15th Prize Professor Albert Soenen

In 2024 the Foundation Professor Albert Soenen organizes the Prize Professor Albert Soenen with a value of € 3.000 for a PhD thesis that delivers a significant contribution to the advancement of fruit culture in its broadest sense.

The candidates must have obtained their PhD degree in the period between November 1, 2021 and September 30, 2023 and their age should not exceed 35 years at the date of submission.

The candidates must submit a file in English which consists of the following elements:
• curriculum vitae (maximum two A4 pages);
• a list of publications;
• his/her PhD thesis;
• a description of the contribution of the PhD thesis to progress in fruit culture in its broadest sense (maximum two A4 pages).

The prize is awarded by the management council of the Foundation with assistance of independent experts.
The prize is personal, but can be shared. If none of the submitted files satisfies the conditions or attains the scientific standards set forth by the council, the prize will not be awarded.

Files are submitted electronically to prize_soenen@pcfruit.be.
The submission deadline is September 30, 2023.
The prize is awarded in 2024.

About professor Albert Soenen

Under the impulse of Paul Nicolaï (1907-2001) the Research Station of Gorsem (Opzoekingsstation van Gorsem) was founded in 1943 and its management was entrusted to professor Soenen. Under the direction of professor Soenen the Research Station of Gorsem (the current Proefcentrum Fruitteelt – pcfruit) grew into a nationally and internationally famous research institute for fruit growing.

Award Albert Soenen

In between, professor Soenen held several positions, f.i.: research director at the I.W.O.N.L. (institute to stimulate scientific research in Industry and agriculture), teacher at the Higher Institute of Chemistry and Horticulture (Hoger Instituut voor Scheikunde en Tuinbouw) in Sint-Truiden, from 1969 with the classes ‘Phytopharmacy’ and ‘Descriptive and Applied Entomology’ at the agricultural science faculty of the Université Catholique de Louvain, since 1979 he was bestowed special teacher and in 1984 professor emeritus at the Université Catholique de Louvain.

Award Albert Soenen

In the context of all these activities, he also served as board member of numerous associations and scientific research organizations. Furthermore Professor Soenen made quite a few study tours,  among others tot he United Nations, Zaire, Canada, Finland, Norway, Denmark, Switzerland, France, Spain, Italy, Israel … In the backcountry Professor Soenen gave more than 200 lectures in universities, on the occasion of symposia, study days or seminars for pomological associations, in horticultural schools and radio lectures. In addition, he expressed his knowledge and experience about for instance entomology, phytopathology, phytopharmacy and ecology in nearly a hundred publications.

The next ‘Award Professor Albert Soenen’ will be conferred in 2021.

Winners 'Award professor Albert Soenen'

2021 Vanderzande Stijn - Insights into the genetic control of plant architecture in apple.

2018 Di Guardo Mario - Investigating the fruit texture genetic control in apple and its interplay with the production of volatile compounds using multi-family based analysis and
genome wide association mapping.

2016 Björn Kristian Klatt - Bee Pollination of Strawberries on different spatial Scales – from Crop varieties to Landscapes.

2013 Le Roux P.-M. -  Molecular breeding for fire blight resistance in apple (Malus spp.)

2009 Ho Q. T. - Multiscale modelling of gas transport in fruit during controlled atmosphere storage.

2006 Van Leeuwen T. - Acaricide resistance mechanisms in laboratory selected and field collected resistant strains of Tetranychus urticae (Acari: Prostigmata).
In 2006 the town Sint-Truiden awarded an honourable mention to Van Zeebroeck M. -  The Discrete Element Method (DEM) to Simulate Fruit Impact Damage during Transport and Handling.

2003 Abdel-Ghani Awad M.- The apple skin: colourful healthiness. Developmental and environmental regulations of flavonoids and chlorogenic acid in apples.

2000 Jijakli M. - Etude des propriétés antagonistes de deux souches de levures vis-à-vis de Botrytis cinerea Pers. sur pommes en conservation. (Study of antagonist properties of two strains of yeast versus Botrytis cinerea Pers. on stored apples.)

1995 Wagenmakers P. - Light relations in orchard systems.

1993 Vantieghem H.- Insectensexferomonen en Fytiatrie: Algemeen en mogelijkheden in de Belgische fruitteelt met de sexferomonen RAK34 in de verwarringstechniek. (Insect sex pheromones and physiatry: genera land possibilities in Belgian fruit production with the sex pheromones RAK3+4 in confusion technique.)

1991 Van der Straeten D. - Molecular genetics of ethylene biosysthesis and mode of action in higher plants.

1989 Leprince O. - Etude physiologique et cytologique de l’installation de la résistance à la déshydratation dans l’embryon de Brassica Campestris au cours de la maturation. (Physiological and cytological study of the installation of resistance against dehydration in the embryo of Brassica Campestris during maturation.)

1987 Viseur J. - L’utilisation des techniques de culture in vitro pour l’obtention et la sélection de variants somaclonaux de poiriers et de pommiers résistants au feu bactérien. (The use of in vitro cultural techniques to obtain and select somaclonal variants of apple and pear trees which are resistant to fire blight.)

1985 Degheele D. - Onderzoek naar de toxiciteit en werkingswijze van chitinesynthese inhibitoren. (Research on toxicity and mode of action of chitine synthesis inhibitors.)

Executive Board of the Albert Soenen Foundation


Robert Schoonheydt


André Deroose


Bylemans Dany
Ann Cuypers
Deckers Thomas
Herman Lieve
Keulemans Johan
Moors Inge
Morren Hilde
Soenen Emmanuel
Valcke Roland

Honorary chairman

Soenen Albert

Honorary directors

Aerts Firmin
Clijsters Herman
Weerts Joseph

External auditor

Jozef Merckx


  • Supporting member: annual membership contribution of 100 euro

You will be invited to the award ceremony.

  • Bronze: annual membership contribution of 250 euro

You will be invited to the award ceremony as well as to all other events.

  • Silver: triennial membership contribution of 2.500 euro

You will be invited to the award ceremony and all other events.You will be mentioned on this website and your logos will be on the invitations.

  • Gold: one-time membership contribution of 25.000 euro

You will be invited to the award ceremony and all other events. You will be mentioned on this website and your logos will be on the invitations. You become a member of the Executive Board of the Albert Soenen Foundation.