Peter Werle Award

Sponsored by:








The 2018 Peter Werle Early Career Scientist Award has been presented to 

Greg Rieker

during the Conference dinner on September 12 at Castello di Rosciano










Motivation for the attribution of the 2018 Peter Werle Early Career Scientist Award

The Peter Werle Award is meant to recognize outstanding early career scientists who best exemplify Peter Werle’s scientific attributes, such as: innovation, intellectual honesty, extreme attention to detail, inquisitiveness, strong mathematical and engineering backgrounds, a proven track record of success, and achieving such success by questioning existing thinking and/or technologies.

The 2018 Peter Werle Early Career Scientist Award is awarded to Dr. Greg Rieker from University of Colorado at Boulder, whose scientific achievements, drive for innovation, and interest in applications and commercialization are in line with the criteria of the award.


Dr. Rieker received his MSc degree in mechanical engineering in 2004, and a PhD degree in mechanical engineering in 2009, both at Stanford University. His PhD thesis on ‘Wavelength-Modulation Spectroscopy for Measurements of Gas Temperature and Concentration in Harsh Environments’ was conducted in the group of Prof. Ronald Hanson. After PhD he co-founded a company Fluence for development of plasma accelerators for medical purposes, and spectrometers for plasma beams. In the years 2012-13 he was a postdoctoral research associate at NIST, Boulder, developing frequency comb spectrometers for gas phase measurements in atmospheric systems. Since 2013 he is an assistant professor in mechanical engineering at University of Colorado at Boulder, where he is leading the Precision Laser Diagnostics group.


The main research contributions and interests of Dr. Rieker are in the field of laser-based sensing and control in energy, atmospheric and industrial systems, and his activities span from fundamental research to applied science. His early work focused on methods for measurements of gas temperature and concentration in combustion and high pressure environments. Currently, he develops optical measurement systems based on diode lasers and optical frequency combs, and applies them for sensing in atmospheric and combustion environments. His scientific contributions were instrumental in bringing the optical frequency combs to the field and using them for open path measurements of greenhouse gases, for methane leak detection, and for measurements in challenging combustion environments. In combustion, his work spans from in situ dual comb spectroscopy measurements in a power plant to laboratory-based precision spectroscopy of high-temperature water, with the aim to create an absorption database for field-based sensors.

Dr. Rieker is an enthusiastic and inspiring leader, with strong entrepreneurial spirit. In his work, he shows great attention to detail and never loses sight of the field applications. The breadth of his research, his drive to bring the techniques to the field, and his success in doing it, make Dr. Rieker and his research work to stand out in terms of quality, innovation and scientific impact.  

The Selection Committee: 

Francesco D’Amato, Conference Chair, INO Florence


Lukas Emmenegger, EMPA


Aleksandra Foltynowicz, Umeå University, President of the selection committee and 2016 Werle Award recepient


Alan Fried, University of Colorado


Livio Gianfrani, Università degli studi della Campania “Luigi Vanvitelli”


Frans Harren, Radboud University


Erik Kerstel, Conference Chair, University of Grenoble Alps


Kevin Lehmann, University of Virginia


Jürgen Roepcke, INP Greifswald


Frank Tittel, Rice University


Gerard Wysocki, Princeton University