Alexander von Humboldt Professorship – The Award Winners 2014

Giuseppe Caire

Communications engineering

Giuseppe Caire is one of the world’s leading experts on the principles of telecommunications and information theory. His pioneering work on coded modulation and many other publications and applications have had a lasting impact on the practice and standards of modern wireless communications. They are at the bottom of many digital communication technologies such as WLAN and mobile phone transmission. By conducting top-level theoretical research at university whilst working on practical applications at the Heinrich Hertz Institute, Caire would continue to combine productive research with concrete applications and consolidate TU Berlin’s position at the international forefront of the field.

Nominating university: Technische Universität Berlin (TU Berlin) in conjunction with the Fraunhofer Heinrich Hertz Institute, Berlin

  • Guiseppe Caire
    Photo: University of
    Southern California

    Prof. Dr. Giuseppe Caire,
    born in 1965, is currently a professor at the University of Southern California, Los Angeles, USA. Italian by birth, he worked as a research assistant at the European Space Agency ESTEC in The Netherlands after completing his doctorate at the Politecnico di Torino in 1994, returning to Turin as an assistant professor in 1995. From 1997 to1998, he was an associate professor at the University of Parma, receiving a research fellowship to Princeton University, USA, in 1997. He was a full professor at the Eurecom Institute, Antipolis, France, from 1998 to 2005, and spent several months at the University of Sydney in 2000. He has received numerous honours, particularly from IEEE for whom he worked as president of the Information Theory Society, ITS.

Emmanuelle Marie Charpentier

Molecular biology

Emmanuelle Charpentier is considered one of the most innovative researchers in the field of RNA regulation and the molecular biology of infectious diseases worldwide. Her work on bacterial pathogens, for example, and the ability of bacteria to defend themselves against pathogens, has generated much attention. At Hannover Medical School and the Helmholtz Centre for Infection Research she would combine basic research into molecular mechanisms with translations into clinical therapies and promote clinical infectiology, a field recently neglected in Germany.

Nominating university: Hannover Medical School in conjunction with the Helmholtz Centre for Infection Research, Braunschweig

no longer receiving sponsorship

  • Emmanuelle Marie Charpentier
    Photo: private

    Prof. Dr. Emmanuelle Charpentier,
    born in 1968, has been associate professor at Umeå University in Sweden since 2009, where she heads a research group at the Laboratory for Molecular Infection Medicine Sweden. After taking her doctorate in her home country of France, she became a postdoc at Rockefeller University, USA, in 1996, and a research assistant in New York and Memphis. From 2002, she continued her career in Vienna, transferring to Umeå after completing her habilitation in 2006. The Laboratory for Molecular Infection Medicine Sweden is part of the Nordic EMBL Partnership for Molecular Medicine, where Emmanuelle Charpentier is developing an additional working group. She received awards from the Swedish Fernström Foundation in 2011 and the City of Vienna in 2009.

Stefanie Engel

Environmental economics

Stefanie Engel is one of the world’s leading researchers in environmental economics, particularly in the field of the economics of ecosystems services. She investigates how individuals and groups treat their environment and natural resources, how their behaviour is influenced and how it can be controlled. To this end, she employs a broad spectrum of methods deriving, for example, from behavioural economics or game theory. At Osnabrück University, Stefanie Engel could invigorate the interdisciplinary Institute of Environmental Systems Research and help to guide the focus on “Governance of sustainable socio-ecological systems” to the international forefront. Stefanie Engel is a member of the Research Committee on Environmental and Development Economics of the “Verein für Socialpolitik”, the largest association of economists in the German-speaking world. She was also a member of the Task Force on Environmental Economics which is part of the Initiative for Policy Dialogue headed by Nobel economics laureate, Joseph E. Stiglitz.

Nominating university: Osnabrück University

  • Stefanie Engel
    Photo: ETH Zürich

    Prof. Dr. Stefanie Engel,
    born in 1968, has been a professor of Environmental Policy and Economics at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH) Zurich, Switzerland, since 2006. She took her doctorate at the University of Maryland (USA) in 1999, having previously been engaged in research and teaching at the Universidad de Los Andes and Fedesarrollo (Fundación para la Educación Superior y el Desarrollo), an economic and social research think-tank, also in Bogotá, Colombia, from 1997-1999. She subsequently continued her research at the Centre for Development Research (ZEF) at the University of Bonn, from 2000 to 2005, where she headed a Junior Research Group on “Institutions for the Management of Natural Resources in Developing Countries,” financed by the Robert Bosch Foundation; from 2002, she led the “Natural Resources” working group. She gained her Habilitation from the Faculty of Agriculture at the University of Bonn in 2005. Stefanie Engel is a member of the Research Committee on Environmental and Development Economics of the “Verein für Socialpolitik”, the largest association of economists in the German-speaking world, and of the Task Force on Environmental Economics which is part of the Initiative for Policy Dialogue headed by Nobel economics laureate, Joseph E. Stiglitz.

Stuart S. P. Parkin

Solid state physic

Stuart Parkin has an international reputation as an outstanding, innovative solid state physicist who knows how to transpose theoretical developments in material science into technological applications. Amongst other things, his work has had a global impact on magnetic data storage. His pioneering achievements include the development of oscillatory interlayer coupling in magnetic multilayers for industrially-produced giant magnetoresistance and the discovery and utilisation of tunnelling magnetoresistance. He is currently investigating the potential for enhancing storage density with the help of a three-dimensional storage medium. Stuart Parkin is invited to become a professor in the Institute of Physics at Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg and the Director of the Max Planck Institute (MPI) of Microstructure Physics. This would help to establish Halle’s position as an outstanding international location for applied spintronics and materials science.

