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Joachim Treusch: The Founding President

"The Helmholtz Association is changing. After all, only a flexible and learning research organisation will have any chance of asserting itself as a key focal point for research in Germany and as a global player in international research."

Bild: FZJ

This was how Joachim Treusch, Chairman of the Association of Major Research Facilities AGF, formulated the aspiration of the Helmholtz Association of German Research Centers HGF on the occasion of its founding ceremony in Berlin in the fall of 1995.

This stipulation and the convening of a high-ranking Senate, both of which had been unanimously agreed upon by all members of the AGF at a memorable meeting at Ringberg Castle in the spring of the same year, laid the foundation for the rapid development of the following two decades, which has secured the HGF (since 2001 as HGF e.V.) its position in the German science system.

Joachim Treusch (born 1940 in Dortmund) looks back on a long career as a scientist and science manager. After studying physics in Marburg and Berlin, he received his first professorship in Frankfurt in 1970, and one year later took over a chair in theoretical physics at the young University of Dortmund. His main field of work was the electronic structure and optical properties of semiconductors. He was editor of "Festkörperprobleme" from 1976-81 and co-editor of several national and international scientific journals. From 1984 to 1986 he was president of the German Physical Society. The following year, he moved from Dortmund to the Board of Directors of Forschungszentrum Jülich, which he chaired from 1990 to 2006. During this time, he served on many commissions and international committees and, as founding chairman, left his mark on the Helmholtz Association of German Research Centers, which he headed until 1997.

He launched the initiative "Wissenschaft im Dialog" and headed it from 2000 to 2006. From 2006 to 2012, he brought his experience in research, teaching and science management to bear as president of Jacobs University Bremen, which is characterized by interdisciplinarity, internationality and intercultural encounters. He remains active in science and science policy, including as chairman of the Wilhelm and Else Heraeus Foundation, chairman of the supervisory board of Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin, vice chairman of the university council of Technische Universität Dortmund, and a trustee of the Physikalisch-Technische Bundesanstalt.

Treusch is a member of several academies (acatech, Academia Europea, BBAW, AdW-NRW), the recipient of various orders and prizes, an honorary doctor of RWTH Aachen University and Jagellonian University in Krakow, and an honorary professor of Tongji University Shanghai and Jiaotong University Shanghai. He was Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Science Press Conference, President of the German Society of Natural Scientists and Physicians, Chairman of the German Federation of Technical Scientific Associations and Senator of the German Academy of Sciences Leopoldina.

Current President

Otmar D. Wiestler

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