Electrical Engineering Mourns Professor Amiya Sen

April 02, 2018

The Electrical Engineering community mourns the loss of professor emeritus Amiya K. Sen, a noted expert in plasma physics and a respected educator. He was 89 years old.

Sen spent over 50 years on the faculty at Columbia Engineering, which he joined in 1963 in a joint appointment with the Departments of Electrical Engineering and Applied Physics and Applied Mathematics. While at Columbia, his work focused on plasma instabilities in thermonuclear fusion, and he was instrumental in developing The Columbia Linear Machine, a continuously operating, linear mirror device for the study of collisionless plasma instabilities, plasma, transport, and feedback stabilization. Sen’s research led to the first production, identification and detailed parametric studies of trapped particle, ion, and electron gradient instabilities and their transport consequences, establishing him as a leader in an emerging field.

A graduate of the Indian Institute of Science in 1952, Sen earned his M.S. from MIT in 1958, and his Ph.D. at Columbia in 1963. Over the course of his career, Sen published numerous papers in the top archival journal in his field, the Physical Review Letters, as well as in several other publications. A fellow of the American Physical Society and IEEE, he also served as a consultant/advisor to the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory, U.S. Department of Energy, and the National Science Foundation. The Society of Columbia Graduates honored him with the Great Teacher Award in 1984.

Amiya Sen retired from Columbia Engineering in 2017.