Six young researchers have been selected for the Heinz Maier-Leibnitz Prize 2011, the most important award for early career researchers in Germany.
The selection committee appointed by the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG, German Research Foundation) and the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research chose from a total of 145 nominated candidates from all research areas – more than ever in the history of the award. Remarkable is the young age of the prize winners. Four of them are under or have just turned 30 and have thus acquired an outstanding qualification and a substantial independent research profile, the most important criteria for the prize.
The Heinz Maier-Leibnitz Prize, endowed with 16,000 EUR and funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research, will be awarded on 9 May at 2 pm at the Magnus-Haus in Berlin, Germany.
The 2011 prize goes to:
- Dr. Swantje Bargmann (30, pictured), engineering sciences, junior professor at Technical University of Dortmund, is being awarded as a most versatile early career researcher in engineering sciences who is conducting research in three challenging fields. In particular her work on the modelling of crystal plasticity is considered highly innovative and is of great importance for developing new materials. Bargmann has also set new trends by developing a method for the anisotropic modelling of polar ice. In continuation of her thesis, she conducts research into thermoelasticity. Characteristic of Bargmann’s research is her interdisciplinary cooperation with engineers, mathematicians, physicists and materials scientists and her international orientation, which is reflected by numerous research visits and joint projects with peers in Japan, South Korea, South Africa, Sweden and the United States.
- Dr. Markus Friedrich (36), modern history, research assistant at University of Frankfurt/Main, masterfully combines intellectual history with analyses of social history.
- Dr. Christian Hackenberger (34, pictured), chemistry, Free University of Berlin, is one of the most promising German early career researchers in the field of bioorganic chemistry. In particular with his work on chemical methods of development, he quickly established an international reputation. The so-called “Staudinger Phospihtligation” method he developed facilitates the systematic linking of proteins with organic substances, which is one of the biggest problems in biological chemistry. Hackenberger’s research is of great importance in many areas of the life sciences and has a high application potential, since proteins often also need to be modified for medical applications. For his publications in leading international journals, the chemist has already won several awards. Currently, Hackenberger heads his own working group at the Free University of Berlin as part of the DFG’s Emmy Noether Programme.
- Dr. Thorsten Holz (29), computer science, junior professor at Ruhr University of Bochum, has gained international renown in the field of IT security and data protection, especially for his work on virtual security threats and the development of defence mechanisms.
- Dr. Moritz Kerz (27), mathematics, University of Duisburg-Essen, was able to achieve outstanding results and prove important hypotheses at an early age in the field of algebraic number theory and algebraic geometry.
- Dr. Henrike Manuwald (30), literature, junior professor at University of Freiburg, is already an internationally recognised and leading mediator between literature and art history in medieval studies.
- Deutsche Forschungsgesellschaft (DFG), Bonn, Germany