Curriculum vitae for Hanno Essén

Born in Stockholm, Sweden, September 27 1948.
Entered University of Stockholm, August 1967.
Compulsory military service (10 months) 1968-69.

University degrees:

·       Fil. mag., Graduated from University of Stockholm, February 1 1973,
Major subjects: Theoretical Physics, Mathematics, Physics
Minor subjects: Astronomy, Philosophy.

·        Fil. dr. (Ph. D.) at University of Stockholm May 19 1979,
subject: Theoretical Physics,
Title of dissertation: Topics in Molecular Mechanics.

·         Docent ("oavlönad") of theoretical physics at the University of Stockholm, from February 27 1986.


Positions (after Ph.D.):

·        Royal Society European Science Exchange Fellowship (10 months) 1979-80 at the Theoretical Chemistry department, University of Oxford.

·       Research assistant at the Institute of Theoretical Physics, University of Stockholm, September to December 1980.

·        Postdoctoral fellowship at Department of Chemistry, McMaster University (Hamilton, Ontario, Canada) with Prof. R. Bader (2 years) 1981 and 82.

·        Minor jobs as research assistant at University of Stockholm and physics teacher at the Royal Institute of Technology (Stockholm) during 1983.

·        Lecturer at the Department of Physics, University of Stockholm (half-time job) from January 1984 until June 1988 (full-time during the last 2 years).

·        Lecturer at the Department of Quantum Chemistry, University of Uppsala (half-time job) Fall 1984 and 1985-86 (adding up to 1.5 years; held simultaneously with the position in Stockholm).

·        Lecturer at the Department of Mechanics, Royal Institute of Technology, Stockholm (full, tenured position) from July 1988. Retired 1 September 2013.


Other appointments:

·        Director of undergraduate studies (Studierektor) at the Department of Mechanics, Royal Institute of Technology, from ca 1990-2012.

·        On the Editorial Board of European Journal of Physics from September 2006.

·        Chairman of the Swedish Sceptics for three years: 2008 April 19 – 2011 April 2.



Received the Borelius medal for important contributions to Technical Physics at KTH on May 18 2018.



I have been active in the Swedish Sceptics, Föreningen Vetenskap och Folkbildning, VoF (Society for Science and Popular Education), for many years. I have been on the board of the society from ca 1990 to 2011. For several years I was secretary and vice chairman of the board, then chairman for three years. I have written reviews and other articles for the journal Folkvett, published by the society (see:


Intellectual heritage

My thesis advisor was Prof. Inga Fischer-Hjalmars. Other influential teachers of theoretical physics were Bertel Laurent, Stig Flodmark, and Stig Hjalmars. They were all to some extent students of Oskar Klein whose spirit was very much alive at the department. The main textbooks for graduate students of theoretical physics were, at the time of my graduate studies, the three first volumes of Landau and Lifshitz (Course of theoretical physics). These are thus the main influences that shaped my intellectual outlook.