Commission on Electron Crystallography

Gjønnes Medal in Electron Crystallography

The Gjønnes Medal in Electron Crystallography is awarded every three years and recognizes an outstanding contribution to the field of electron crystallography. The Gjønnes Medal is accompanied by a certificate and funding to present an invited Keynote Lecture at the triennial International Congress of Crystallography.


2020 recipients

[Gjonnes 2020]The IUCr Gjønnes Medal in Electron Crystallography has been awarded to Sven Hovmöller (left; Professor Emeritus, Stockholm University, Sweden) and Ute Kolb (Head, Centre for High Resolution Electron Microscopy, Johannes Gutenberg-Universität, Mainz, Germany) for their pioneering work in the field of electron crystallography, particularly for developing 3D electron diffraction techniques.

In the 1990s, Sven Hovmöller and his group combined high-resolution transmission electron microscopy (HRTEM) images and zone-axis electron diffraction patterns for the solution of atomic structures. In 2007, Ute Kolb and her group developed the automated electron diffraction tomography (ADT) method, which allows the collection of 3D electron diffraction data suitable for structure analysis. As a result, atomic structures of many organic and inorganic crystals were solved. In 2008, Sven Hovmöller and his group suggested an alternative approach to collecting the 3D electron diffraction data - the Rotation Electron Diffraction (RED) method - , which is also successfully used for the structure solution of complex structures, including proteins. Today, these methods are widely used by crystallographers all over the globe for the structure solution of new materials.

In addition to their outstanding scientific results, which were published in high-ranking international journals (e.g. Nature and Science), both scientists have been very active as organisers of international schools on electron crystallography over many years. Thus, they have had a crucial role in the formation of a generation of electron crystallographers.

Professors Hovmöller and Kolb will receive their award during the 25th IUCr Congress in Prague, Czech Republic, in August 2021, where they will share the presentation of a Keynote Lecture.

For a list of papers by Sven Hovmöller appearing in IUCr journals click here.
For a list of papers by Ute Kolb appearing in IUCr journals click here

The IUCr was pleased to be able to conduct (socially distanced) interviews with the recipients about their life and work:

Read the full interview with Sven Hovmöller here.
Read the full interview with Ute Kolb here.

Previous recipients


R. Henderson & N. Unwin 

[Gjønnes Medal winners 2017]

2017 Gjønnes Medal winners Richard Henderson (left) and Nigel Unwin with incoming CEC Chair Louisa Meshi.


J. Steeds & M. Tanaka


A. Howie & M. J. Whelan


J. Gjønnes

These pages are maintained by the Commission Last updated: 27 Jul 2020