Hans Cloos

Hans Cloos
Born November 8, 1885
Died September 26, 1951 (1951-09-27) (aged 65)
Nationality German
Awards Penrose Medal (1948)
Scientific career
Fields geology
Institutions University of Breslau
Doctoral students İhsan Ketin
Henno Martin

Hans Cloos (November 8, 1885 – September 26, 1951) was a prominent German structural geologist.

Gravestone of Cloos

Born in Magdeburg, Germany, Hans Cloos earned his doctorate at Freiburg in 1910, then worked in Indonesia and Namibia up until the start of First World War. During the war his geological skills were put to use along the western front.

Following the war, he began a study of plutons and their interior structure. In 1919 he became professor of geology at the University of Breslau. His younger brother, Ernst Cloos, who was born in 1898, would come to study geology at Breslau under his brother and later became a prominent geologist and professor at Johns Hopkins University.

In 1926 Cloos left Breslau to become professor of geology at the University of Bonn. He made additional geological trips to explore the Scandinavian region, England, and North America.

Professor Hans Cloos made pioneering studies of rock deformation, including granite tectonics. He employed scaled analogue models to study the physical mechanics of faulting, and examined how continents developed their structure. He was also noted for his artistic abilities, including music and draftsmanship.

Cloos died in Bonn, Germany in 1951.

The Hans Cloos medal

It is a senior award, which is presented by the International Association for Engineering Geology and the Environment (IAEG) since 1977 to an engineering geologist of outstanding merit.[1][2] It is normally awarded every two years during an international congress of the IAEG.[2]

According to the prize description, "the recipient should be a person of international repute who has made a major contribution to engineering geology in his/her written papers or to the development of engineering geology and/or the IAEG in their own area".[3]

Since 2002, upon receipt of the prize, the winner also delivers a lecture, named the Hans Cloos lecture.[4] Then, the winner is invited to submit a scientific paper based on the lecture for possible publication on the Bulletin of Engineering Geology and the Environment.[4]

The winners of the Hans Cloos medal are listed below:[3]

Year Winner Country
1977 Quido Záruba[2] Czechoslovakia Czechoslovakia
1978 Léon Calembert Belgium Belgium
1980 Marcel Arnould France France
1982 Richard Wolters West Germany West Germany
1984 Leopold Müller Austria Austria
1986 Evgenii M. Sergeev Soviet Union USSR
1989 David J. Varnes United States USA
1990 William R. Dearman United Kingdom United Kingdom
1992 Michael Langer Germany Germany
1994 William R. Judd United States USA
1996 Ricardo Oliveira Portugal Portugal
1998 Owen L. White Canada Canada
2000 Paul G. Marinos Greece Greece
2002 John Knill[4][5] United Kingdom United Kingdom
2004 Vincenzo Cotecchia[6] Italy Italy
2006 Robert L. Schuster[7] United States USA
2008 Wang Sijing[8] China China
2010 Martin Culshaw[9] United Kingdom United Kingdom
2012 Victor Osipov[10] Russia Russia
2014 Roger Cojean[11] France France
2016 Reseat Ulusay[12] Turkey Turkey
2018 Runqiu Huang[13][14] China China



  • Der Mechanismus tiefvulkanischer Vorgänge, 1921.
  • Memoirs: Gespräch mit der Erde, 1947; translated into English as Conversations with the Earth by E.B. Garside, 1953.