Martin A. Uman


Martin A. Uman
Martin A. Uman
Associated organizations
Westinghouse Research Labs, University of Arizona
Fields of study
IEEE Heinrich Hertz Medal


Martin A. Uman is regarded as one of the foremost authorities on lightning. Specifically, he is known for his work in lightning modeling, which has contributed to the understanding of the nature of lightning as well as how to predict where it will strike and stay protected from it.

Uman was born in 1936, and earned his bachelor's, master's, and doctoral degrees in electrical engineering from Princeton, University. After earning his PhD in 1961, he joined the faculty at the University of Arizona in Tuscon as associate professor of electrical engineering. While there, he conducted research in electromagnetics and gaseous electronics. This is when his interest in the physics of lightning began.

Uman's work with lightning continued throughout his career at Westinghouse Research Labs in Pittsburgh and the University of Florida in Gainesville, where he served as the chair of the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department (1991-2003). In 2003, he earned the title of Distinguished Professor. Since the beginning of his tenure at the University of Florida in 1972, he served as the Director of the UF Lightning Research Laboratory.

In 1975, Uman co-founded Lightning Location and Protection, Inc., where he first served as president, and then vice-president and chief consulting scientist. He left the company in 1995. Uman is the author of several books and articles, and is the recipient of numerous awards and honors, including the 1996 IEEE Heinrich Hertz Medal.