities in the theoretical and numerical analysis of non-smooth nonlinear behavior of structures. She has achieved significant results in the interdisciplinary application of methods, especially in the field of biomechanical properties of the human spine. Her pioneering work in the field is exemplary.
The awards were presented by Dr. Lajos Keszthelyi, President of the Charles Simonyi Research Scholarship Committee.
In 2009, the Hungarian American Coalition received a grant from Dr. Charles Simonyi to extend the operation of the Károly Simonyi Prize until 2011 to support the development of scientific endeavors of Hungarians living in Hungary and beyond the borders.
The annual monetary award was first established in 2002 by Dr. Simonyi in honor of his late father, Professor Károly Simonyi, an internationally known electrical engineer and author of Physics: A Cultural History. The agreement to provide funding for the operation of the Károly Simonyi Board of Trustees was made between the Hungarian American Coalition and the Hungarian Academy of Sciences in Budapest. The amount of the award is three million Hungarian Forints.