UH Mānoa professor named 2017 American Geophysical Union Fellow

Murli Manghnani
Murli Manghnani

Murli Manghnani, a professor in the Hawaiʻi Institute of Geophysics and Planetology (HIGP) at the University of Hawaiʻiat Mānoa School of Ocean and Earth Science and Technology, has been elected a fellow of the American Geophysical Union(AGU). Manghnani, who joined the HIGP in 1963, has made impressive contributions in the field of high pressure-high temperature mineral physics, with a focus on the structure and transformation of minerals deep in Earth’s interior.

AGU is an international non-profit scientific association with 60,000 members in 137 countries. Each year since 1962, AGUhas elected fellows, members whose visionary leadership and scientific excellence have fundamentally advanced research in their respective fields. It is a distinguished honor bestowed upon no more than 0.1 percent of the AGU membership annually.

AGU Fellows are recognized for their outstanding contributions to scholarship and discovery in the Earth and space sciences. Their work not only expands the realm of human knowledge, but also contributes to the scientific understanding needed for building a sustainable future,” said Eric Davidson, AGU President, in a press release.

Among his most significant accomplishments, Manghnani discovered unique properties and structures of silicate melts in Earth’s mantle and core-related iron-rich melts. Using state-of-the-art technologies such as ultrasonic interferometry, the synchrotron X-ray source at Argonne National Laboratory, and an innovative high-temperature furnace developed at UH Mānoa, Manghnani’s research provided an explanation of anomalous behavior of these interesting mantle and core melt materials. These measurements provided fundamental understanding of the properties of small planetary cores, including properties of the liquids of Earth’s core.

“With a rare combination of deep interest, dedication, enthusiasm and collaborative spirit, Manghnani has been able to creatively help in establishing a world-class facility in high-pressure mineral physics research at UH Mānoa, along with a cadre of faculty and researchers,” said Robert Wright, researcher and interim director of HIGP.

The 2017 class of fellows will be recognized during the Honors Tribute on December 13 held during the 2017 AGU Fall Meeting in New Orleans, Louisiana.

More about Murli Manghnani

Manghnani helped establish the High Pressure Mineral Physics Laboratory (MPL) at HIGP in the mid-1960’s. MPL has long been recognized among the leading facilities for high-pressure geoscience and materials science research for more than four decades, with outstanding national and international acclaim and reputation. Since the initiation of the MPL, Manghnani and collaborators have received more than $19 million in research grants from the National Science Foundation, W. M. Keck Foundation, Department of Defense, Department of Energy, NASA, Federal Highway Administration and other agencies.

Manghnani has also served an advisor or judge for Hawaiʻi schools and Hawaiʻi science fairs over the past 10 years. He has also guided and mentored undergraduate students for the NASA Undergraduate Fellowship Program at UH Mānoa, served as an examiner for the doctoral thesis committees and mentored several scholars and post-doctoral researchers from various foreign counties such as France, Israel, Nepal, India, China and Malaysia.