Nominating university: Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg in conjunction with the Max Planck Institute of Microstructure Physics

  • Stuart Parkin
    Photo: IBM Almaden
    Research Center

    Prof. Dr. Stuart Parkin,
    born in the UK in 1955, heads the IBM Almaden Research Center in San Jose, USA, and is the Director of the Spintronic Science and Applications Center (SpinAps) in Stanford, USA, which was founded in 2004. He is also a consulting professor at Stanford University. After taking his doctorate at the University of Cambridge he became a postdoc at IBM and was made a fellow in 1999 – the highest technical honour granted by IBM. From 2004 to 2006, he conducted research at RWTH Aachen University on the strength of a Humboldt Research Award. He holds honorary doctorates from RWTH and Eindhoven University of Technology. He is a member of numerous international academies including the Royal Society and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. He travels the world as a visiting professor. Most recently, he received the Von Hippel Award, the highest accolade granted by the Materials Research Society.

Andreas S. Schulz

Applied mathematics (operations Research)

Andreas Schulz is a world leader in the field or Operations Research (OR) and a driving force in the new research discipline of algorithmic game theory. Thanks to his interdisciplinary strategy he has become an expert in combining mathematical OR research with established economic theory – an approach that has not been adopted very widely in Germany so far. At Technischen Universität München (TUM), Andreas Schulz is invited to accept a professorship in Quantitative Methods in Management at the TUM School of Management and also be involved in the TUM School of Mathematics. The aim of this interdisciplinary research is to put collaboration between the two departments on a new footing and thus steer TUM towards a vanguard position in fundamental research in Germany.

Nominating university: Technische Universität München (TUM)

  • Andreas Schulz
    Photo: Sonja Èukiæ

    Prof. Dr. Andreas Schulz,
    born in 1969, is a professor of Mathematics of Operations Research and holder of the Patrick J. McGovern Chair of Management at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Cambridge, USA. He was appointed to the professorship in 1998, at the age of 29. In 1996, his doctoral dissertation at Technische Universität Berlin (TU Berlin) was awarded the Carl Ramsauer Prize and the Dissertation Award of the German Society for Mathematics, Econometrics and Operations Research (GMÖOR). Between 2011 and 2013, he returned to TU Berlin as a Humboldt Research Award winner to teach and conduct research. He has already held numerous visiting professorships at institutions such as the University of British Columbia, the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH) Zurich and Maastricht University. Furthermore, he is a founding member of the “Junge Akademie” (academy of young academics) Berlin, Germany.

Jairo Sinova

Theoretical physics

Jairo Sinova is one of the most eminent theoretical physicists of the younger generation in semi-conductor spintronics. Whilst still a postdoc in 2003, he became famous overnight when he proposed the notion of the intrinsic Spin Hall Effect. Since then, he has continued his theoretical work in cooperation with many experimental colleagues. He is invited to join the Institute of Physics at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz and help drive the field of Spintronics/Spin Related Phenomena to the international forefront; he would also take centre stage in establishing the new Humboldt Center for Emergent Spin Phenomena (H-CESP). Jairo Sinova’s presence at the interface of theory and experimentation would enhance the Institute of Phsyics’s existing experimental expertise and develop its as yet non-existent theoretical group focused in spin related phenomena.

Nominating university: Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz

  • Jairo Sinova
    Photo: private

    Prof. Dr. Jairo Sinova,
    born in 1972, is a professor of Physics at Texas A&M University (TAMU) in College Station, USA. He also works as an independent researcher for the Institute of Physics of the Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic. After completing his doctorate at Indiana University in 1999, he worked as a postdoc at the University of Tennessee and the University of Texas at Austin before relocating to TAMU in 2003. He is a member of the American Physical Society and the American Association of Physics Teachers. Jairo Sinova has received numerous honours including the National Science Foundation’s Career Award and the Cottrell Scholar Award of the Research Corporation for Science Advancement (RCSA).

Hidenori Takagi

Solid state physics

Hidenori Takagi is one of the most eminent and best networked international researchers in modern solid state research and materials sciences worldwide. His contributions to high-Tc superconductivity, correlated materials and magnetic oxide compounds are considered just as innovative and outstanding as his achievements in the synthesis of novel compounds. At the University of Stuttgart and the Max Planck Institute for Solid State Research in Stuttgart he would augment the strategic focus area of solid state research, drive a new research direction from “classic” semi-conductor and metals research to “advanced materials” and help extend interdisciplinary research.

Nominating university: University of Stuttgart in conjunction with the Max Planck Institute for Solid State Research Stuttgart

  • Hidenori Takagi
    Photo: Stuttgart University

    Prof. Dr. Hidenori Takagi,
    born in 1961, is currently a professor at the University of Tokyo and, since 2002, director of the Magnetic Materials Laboratory at RIKEN Advanced Science Institute in Wako, Saitama, Japan. During and after his doctorate (1989), he worked as a member of the technical staff at AT&T Bell Laboratories in the USA. In 1994, he returned to Tokyo as an associate professor, becoming a full professor in 1999. His most important awards include the IBM Science Prize (1988) and the Prize for Science and Technology, granted by the Japanese Ministry of Education (2010). In 2010, he was also a Fellow of the American Physical Society. Hidenori Takagi has edited several journals such as the Journal of the Physical Society of Japan. He is the co-editor of a number of international specialist journals and a member of various international bodies, including the International Advisory Committee at the Canadian Institute for Advanced Research (since 2008).


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