2024 Investiture Information

Bengt Ulf Östen Sonnerup

Sydney E. Junkins 1887 Professor of Engineering, Emeritus


Bengt Sonnerup joined Thayer School in 1964 and remained on the regular faculty until 2000. "I fell in love with the look and feel of the Dartmouth campus," said Sonnerup. "... And, of course, the opportunity to join [Millett Morgan's radiophysics lab] doing cutting edge research in space physics was very appealing."

Professor Sonnerup's research has focused on the study of magnetohydrodynamics and plasma physics in the region surrounding the earth's magnetopause, and he is the author or coauthor of over 120 papers in that field. At Thayer School he has taught fluid dynamics, electromagnetics, distributed systems and fields, dynamics, transport processes, and applied mathematics, and was instrumental in developing parts of the current undergraduate engineering sciences core curriculum.


  • BME, Mechanical Engineering, Chalmers Institute of Technology (Gothenburg, Sweden) 1953
  • MAE, Aeronautical Engineering, Cornell University 1960
  • PhD, Aeronautical Engineering, Cornell University 1961


  • American Geophysical Union Fellow
  • Alexander von Humboldt Foundation Award

Professional Activities

  • Editor, Journal of Geophysical Research and Space Physics (1981-1984)
  • Visiting scientist, European Space Research Institute (Frascati, Italy), Max Planck Institute for Extraterrestrial Physics (Munich, Germany), International Space Science Institute (Bern, Switzerland)

Selected Publications

  • Sonnerup, B.U.Ö., H. Hasegawa, and G. Paschmann, Anatomy of a flux transfer event seen by Cluster, Geophys. Res. Lett., 31, L11803, June 16, 2004.
  • Sonnerup, B.U.Ö., and H. Hasegawa, Orientation and motion of two-dimensional structures in a space plasma, J. Geophys. Res., 110, A06208, 2005.
  • Sonnerup, B.U.Ö., S. Haaland, G. Paschmann, M. Dunlop, H. Rème, and A. Balogh, Orientation and motion of a plasma discontinuity from single-spacecraft measurements: Generic residue analysis of Cluster data, J. Geophys. Res., 111, A05203, doi:10.1029/2005JA011538, 2006.
  • Sonnerup, B.U.Ö., H. Hasegawa, W.-L. Teh, and L.-N. Hau, Grad-Shafranov reconstruction: An overview, J. Geophys. Res., 111, A09204, doi:10.1029/2006JA011717, 2006.
  • Hasegawa, H., B.U.Ö. Sonnerup, C.J. Owen, B. Klecker, G. Paschmann, M.W. Dunlop, and H. Rème, The structure of flux transfer events recovered from Cluster data, Annales Geophysicae, 24, 603-618, 2006.