The 2006 Tomas Hirschfeld Award has been given to Dr Roumiana Tsenkova from Kobe University, Japan. The Hirschfeld Award is presented for outstanding achievements in the field of NIR spectroscopy. It is administered by the International Council for Near Infrared Spectroscopy and sponsored by Büchi.
Dr Tsenkova started her career in NIR in her native Bulgaria, developing a sensor for disease diagnosis (mastitis in cows). In 1990, after becoming associate professor at the Faculty of Electronics, TU Rousse in Bulgaria, she was awarded the Japanese Monbusho scholarship for a post doctoral study on sensors for robotic milking at Obihiro University, Japan. Later on, in 1992, she moved to Hokkaido University in Sapporo, Japan, as research fellow working on NIR spectroscopy for biomonitoring. Since 1996, she is a tenure professor at Kobe University in Japan, where her research has been in the area of using NIR and multivariate analysis for non-invasive bio-diagnosis and bio-monitoring, and for functional studies in life science. For the first time, she applied NIR for non-invasive diagnosis of disease and its understanding. Recently, she presented perturbation NIR spectroscopy to study water spectral properties in a living object and how they are related to biological functions.