Former president: Jürgen Mlynek
"Excellent and relevant research is the ideal prerequisite for fulfilling our Helmholtz mission - as national research centers with strategically aligned goals."
"The Helmholtz centers operate large-scale research facilities and research infrastructures for their own research programs and for our partners in Germany and abroad. To this end, we must further expand the already good networking with universities and work together to promote young scientists. But it is also important to me to build bridges to industry and society. To this end, we will strengthen the transfer of knowledge and technology." This is how Professor Mlynek defined the framework of his task. He had been acting president since September 2005. In 2009, he was re-elected for his second term until 2015.
Jürgen Mlynek studied physics at the Technical University of Hannover and at the École Polytechnique in Paris. He received his doctorate in 1979 from the University of Hannover and his habilitation in 1984. After a stay at the IBM Research Laboratory in the USA, Mlynek moved to the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH) in Zurich as an assistant professor. In 1990, he moved to the University of Konstanz as a full C4 professor of experimental physics. After ten years of research and teaching in experimental quantum optics, atomic physics and surface physics, Mlynek was drawn to research management: from 1996 to 2001 he was Vice President of the German Research Foundation. In September 2000, he became president of Humboldt University in Berlin, which he has developed into a leading German university. Mlynek has been awarded numerous scientific prizes, including the Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz Prize of the German Research Foundation (1992). In 2010, Prof. Mlynek was awarded the Cross of Merit 1st Class of the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany. In 2014, he received the Garbsen Ring of Honor.