The 2004 John Dalton Medal is awarded to Hannes Flühler for his fundamental contributions to the understanding of transport processes in soils at the field-scale.
Hannes Flühler was born in 1941. He obtained a diploma in forest engineering in 1967 and a PhD in soil physics in 1972, both from the ETH in Zurich. After a post doctoral position at the University of California, Riverside from 1974 to 1976 he returned to Switzerland and worked on air pollution effects on forests and soils at the Swiss Federal Institute of Forest Research at Birmensdorf. In 1983 he was appointed professor of soil physics at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich. His impressive publication record includes more than 100 peer reviewed journal articles.
Over the past decades his research interest has revolved around the transport of water, solutes, gas and heat in real soils with a strong emphasis on conducting controlled field experiments that are based on clearly defined research questions. He has focussed equally on the development of instrumentation and models. Instrumentation techniques he has furthered include high resolution TDR-technology and image analysis techniques for quantifying dye tracer distributions in soils. Modelling concepts he has developed or contributed to represent features that govern field-scale transport processes including the dynamics of soil and rock structures.